The welfare team is headed by the Welfare and Campaigns Officers and made up of 10 current castle students. All of them are here to be a listening ear and to help signpost issues on to useful services both within and without of the University. There are a wide range of personalities on the team, so ask whoever you feel most comfortable with if you can talk something through with them, they will be more than happy to help.
Florie Moran, Assistant Campaigns Officer
Hi, I’m Florie, your Assistant Campaigns Officer. This means that as well as being a general welfare tea-maker and listening ear, I’ll be assistant to Katya in the smooth running of welfare campaigns throughout the year. These are always good fun for everyone in college and a nice way to think about something other than your degree! I think my favourite this year will be the Wellness Weekend – expect plenty of meditation and yoga. Hope to see you there!
Besides that, welcome to Castle! I hope you have a wonderful time here during your degree and live your best Hogwarts life. There’s so much to do in Durham both in and out of college – I dabble in choir, Art Soc, Netball (C team #represent), and Amnesty International – and I somehow fit in a Liberal Arts degree amongst it all! So if you fancy a chat about music, art, human rights, or literally anything else, come along to one of my daily teatimes this year and I will happily ramble at you. I lived in little ol’ R-block in my first year – with only 14 other people! – perfectly placed for a coffee at Flat White or a dash to Klute, but all the castle accommodation has its charms. If you live in the gatehouse though, I definitely envy you! Enjoy Freshers’ Week and your first year – I’ll always be around for any questions or concerns you might have, or even just a friendly chat 🙂
Abi Willis, Disabilities Officer
Hi, I’m Abi, your Disabilities Officer. As Disabilities Officer I am your point of contact within the welfare team if you have any issues or questions about disability support and awareness. I am your Castle representative at SWDA (students with disabilities association) meetings which discuss disability support across the university. I am also a point of contact for any general welfare concerns and am always here if you need help or just want to have a chat.
Besides my role on the welfare team, I study Geology. I love to travel the world to geologically interesting locations. You could say I love geology though my friends would just say I should stop sending them snapchats of rocks. I enjoy drinking tea, baking cakes and hosting parties (so I get to control the music). My favourite part of Castle is the formal dinners, where you get to wear your gown and pretend you go to Hogwarts, currently Izzy Locke and I have been to every formal since September. In first year I lived in Moatside (room S305) although the rooms are small they are very cosy and this means all your friends are always very close.
Unfortunately, I am on a fieldtrip during Freshers’ Week. I would much prefer to be in college but I am really looking forward to meeting you all when I get back!!
Henry Jones, LGBT+ Welfare Officer
I’m here to represent Castle’s LGBT+ community and act as line of communication for anyone who wants to discuss anything. I’ll hold specific LGBT+ welfare meetings, as well as running some of the general daily teatimes, and I’ll be available in a more informal group setting or with the confidentiality of a one-on-one meeting: whatever suits you. I will also be organising more casual LGBT+ gatherings in Castle for anyone and everyone, as well as helping to coordinate Castle’s part in Durham Pride 2018 and signposting Durham-wide activities/events. The welfare team will be easily accessible during Freshers’ Week and will continue to be as such all year: please come and talk to us.
A little bit about me:
I had such a great first year at Durham, singing in Castle’s chapel choir, performing in the Panto (do it, it’s hilarious), meeting new people, and so many other things (oh, and paying some attention to my English degree). There is so much to do here, so I would say literally do as much as you can; whatever you enjoy, it will exist in some form at Durham.
Freshers’ Week was a sleep deprived week of a lot of laughter and even more new faces, and I’m sure it will instantly make you realise why everyone loves Castle so much – the college takes you in to its community within one short week, and then before you know it you’ve done three college balls, a lot of formal dinners, possibly a few essays, and the year is done!I really look forward to meeting everyone in October!!
Fanny Glimois, International Welfare Officer
As International Welfare Officer, I will generally be the person to talk to should you have any problems adjusting to the British culture, moving to a new country etc. Don’t let the name fool you though, I am, like any other member of the Welfare Team, available to discuss anything, with anyone, international student or not!
Throughout the year, I will also chair the International Committee, with its president Edoardo Lanfranchi, which is open to all members of the JCR, so please do join the Facebook group! We will be organising various events for you during this year…
A bit more about me:
Welfare isn’t all I do though! Mostly, I study Law – and as this is my third year you might find me quite often in the library if I have the courage to wake up in the morning… After being involved with Ents the two past years (10/10 would recommend), as June Ball Vice-President this year I’ll help our Social Chair organise what promises to be a great night; and lastly, although my size would suggest otherwise, I play basketball. All this to say that my advice to you is to get involved in as many sports and societies as you can, during what will undoubtedly be some of the best years of your life!
Henry Beckley, Assistant Welfare Officer and Livers Out Rep
i, I’m Henry – I’m here to aid the welfare team with all our campaigns and goals and I’ll be hosting regular tea times within college. I’m also one of the two livers out reps for the upcoming year and although this role is largely centred towards those who aren’t living in college this year, we will also be around to support 1st years when it comes to signing up for houses and sorting out bills!
Although adapting from simple rural Somerset life to that of the big city was a challenge, I absolutely loved my first year here and I threw myself into a load of great college societies, something that everyone should try to do. My personal highlights have been playing for UCRFC and touring Budapest last summer, joining the Undie bar and security committee (which is such a great way to meet a variety of people throughout the whole college), rowing at Durham regatta with UCBC, my late evening jog back from Lumley Castle, having my own darts song for UCDCC, living in a genuine castle (and all the fantastic formals and balls that come with it), and of course all the fun and madness that is Fresher’s week.
Pookie Collier, Assistant Welfare Officer and Livers Out Rep
s assistant welfare officer, I help with the general running of campaigns, promoting our welfare team and our ability to help and signpost students. As well as running regular teatimes for students to relax, chat and drink tea (willing to befriend tea drinkers of all varieties but Yorkshire Tea drinkers preferred). I am also one of the Livers Out Reps this year, so will be here to help you through the process of finding accommodation for second year, something you will find creeps up on you much quicker than expected! I will be available if you wanted to know about areas of Durham (as about 99.9% of you will be Southern) or just general questions about bills and rent etc.
About me: My main interests revolve around Harry Potter (lucky as last year I lived on Norman Gallery), although I am reluctant to say that I am on the DU Quidditch team as my attendance to practice is embarrassing! Apart from regularly missing exercise, my first year at Durham included singing with Bangers and Matt – a band from Castle – and singing with Castle Big Band, of which I will be Vice President of this year. I also got involved with welfare last year as I was College Condom, and distributed contraception throughout college accommodation. There are loads of positions like that to be elected in the first JCR meeting to make sure you attend and go for a position!
Castle Balls were probably my favourite thing in first year, there are so many events throughout the year that you should try and attend. So don’t worry, even after Freshers’ Week is over, there is still loads to look forward to!
Isabel Locke, Assistant Welfare Officer
Hi, I’m Izzy! I will be making many mugs of tea at daily welfare teatimes as well as running one-to-one sessions for anyone who wants to come and have a chat about anything and everything. I’m hoping to make freshers week as welcoming and enjoyable as possible and look forward to meeting many of you there.
I had an amazing first year in Castle. I was in S block in Moatside where I made many of my friends but I also made many other friends in Castle and other colleges through the sports and societies I joined.
I do college hockey, college lax and belly dancing as well as lots of volunteering with the CCA Primary Ed, Homelessness and Elderly divisions. I also got involved with the university-wide Durham Refugee and Waste Not Want Not societies. My friend Abi (the Welfare Disabilities Officer) and I also made a point of going to every single formal in first year :).
Damson Young, Assistant Welfare Officer
I’m an Assistant Welfare Officer, meaning that I’ll be one of this year’s freps and then will continue to run daily teatimes (N.B. expect lots of custard creams) and offer all-round support.
A little bit about me: Freshers Week is honestly so much fun. I loved getting involved in a range of things, so I would really suggest you try a variety as well! Whether it was through drama (especially College Panto), sport (I played college and university rugby for a term) or the more niche societies (you name it, Durham//college has probably got it), Castle has proved to be even better than I expected. If you have any questions about drama, sport or R Block (big up Moatside), I’m your go-to girl.