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Core Conversations training launched to help London boroughs support community champions to have caring conversations


Thrive LDN is working with Basis to deliver a series of interactive sessions for community champions across London to learn and practise having conversations that make a difference when someone is having a tough time.


Through the use of forum theatre, Core Conversations training enables up to 20 participants to experiment with alternative approaches to having meaningful conversations, reflect on their own approaches and learn from each other in a safe environment.


Download an information pack for London boroughs.

What is a Core Conversation?

The cost-of-living crisis represents the largest drop in household disposable income in over a century. We know that the number of people with financial worries and mental health issues is growing.

Many Londoners are facing depleted financial resilience, have no capacity to save and are therefore unable to prepare for future economic shocks. All of this places many at an increased risk of anxiety, cumulative stress and mental health issues, exacerbated by the onset of the winter months and crisis fatigue.

But although we know all this, getting help to those who need it isn’t that easy. A conversation had with someone about their mental health – in which they can really share their problems, many of which may be complex and interconnected, and you explore and find solutions together – is a very different kind of conversation.

Really talking to people in this way, to help them through tough times, takes skill. It takes practice. But this is something that anyone can learn.

About Core Conversations training

This is where Core Conversations training comes in. The training is based on seven principles for caring and great conversations. These were co-created with nearly two hundred front-line experts from the public and voluntary sector during the pandemic.

The training uses these principles to enhance people’s existing ability to quickly build a relationship with the person they’re aiming to help, form a holistic understanding of the challenge at hand and to co-create solutions to overcome them.

There is no perfect template for a Core Conversation. Whether you’ve got 2 days’ experience or 20 years, there’s always more to learn. The insights gathered from each session are used to continuously update the principles to benefit the alumni network and future participants. We learn something new together every session.

Three people from each session will also separately join the train-the-trainer programme. London boroughs who participate then commit to supporting the new trainers to together run at least two further sessions for participants in your borough.

When are the training sessions taking place?

The Core Conversations training sessions are open for any London borough to book for their locality. Sessions are offered on a first-come-first served basis.

Registration: London boroughs can register online through Eventbrite.

Additional, non-borough specific sessions are also being prepared which will be open to any London-based frontline or key worker. Details for these sessions will be released in January 2023.

How to participate – our ask of London boroughs

Once registered, each borough is responsible for promoting and signing up 20 people who work with residents in your area. You know best who needs this training the most; participants could be part of the local authority, the NHS, charities, community and/or faith organisations. We also ask for two people to help coordinate the training. For each session, Thrive LDN will support the registration of participants.

Each borough who participates also needs to support three people from the session to separately join the train-the-trainer programme. This consists of pre-work and an interactive half-day online training session. Boroughs then commit to supporting the new trainers to together run at least two further sessions for participants in your borough.

Download an information pack for London boroughs.

Additionally, we highly recommend each borough pulls together a list of local resources and services where people can find further help, which can be used in the training sessions.

The offer in short

  • Core Conversations training sessions are open to all 32 London boroughs and the City of London.
  • Sign up as a London borough for one session only. There will be 15 available in total.
  • You help promote, identify, and sign-up 20 participants (front-line and community workers in your borough).
  • Three people who attending the session from your borough will also join a train-the-trainer programme.
  • Following this, the trainers must together run at least two further sessions in their borough.

The series of Core Conversations training sessions are funded and supported by the Mayor of London under the remit of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Mission. The mission aims to build a coalition of wellbeing champions and empower Londoners to act to improve their own and their communities’ wellbeing.

Further information and any questions, email



Getting Through This Together is a new campaign which has been developed by Thrive LDN in response to the increased cost-of-living pressures.


The campaign aims to encourage Londoners to strengthen their social networks with family members and friends, and trusted others in their community – which we know is going to be a significant factor in supporting people during this period. As well as highlighting the professional support and advice services which are available.

Core Conversations forms part of the campaign’s range of tools and resources to protect and enhance people’s mental wellbeing, so that they can adapt and thrive after their lives have been disrupted by current shocks.