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Durham University

Colleges and Student Experience Division

Student Wellbeing and Community Engagement Office

As well as contributing to the development of University strategy and policy related to wellbeing, community engagement, and faith (for example, the new Health and Wellbeing Strategy, and the Prevent agenda), our team provides representation, management and administration for University governance (for example, the Student Support and Wellbeing Sub-Committee, the Community Engagement Task Force, the Chaplaincy and Faith Steering Group, and the Fitness to Study, and Induction Groups).We oversee delivery of a proactive wellbeing programme incorporating activities and campaigns which encourage students to maintain a healthy life at University including exercise, relaxation, meditation, alcohol and drug awareness, financial wellbeing, and nutrition.

Our initiatives are developed through consultation with our students as well as external specialists, including the NHS and Public Health services. Another key remit encompasses the University’s relationship with the local community and organisations; we work to develop good citizenship amongst our students and build strong partnerships with local stakeholders, representatives and residents. Chaplaincy and faith are an important part of our work, and we advise on matters of religious and spiritual wellbeing, co-ordinate the University Chaplaincy Network, build relationships with local faith communities, and develop diverse and inclusive provision for faith and belief.

Meet our team

Mandy Marlow: Head of the Student Wellbeing and Community Engagement Office

Mandy joined Durham University as a Research Fellow, then Lecturer, in the Department of Anthropology. In 2005 she became Vice-Principal of Stephenson College, in 2012 she was appointed Assistant Head of Colleges (Student Experience), and in 2018 Head of the new Student Wellbeing and Community Engagement Office. Her post oversees three key areas of activity: proactive student health and wellbeing; faith support; and community liaison. Mandy and her team network across the University, with the Students’ Union, and with external stakeholders. Her work includes contributing to strategy development of strategy (for example, the new Health and Wellbeing Strategy), representation, management and administration (for example, Mandy chairs the Chaplaincy and Faith Steering Group, and provides management support for the Student Support and Wellbeing Sub-Committee), and the development of a Wellbeing Programme for students (including alcohol education through collaboration with the County Durham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service).

Lucy Harding: Wellbeing Coordinator

Lucy joined the University in 2018. Lucy trained as an Art and Design Lecturer, prior to her current role she worked as a Student Pastoral Coach within Further Education for over 9 years. Her main role is the coordination of the newly established Student Wellbeing Programme which she helped to develop over her first year in post. She maintains the social media platforms for the Wellbeing Programme on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The programme includes free classes to promote wellbeing in students which include; Yoga, Pilates, Meditation and High Intensity exercise, as well as Alcohol and Drug awareness training and Sexual Health advice and guidance. Lucy also provides administrative support to the Fitness to Study Standing Group, Fitness to Study student cases, Student Support and Wellbeing Sub-Committee, PBSA Liaison Group and Community Engagement Task Force.

Nicola Dixon: Wellbeing Facilitator

Nicola joined the University as an apprentice in 2007, going on to work as an administrator in Josephine Butler College and then on to the PVC Colleges and Student Experience Office. Nicola’s role now sits under the Student Support & Wellbeing Directorate supporting the Head of the Student Wellbeing & Community Engagement Office with her work developing Wellbeing policies and strategies.

Nicola supports the work of various University groups including Induction Implementation Group, Safeguarding Operations Group, Chaplaincy & Faith Steering Group and the Islamic Prayer Space Steering Group. She also manages the International student Meet and Greet Service.

Hannah Shepherd: Community Liaison Officer

Hannah joined the section in June 2018 as the University’s first Community Liaison Officer. Supporting the work of the Community Engagement Task Force, its sub groups and also Durham University Residents Forum, Hannah plays a key role in maintaining good community relations. In terms of positive partnerships with stakeholders external to the University, Hannah is the University rep on Durham Area Action Partnership Durham Area Action Partnership Board and Durham City Safety Group as well as being a key point of contact for Police University Liaison (Durham Constabulary) and the County Council’s Neighbourhood Warden Service. A passionate Durham City resident, Hannah maintains a Twitter and Instagram account on her day to day role as Community Liaison Officer as well as writing a regular piece in the University’s Community Newsletter.

Revd Gavin Wort: Coordinating Chaplain, and Chaplain to the Hill Colleges (Trevelyan, Van Mildert, Collingwood, and Grey)

Gavin is the University’s Coordinating Chaplain as well as the Chaplain of the Hill Colleges (Collingwood, Grey, Trevelyan and Van Mildert). He was born, raised and educated in and around the city of Southampton. Following a curacy (translation: baby vicar!) in the South, Gavin served as an Anglican (Church of England) priest in Newcastle for 12½ years. In Sept. 2018, he was appointed to his present posts here in Durham. Gavin is passionate about interfaith engagement and loves bringing people of different faiths and cultures together to share with and learn from one another for the common good. He offers pastoral, spiritual and religious support to students and staff of all faiths and none. As Chaplain specifically to Collingwood, Grey, Trevelyan and Van Mildert Colleges, Gavin leads regular acts of worship in the Hill Colleges’ Chapel at Grey College – see the Facebook page for further details. He is very happy to be contacted with general chaplaincy/faith support related enquiries as well as specific matters at Collingwood, Grey, Trevelyan and Van Mildert Colleges.