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Senior Common Room

… invites you to get involved

Josephine Butler College was the first new college in Durham City for 30 years when it took its first new students at the start of the 2006-7 academic year. It is situated on South Road, between Collingwood and Stephenson Colleges, and consists of fully self-catered, en-suite residences and a comprehensive suite of social areas and facilities. We are keen to involve as wide a variety of people in the development of the college as possible.

… and network with staff

There are two main ways in which they can get involved at Butler - being a member of the Senior Common Room or being a College Mentor. The SCR both has a role as a 'social club' for staff (which may involve the SCR getting together for meals (sometimes a formal meal with students and sometimes just as the SCR), organising wine tasting, seminars, walking groups, sports, etc.) and as an avenue for helping students get a wider perspective on life (such as running seminars with them, helping them think about the world of work, encouraging them to get involved in community projects, etc.).

… and students

College mentoring involves taking a group of first-year students and getting to know them in a positive capacity from their first few days in Durham through to their graduation. It is an opportunity to be instrumental in a modest but sometimes quite crucial way in the lives of young people whilst being part of a mutually supportive college community. The students may come from a disparate set of departments, so the role of the mentor is not to directly help them with their academic work, but to support them in their overall development - for example, meeting with them regularly to ask them about their progress, encouraging them to join clubs and societies, keeping an eye out for any potential problems and even acting as an advocate for them if they find themselves in difficulty. Students value the relationships they build up with their college mentors and often use them for job references at the end of their time at University and keep in touch for many years after.



About Butler SCR

Our Exec for 2023-2024

Bill Moir (President)

Born in Durham City Bill collects Degrees with awards from Oxford, Southampton, Newcastle, and a PhD from the smallest university in the Kingdom - The University of Chichester. He has traveled extensively not only academically but for work too and has been at the front line of politics, communications, and intrigue for what seems like eons. His Fellowship is from the Public Relations and Communications Association and he also works closely with the University of East London on their staff development programme


Helen Elderkin (Vice-President)

I was born in the North East and have worked in education and business all my life, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. My academic life started at Durham University, and through work, I engaged with all North East universities and major businesses. I have traveled extensively not only academically but for interest too. I enjoy being part of Josephine Butler's Senior Common Room. It is a warm and friendly community. It is a community of staff, academics, alumni, the local community, and various friends of the college. I enjoy co-hosting regular events and activities with the Senior Common Room members, and President. I have a good time integrating with the wider community as much as possible offering guidance, support, and providing mentorship. I have been a member of the Senior Common Room for over 7 years and thoroughly enjoy being involved in college life, and the many interactions with the college. It is an inclusive and supportive environment. 

Judith Vincent (SCR Social Secretary)

I’m one half of the SCR Social Secretariat. After a 20-year career in urban regeneration, I returned to my home city of Durham in 2005, I’ve worked in the admin team at College since 2013 and during that time have enjoyed many SCR organised events be they formal, active, or creative. My background is design and I’m able to indulge this through Craft Club and forays into sustainability and upcycling of all kinds.  More recently I discovered the wonderful world of Mindfulness.


Julie Barrett (SCR social secretary)

I’m Julie I work in the Student Support Team in the College Office and I’m also a joint SCR Social Secretary and an active member of the Craft Club. Outside of College I enjoy baking and I do love afternoon tea, to counter this I am frequently pounding the pavements with my running club and you’ll find me at a Parkrun on a Saturday morning.