Welfare in College

College Welfare is a student led signposting service that works alongside College Office to ensure that everyone in Castle is always supported throughout their time at Durham. Our particular College is known for providing some of the best pastoral care which range from confidential drop-ins, our renowned tea and toast evenings among other activities, and some of the best welfare campaigns across the University. Many people assume that Welfare is only for those who have an ‘issue’, and while we are ultimately a support network we also form a community in College which does not just comprise of the welfare team – it is everyone who comes to our teatimes, engages in our campaigns and everything in between. We aim to provide lots of fun and varied ways to de-stress, educate and support the positive wellbeing of all those at Castle, liaising closely with College Office for more serious concerns. The team itself comprises of 10 students from 2nd-3rd year typically, co-headed by the Welfare and Campaigns Officers. The Welfare team run a listening and signposting service through daily teatimes (drop-ins), one-to-ones, provision of free sexual and reproductive health supplies, and are readily accessible, contactable and discreet.

The team consists of:

  • 3 Welfare Assistants
  • 3 Campaigns Assistants
  • Livers In Representative
  • Livers Out Representative
  • Working Class Officer
  • Disabilities Officer
  • LGBT+ Officer
  • People of Colour Officer
  • International Officer

Throughout the year the team will be responsible for organising lots of different welfare activities within college which you can choose to come along to and partake in – such as educational film nights, yoga/ mindfulness sessions, themed formals, visits from Jolene our Welfare dog, BSL workshops, arts and crafts (you think of it, we can do it!). We also work closely in conjunction with the Durham Student Union, societies and University services to provide educational campaigns, which seek to increase awareness, open up conversations and decrease the stigma surrounding a range of welfare issues. This year we are hoping to designate more responsibility to individual members of the team, which means that we will be able to run even more activities and mini campaigns than ever before.

Our campaigns are 100% student-led and are centred around issues most pertinent to Durham students and our college community. In recent years, campaigns have ranged from Mental Health Awareness Week, to SHAG (Sexual Health and Guidance) Week and form a central part of our event calendar in college. This year we are hoping to continue the same momentum by running even more campaigns such as a dedicated POC week working with the Durham People of Colour Association, steering welfare away from food-based events, and focus on the intersectionality of our Castle community.

Welfare is an incredibly welcoming and open environment for everyone in College to be a part of, and we love seeing lots of new faces popping into teatimes and coming along to our activities/ campaigns events. If you have any questions at all just drop Emmet or Elinam a message at castle.welfareofficer@durham.ac.uk and castle.campaignsofficer@durham.ac.uk – we would love to hear from you (and think about applying at the end of first year!)