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Collingwood College

Welfare & support

We have excellent support arrangements at Collingwood to help people through even the toughest times. From your very first day here – when you will be welcomed by a fifty-strong team of Fresher Reps – you will be well looked after!

All first year students are assigned a Personal Mentor when they arrive. This may be someone who works for the University, or a member of the local community. You will be required to meet with your mentor no less than three times in your first year (once per term). Your Mentor’s role is to ensure you settle in during your first year. You can go to them if you have any queries and they will assist by signposting you to the relevant people who can help further.

The JCR have a student Welfare Committee, headed by two senior Welfare Officers (male & female) who have been elected by the student body. The Welfare Committee run regular drop-in sessions where you can go to talk to somebody in confidence, about anything – such as homesickness, friendship troubles, relationships, sexual health etc. – or just drop in for a chat and cup of tea! As with Personal Mentors, the Welfare Officers will assist you by signposting the relevant member of staff at Collingwood who can help you further.

The Student Support Administrator and Assistant Principal are able to help you with any concern that negatively affects your ability to maintain your academic commitments. The Student Support Team is there to confidentially listen to your concerns and to point you in the right direction. For academic problems the Student Support Team can liaise with your department to put in place concessions for absences, examinations, and essays. Concessions can also be authorised in conjunction with the Durham Counselling Services ( and Durham Disability Support (, a body which can help students who have many issues ranging from dyslexia, depression, and physical disabilities. In regards to financial problems, the Students Support Team can liaise with Durham’s Scholarships, Student Funding and Student Immigration Office. Via the application of an Access to Learning Fund (ALF), it is possible that students who are suffering from a lack of finance can gain either a grant or a loan to help meet the costs of their academic commitments.

You are welcome to talk to the Student Support Administrator, Assistant Principal, or the Principal about any issue highlighted above. 

We also have a dedicated email account for Student Support. The email address is

For a quick reference to what you should do in any situation, please follow this link or click on the “What to do if…” subpage to the left. Alternatively, this information can be downloaded in pdf form here.

Meet Cole...

Name: Cole Sims
Subject: BSc Natural Sciences (Biology), MSc Stem Cell Research
Involved in: Sports (football, squash and rugby), student politics (Collingwood & Durham Students’ Union)

"The aspect of Collingwood that I love the most is the community feel - how everyone is a member of one community.

One of the best things about Durham, and specifically Collingwood, is the welfare system and support networks that are in place at every level. These range from the Welfare Committee members and Welfare Officers (of which I was Male Welfare Officer 2012/13) who are students and act as the first port of call if anyone has a problem.

There is always somebody to talk to if you are feeling lonely, homesick or even something more serious. Collingwood has full time members of staff who are fully trained in support but also can refer students to the University Counselling Service.

The pastoral care is second to none and Collingwood tries to make everyone feel at home."