Welfare and Support

Most students at Christ’s spend an enjoyable and trouble-free few years at the College. But University can be a stressful place at times and unforeseen additional pressures can arise from all sorts of causes.  Below is a summary of the support available within the College, within the University, and within the local Cambridge area.


1.1 College Tutors
Christ's College is responsible for your pastoral (or Tutorial) support regardless of whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student.  The University of Cambridge outlines here the support a College Tutor provides. Every student in the College is assigned a personal Tutor, and they are always available to support and guide any student facing difficulty. For more information visit the College Tutors webpage.

1.2 Directors of Studies
If you have a problem that is directly related to your academic work (for instance, your choice of examination papers or difficulties with a supervisor) then you should contact your Director of Studies for help and advice. The current list of Directors of Studies can be downloaded from this link.  

1.3 College Nurse and Counselling Services
The College Nurse is Mrs Julie Kettle and she can be located in the Surgery on the ground floor of Q Staircase.  She is available in person without an appointment from  every weekday during Full Term, and also the week before and after Full Term.  Click here for more information on surgery hours and how she can help. 

For deeper or longer-term counselling, the College has its own in house counselling service to which you can be referred by your Tutor. You can opt to visit the counsellors either in their counselling suite in another part of Cambridge, or in the College’s Student Welfare Room located near to the Nurse’s surgery.  All of our counsellors are professionally qualified and are happy to discuss confidentially with students anything that is worrying them: anxiety, bereavement or loss, depression, drug or drink problems, eating disorders, exam panic, gender issues, harassment, homesickness or home tensions, life and career planning, loneliness, pregnancy and abortion, relationship issues, sexual anxieties, stress, suicidal feelings, work or study difficulties, or anything else.

Students may also get advice from the College’s Consultant Psychiatrist, who meets students in his consulting rooms near the railway station. He deals with the most severe difficulties and therefore students may only be referred to him by a Tutor.

1.4 Academic Support
The College can arrange extra help with academic skills such as essay writing and time management if you feel this would help.  Dr Tom Monie, Fellow, is the Study Skills Coordinator for the College and can be contacted at this email address.  

The College retains an external Academic Skills Lector, Rupert Brown, who is available to meet with students on a one-to-one basis.  Past experience with students who have taken up the offer of extra support from the College is that quite often only one or two sessions are needed to put your work back on track.  Your Tutor can arrange this help so please visit him or her to discuss any concerns.

In addition at the end of each term as part of the preparation for your individual Tutor meeting you will be asked to give an assessment of both your own academic progress and your supervisors' performance, so this is another opportunity to raise any issues you may have.

Overall it is far better if any teaching or academic issues are addressed as early in the academic year cycle as possible and the College is always willing to provide any support you feel might help if you approach either your Tutor or Director of Studies.   In the past we have found some students try to keep their academic related worries to themselves until what starts off as a small problem becomes a very large one in the end, sometimes simply because the greater part of the academic year has passed before support is sought.  The College can only recommend that you do not try to cope on your own but come and talk to us instead.    There is plenty of help if you need it.  

1.5 College Library
A number of health and wellbeing self-help books can be found in the College library.  They can be found to the right as you enter the library, near to the bank of PCs.
  • Monica Ramirez Basco, The procrastinator's guide to getting things done
  • Lee Brosan and Gillian Todd, Overcoming stress: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques
  • Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay, The relaxation & stress reduction workbook
  • Melanie J.V. Fennell, Overcoming low self-esteem: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques
  • Paul Gilbert, Overcoming depression: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques
  • Gill Hasson, Mindfulness: Be mindful, live in the moment
  • Helen Kennerley, Overcoming anxiety: A self-help guide to using cognitive behavioural techniques
  • Nerina Ramlakhan, Tired but wired: The essential sleep toolkit - how to overcome your sleep problems
  • Mark Williams and Danny Penman, Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world

1.6 College Chaplain
The College Chaplain is the Reverend Dr Mark Smith. All members of the College, of any faith or none, can talk to him, in confidence, about any matter. His rooms are in Second Court (A1), and you can also contact him by email (mss53@cam.ac.uk) or phone (01223 334922).  For more information visit The Chaplaincy web page.

1.7 Porters' Lodge
The Porters' Lodge is, in many ways, the hub of the College providing a wide range of services and facilities and staying open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.  You can contact the Porters by phone on +44 (0)1223 334900 (internal extension 34900), and their webpage can be found here.  If you take ill while in College please contact the Porters’ Lodge in the first instance.  They can arrange out of hours medical attention if required.

1.8 JCR 
The JCR is the undergraduate student society in College.  It elects both a male and female welfare officer to offer support to undergraduate students.  They also provide a Sibling and Parent for new students when they first arrive in College.  The JCR in Christ's College has its own independent website, which can be found here.

1.9 MCR 
The MCR is the graduate student society in College. It also elects a Welfare Officer to support our graduate student body.  The MCR in Christ's College has its own independent website, which can be found here.

1.10 First Aid and Emergencies
If you need first aid assistance please contact the Porters’ Lodge immediately at +44 (0)1223 334900 (internal extension 34900).


2.1 Consent and Sexual Assault
The University of Cambridge and its Colleges are committed to providing a safe environment for their students, and to responding appropriately to any incidents. A guidance document has been produced for students who have been sexually assaulted or raped. It gives information on the things you might want to consider to help you make an informed choice about what to do.  You may have very mixed feelings about what happened, and whether to tell anyone. People can react very differently and there is no easy answer about whether to report or not. You should not feel under any pressure to act in any specific way. The aim of these guidelines is for to have access to some of the information that you might want to consider.  You can download a copy of the guidelines here (updated January 2016).   Related information can be found on the CUSU web page 'Myths around Consent'.  There is also a Google map of Safe Places at Night in Cambridge of locations you can go to seek assistance if you feel unsafe.

2.2 University Counselling Service (UCS)
The UCS offers one-to-one counselling and runs a number of workshops and group sessions, as well as producing a range of self-help literature. It has a dedicated Mental Health Advisory service available to students and it also maintains a comprehensive list of self-help websites and other local sources of support. All services are free of charge. To access the complete UCS website please click here.

2.3 Dignity @ Study
The University expects all members of its community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times. All members of the University community have the right to expect professional behaviour from others, and have a corresponding responsibility to behave professionally towards others.  This document provides guidance to students who may experience or witness inappropriate behaviour. It also outlines the action which is recommended to address inappropriate behaviour, with support if needed, in the knowledge that any concerns or complaints will be dealt with appropriately and fairly by the University and the Colleges.

2.4 Mindfulness @ Cam
The University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Colleges, is undertaking a research study to investigate whether mindfulness is useful for increasing resilience in students. Mindfulness classes run each term as part of the feasibility study for the research project.  You can find out more on this link, and you can register for both email bulletins and mindfulness tips.   You can also sign up for mindfulness courses that will be organised over the next eighteen months.

2.5 Disability Resource Centre (DRC)
The DRC provides a service for disabled students and those staff supporting them.   It has a Code of Practice regarding reasonable adjustments, and can provide advice and assistance with study skills and other academic support; assessments for Specific Learning Difficlties such as dyslexia; needs assessments; examination access arrangements and funding applications.  Students can register online at this link.  To access the complete DRC website please click here.

2.6 University Childcare Office
The Childcare Office, based at 21 Trumpington Street, oversees the facilities and assistance offered to University staff and students with children.  It has a dedicated Cambridge Guide for Student Parents which provides information to students with children living and studying in CAmbridge.  Christ's College participates in the Central Childcare Bursary Scheme for eligible EU and overseas students.  Home/UK students should apply to the Access to Learning Fund for assistance with childcare costs.

2.7 Gender Reassignment
This guidance, mentioned on the Cambridge Students' Health and Welfare page, is intended for Departmental and College staff who have been approached by a student undergoing gender reassignment who is seeking to make changes to their student records. The document  provides advice on how to support those students with reference to relevant equality legislation, data protection and disclosure protocols.  Click here to download a PDF copy.

2.8 CUSU Advice Service
The Cambridge University Students Union (CUSU) and the Graduate Union (GU) jointly run a Students Advice Service.   It employs a full time professional Student Advisor whose primary role is providing confidential support to students. CUSU also elects a Welfare Officer, an Education Officer, a Student Advisor, and a Women's Officer each year, who are also able to provide support and advice to students.

2.9 Linkline
Linkline is a confidential and anonymous listening support and information service, run by students for students. It is based in Cambridge and available to students at Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities.  The service is available from 7pm to 7am every night of University of Cambridge full term and can be contacted by phone at 01223 744 444, via Skype at cambridge.linkline or by email at email@linkline.org.ukTo access the Linkline website click here.

For more information about University of Cambridge provision and support please visit their Student Health web pages.


The College Nurse maintains details and information on a wide range of health services within the greater Cambridge area.   Please visit her if you need advice.

Relate Cambridge have produced a very useful directory list of local Cambridge organisations who can advise and support in areas such as domestic or sexual abuse, mental health issues and alcohol related problems.  Download a copy here.

You should register with a GP as soon as you can after your arrival in Cambridge.  The Student Advice Service provides a list of surgeries which register students.

If you are ill outside normal working hours while in College please contact the Porters' Lodge in the first instance.  An out of hours GP Service is provided by Urgent Care Cambridgeshire (UCC - formerly CamDoc).  You can contact them by dialling 111 for an assessment of your medical condition by an NHS Team and advice on the most appropriate care.

Emergency dental care is available in Cambridge for students who are not under the care of a local dentist.  The service operates an appointments system and is available five days a week.  Please call early to book an appointment which must be booked on the day and is on a first come, first served basis. This service is available at Cambridge CCS NHS Trust Dental Department, Brookfield’s Health Centre, Seymour Street, Cambridge, CB1 3DQ. For opening times click here.

This is is a telephone self-referral service available to anyone registered with a Cambridge GP.  If you have an acute or chronic joint or soft tissue problem ring 01223 446999 Monday-Friday 13.00-17.00. The physiotherapist will make a diagnosis and prescribe exercises over the phone (call usually takes 10-15 minutes). An appointment or follow up advice will be offered if necessary.  Alternatively you can complete a self referral form available at your GP Surgery.

Boots Pharmacy in the Cambridge Retail Park, Newmarket Road, CB5 8WR, is open 0900-2400 (Monday-Saturday) and 1000-1600 (Sunday).

Our Vision is that everyone in Cambridgeshire who faces mental health challenges has equal access to the support they need to recover, and can live a fulfilling life without fear of discrimination. We provide a useful list of contacts and websites, both locally and nationally, for a range of personal and mental health issues, including crisis intervention contacts.  We have recently launched the Cambridge Wellbeing Service and can be contacted at  or by email.

If you are a young person in Cambridgeshire up to the age of 25 and you want some information, advice or support, you’ve come to the right place.  No matter how big or how small a problem you have, we’re here to help.  Our team are used to talking to young people about all sorts of issues, including housing, sexual health, family problems, bullying – whatever is on your mind, it’s always OK to talk about it with us.  We are based in Clarendon Street, just off Parkers' Piece near the Grafton Centre, and are open during various hours Monday to Saturday. Our helpline is 01223 316488 or you can email us.

Most of us, at some time in our lives will be faced with the death of someone we love or care very deeply about. When someone you love dies it can feel as though a piece of you has died too. But you don’t have to go through it alone. We are here to support you through one of the most difficult experiences you will ever have to face.  Our support includes confidential one to one meetings, telephone support and group support.   If you would you like to talk to someone about bereavement, please contact our telephone helpline: 01223 633536 or email us.

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre offers support to women and girls who have experienced or are experiencing rape, childhood sexual abuse or any form of sexual violence. All our services are confidential and run by women, for women and girls. We can also support family, friends and professionals who are supporting a survivor.   Details of Helpline opening hours and how to get in contact are availailable here.

We are a local alcohol and drugs charity for young people only that aims to make a difference to people's lives. We are based in Peterborough and began work in 1981 to reduce the harm to everyone affected by alcohol misuse. Young People services have been developing since 2001 and this includes substance misuse work. In recent years we have developed and include themed linked project work including Emotional Wellbeing as key themes. For advice and help please visit our website.

A new sexual health service has been launched in Cambridge with new larger premises at The Lime Tree Clinic on Mill Road. Find out more information here.



Maintained by Jo Taylor | Last updated Tue, 15 Aug 2017 - 5:31pm