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Durham University

St John's College

Covid-19 - Helping Hands

This is a difficult time for many staff and students and some people are experiencing financial hardship as a result of changes in personal circumstances. The College has established a Helping Hands Fund to give small grants to current staff and students of St John’s College in genuine need of help to meet basic living costs. The Helping Hands Fund is being financed through an online appeal matched with support from St John’s Society (former alumni association).

Awards of up to £500 will be made.


  • The fund is open to current staff and students of St John’s College.
  • Awards are made to support people in cases of real need caused by loss of income or a change in circumstances due to the Coronavirus.
  • Awards are for essential living costs and not for discretionary expenditure.
  • Repeat applications for further grants will be considered, but first time applicants will be given priority.

Assessment criteria

  • Priority will be given to first-time applicants on the basis of evidenced need.
  • At least 50% of the fund will be directed towards supporting staff.

Staff applications

  • Staff should submit applications as above by email to as soon as you know you need help.
  • Applications should include clear evidence of need. You can include pictures/copies of evidence (e.g. letters, bank statements)
  • Please provide as much information as possible about your personal circumstances in order to aid the decision-making. This will be kept securely and only shared with the panel determining the award of grants.
  • Staff applications will be considered weekly, normally on a Friday morning.
  • Decisions will be communicated each Friday afternoon and payments will be processed as soon as possible by the Finance Office.

Student applications

Students should first contact There is a range of sources of support for students both in the University via the Student Support Fund and the SJCR. Students may apply to Helping Hands once they have exhausted these options.

Student applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Evidence of specific need.
  • Evidence of a change in circumstance relating directly to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Evidence that the student has exhausted the Student Support Fund and/or the SJCR Hardship Fund.
  • The grant (max, £500) should be able to make a tangible difference to the student's situation on its own.

Terms and conditions

  • Where a grant is awarded, no repayment is necessary.
  • Grants will be paid by BACS into the recipient’s bank account.
  • Applications will be deleted once a decision has been made, but a confidential record record kept of the name of the awardee and the sum awarded.

Covid-19 Response

See here for St John's College response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please note that operational changes are in place during the pandemic and these changes have not been reflected on each page of this website. For more information, contact us on

St John's College, Durham is a recognised College of Durham University and incorporates Cranmer Hall. Charity No. 1141701 Limited Company No. 113496 (England and Wales) VAT No. 334 6364 57.