The Welfare Team

The welfare team is headed by the Welfare and Campaigns Officers: Lucy Cardy (castle.welfareofficer@durham.ac.uk) and Aidan Turnock (castle.campaignsofficer@durham.ac.uk) respectively.

If you have any welfare concerns, please contact College Office in the first instance. The email address for the student support team is: univcoll.studentsupport@durham.ac.uk.

It is also 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.

Bechan Davies (she/her) – Assistant Welfare Officer

Course: Geography (2nd Year)

Position: My role is Assistant Welfare Officer. I wanted to be involved in welfare as it is definitely a fundamental part of university college, especially as a fresher! It’s great to be part of something so integral to people’s time at castle.

Interests: In my first year I took up coxing for the University College boat club, which I really enjoyed even though I’d never even rowed before. My other interests include going to Flat White (the best pancakes in Durham!) for brunch and anything yellow.

Contact me: bechan.n.davies@durham.ac.uk

Kelan Ford (he/him) – Assistant Welfare Officer

Course: Geography

Position: Alongside the ongoing role of providing peer support and signposting for fellow Castle students, my role ranges from weekly tea times to assisting the rest of the team during campaign weeks. As a mature student, I hope to bring the experience I have gained over the years to go above and beyond my duties and help the Castle community to get the best out of their time at University.

Interests: I have a wide range of interests, thanks to having been around a bit longer than your average undergraduate. I am a qualified outdoor instructor with particular interest in white water kayaking but dabble in various other water and land-based activities. I’ve been playing hockey for 21 years and can hold my own in most sports…apart from football. I love Film, Music and TV and am keen enough to have an IMDB film watchlist of over 1300 titles. My absolute passion is mountain environments, which have provided me with some great walking and paddling experiences over the years.

Contact me: kelan.t.ford@durham.ac.uk

 Nav Aithani (he/him) – Assistant Campaigns Officer

Course: Economics and Philosophy

Interests: I play tennis for Durham University and do a few bits and bobs for college.

Contact me: navaditya.s.aithani@durham.ac.uk

Caitriona Marsh (she/her) -Assistant Campaigns Officer

Course: Modern Languages and Cultures – French and German

Position: As one of the Assistant Campaigns Officers I am responsible for assisting our Campaigns Officer, Aidan, throughout the year in the running of various initiatives as well as general welfare-related duties.  I am super excited to help set up some great campaigns, drawing attention to a range of issues and making sure everyone feels supported and happy at Castle.

Interests: languages, history, politics, swimming, dance, mental health and psychology.

Contact me:  caitriona.l.marsh@durham.ac.uk

Lulu Welford-Carroll (she/her) – Livers Out Representative 

Course: Theology and Religion

Position: Livers out rep is responsible for helping those who do not live in castle accommodation, this can include 2nd and 3rd year livers out, mature students, or local students. The livers out rep offers support with finding housing and organising bills etc through our livers out handbook, and is also responsible for organising livers out events, such as liaising with the services manager over livers out formals, welfare G&T time etc. I wanted to take on this role as I had a particularly difficult letting agency and had to deal with damp and mould in our house, along with a load of other issues, so I want to be able to help others dealing with issues like that; I also want to be able to create an environment where livers out feel they have something worth coming into castle for, through social events and formals etc.

Interests: Castle formals, Castle Hockey, Castle ENTs, Castle Toastie Bar, Castle June Ball, (and shockingly not castle related St Johns Ambulance), Champagne Soc, Durham’s Coffee Shops.

Contact me: lucinda.welford-carroll@durham.ac.uk

Beth Reeves (she/her) – Working Class Officer 

Course: Politics

Position: I think this is a super important role to have on the Welfare team to understand the diverse needs of different individuals within our community. I also want to use my personal experience at Castle as a working-class student to promote a more inclusive and welcoming environment for incoming freshers!

Interests: Netball, dance and finding new coffee places in Durham.

Contact me: bethanie.l.reeves@durham.ac.uk

Emma Gratte (she/her) – Disabilities Officer

Course: Sociology

Position: My aims for this role: to create an accessible and safe space for people with disabilities to talk about anything and everything; to tackle language around disability and narratives held by many regarding neuro-diverse people through informative events, PowerPoints and talks; to talk to students with disabilities about what they want to see within college and implement as many of these as possible.

Interests: Femsoc (our feminist society), Student Theatre, Castle Community Action (CCA) volunteering.

Contact me: emma.m.gratte@durham.ac.uk

Darshan Patel (he/him) – People of Colour Officer

Course: Economics with French

Position: As people of colour officer, my job is to help those from diverse backgrounds settle into the Castle and Durham community. I’m always here if you need any support or guidance (both about PoC and wider welfare issues), and of course for a general chat at my teatimes or around college.

Interests: I’m a second year from North London. In Castle, I’m treasurer of the frisbee team (get involved) and do a bit of volunteering with CCA. Two of my main interests are football and politics, and I’m always up for a chat about either. I’m also a non-drinker, so I’m always here if any others want to discuss the struggle!

Contact me: darshan.n.patel@durham.ac.uk

Michel Krysiak (they/them) – LGBT+ Representative 

Course: Philosophy

Position: I’m an LGBT+ Rep and a president of the Castle Pride Soc. That means that I’m in charge of organising Castle’s participation in Pride. However, that’s only a very small part of my responsibilities. My main aim is to provide support for LGBT+ identifying students and to raise awareness about LGBT+ issues in our community effectively. For many people, entering university is the first time to be able to express themselves in a way that reflects who they truly are. It is exciting, but it might also be challenging. I want to create a safe space which allows students to come and chat to me about navigating their identity at the uni and share their experience with other students. I also recognise that other students have a huge impact on LGBT+ experience in the college, and for that reason, I look forward to hosting open events that will improve castle inclusiveness. In short; if you have any concerns regarding LGBT+, no matter your sexuality and gender, I’m the person to talk to!

Interests: There are way too many of them! I love literature, learning about foreign cultures and cognitive science. I also care about social issues and politics a lot, and my approach to these topics is fully intersectional.

Contact me: lvdz24@durham.ac.uk

Namrata Hazarika (she/her) – International Welfare Officer

Course: International Relations

Position: As an International Officer, it is my responsibility to plan and co-organise all events of International Fresher’s Week, all the while making sure that all international students feel right at home in Castle and also aid them, logistically, in terms of their visa and BRP checks. It will also be my responsibility to work with the International Society to help organise two events per term for the members of the committee. Throughout the year, you’ll see me hosting Welfare Tea once a week where I will not only show off my tea-making skills but also provide an environment of ease, devoid of any kind of judgements or pre-conceived notions for students, International or otherwise, to discuss any issues that maybe troubling them. Be it regarding settling in, homesickness or any logistical concern that one might be struggling with. It’ll be responsibility to provide good chat along with a warm cup of spiced up cuppa!

Interests: Castle Ents, Durham University Charity K(C)ommittee (DUCK), travelling while consuming as many carbs as I can!

Contact me: namrata.hazarika@durham.ac.uk

Contact Welfare

You can contact any member of the welfare team individually, or attend a drop in, and we will be more than happy to help. Here are some other ways to get in touch:

Anonymous messaging system: ucwelfare.castlejcr.com

You can use this form to communicate anonymously with the Welfare leads. You could ask a question which you would prefer not to talk about directly, request Welfare supplies for you to anonymously collect, report an incident or use it to just send your thoughts. When you submit the form, your message will be assigned a random ‘Ticket ID’. This is the only thing which connects you to the message so it cannot be ‘de-anonymised’ or linked back to you. It is entirely confidential. Remember to keep your Ticket ID as it is the only way to access your response later. If you would like us to know who you are, feel free to include your name in the message. Come back in a few days and click ‘View Response’, then enter your Ticket ID. You can enter some additional information or reply as many times as you like using the same Ticket ID.