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Durham University

Colleges and Student Experience Division

The Student Wellbeing Office

As well as contributing to the development of University strategy and policy related to wellbeing, 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 Group, the Chaplaincy and Faith Steering Group, 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.

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.

Advice on infectious diseases can be found here

For more information on student wellbeing support click here.

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 Office. Her post oversees three key areas of activity: proactive student health and wellbeing; faith support. 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 Group), and the development of a Wellbeing Programme for students (including alcohol education through collaboration with the County Durham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service).

Revd Gavin Wort: Lead Chaplain

Gavin is the University’s Lead Chaplain. 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. He is very happy to be contacted with general chaplaincy/faith support related enquiries.

Tanju Sen: Assistant Principal (Colleges)

Tanju joined the University in 2021 as Assistant Principal (Colleges) in a flexible deployment role. This is her second stint with Durham University as she worked here till 2018 within the Wider Student Support and Wellbeing office moving south for 3 years in between to work in another HEI. Tanju studied History has been a South Asia research and community engagement volunteer for the past 10 years at the Oriental Museum. In her present peripatetic role within the Student Support and Wellbeing Directorate, she covers Colleges experiencing gaps at Assistant Principal and takes on majority of the relevant College’s work on student support and development, leading on individual student support cases and escalating complex cases as necessary. When no College is experiencing a gap at Assistant Principal level, Tanju is engaged in project work in the field of student support and wellbeing.

Matt Walker: Public Health Advanced Practitioner

Matt joins us as on a two year secondment from Durham County Council until January 2024. He will initially lead on our Mental Health Charter programme of work, our suicide prevention strategy, and our drugs policy. He will also provide advice and guidance on all areas of our Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Matt read sociology and social policy at Durham University in 1999-2002 and attended St John’s College, before undertaking an MSc in Health Promotion and Health Education at Edinburgh University. He has held a number of public health posts in Orkney, Cornwall, and Northumberland, and is delighted to now be working with Durham University.

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 presence for the Student Wellbeing Programme on Instagram as well as maintaining the Student Wellbeing Office web pages on the Durham University website. 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 coordinates a new Directorate Communications Group, provides support with design and web update needs across the directorate offices, as well as this she provides administrative support to the Student Support and Wellbeing Group.

Nicola Dixon: Wellbeing Administrator

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 Office with her work developing Wellbeing policies and strategies.

Nicola supports the work of various University groups including the Welcome and Orientation Working Group, Chaplaincy & Faith Steering Group and the Islamic Prayer Space Steering Group. She also managed the International student Meet and Greet Service from 2018 to 2020.

Louise Burnip: Student Money Adviser

Louise joined the University in October 2022. Her role involves providing one-to-one advice and guidance to students on money management and other financial issues, such as benefits, debt advice and avoiding frauds and scams, as well as delivering financial education sessions such as workshops on budgeting.

Louise previously worked at Sunderland University as a Student Financial Adviser for 14 years.