Starting a new part of your life can be exciting, but it can also be stressful and intimidating. Finding the right person to talk to can make life much, much easier. The College website provides more information on College Welfare in general.

Your College tutor is available for non-academic matters, including financial support, personal difficulties, problems with your supervisor, etc. The College Counsellor Jennifer Cooper currently offers appointments on Wednesdays and Fridays and can be contacted via email (J.Cooper@joh.cam.ac.uk) or call 01223 767777. The two College Nurses (Ruth Dean – Ruth.Dean@joh.cam.ac.uk, 01223 338664 and Karen Miles – K,Miles@joh.cam.ac.uk, 01223747162) are trained and confidential counsellors as well. The Chaplain, The Rev’d Andrew Hammond (A. Hammond@joh.cam.ac.uk, 07917 535940, 24/7) is available as a confidential listener for all members of college, whatever their religious convictions. Student Services (F staircase Chapel Court) can help with College issues, such as bills, student cards etc.

For more informal queries, your College buddy will share personal experiences of College and university life. They’ll meet up with you at least twice during the first term, and be a friendly face as you get used to Cambridge postgraduate life. The SBR Committee welcomes questions, and welfare officers are especially available to direct you to the appropriate people/places.

Outside of College, the University Counselling Service has a professional team of counsellors, psychotherapists, and cognitive behavioural therapists. You can drop by, call, or e-mail for an appointment (usually available within a few weeks; sooner if urgent). Nightline (01223 744 444) is a student-run listening support and information service, available from 7pm to 7am during term.

For a comprehensive list of resources that are available you within college, the university, and the city of Cambridge, see the Welfare Resource Pack.


Cambridge is liberal and accepting, and we want everyone to feel welcome, however you feel about your sexuality or gender identity. There is a strong LGBT+ presence at College and University level. At St John’s, the Welfare Officers and the Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer are your contacts if you’re seeking information and/or support, and they will do their best to advise you or direct you towards someone who can help. There is also a WhatsApp group for postgraduate LGBTQ+ students. Should you like to join this group, contact your Welfare or EDI officers, and they will connect you. 

Outside St John’s, the inter-collegiate organisation, CUSU LGBT+, is autonomous and very dedicated to representing and supporting all LGBT+ students in Cambridge. They organise nights out and graduate socials, as well as talks, seminars, film viewings and exhibitions. In previous years they have run parenting schemes, which establish contacts for freshers and other students who haven’t been in touch with the Cambridge LGBT+ community, for advice, emotional support or just for a fun night out. CUSU LGBT+ also publishes a termly magazine and runs campaigns & projects.


Sexual harassment and assault is not tolerated in our community. Consent is active and willing participation in sexual activity (NB: Ask the welfare officers for a free contraception supply). It means that all parties have the freedom and capacity to make a choice. The brilliant “consent as tea” video provides a light reminder about the key characteristics of consent.

If you’ve been affected by sexual harassment or assault, please do not hesitate to approach the SBR president or welfare officers who are trained to help you access the resources you need. Details about the university reporting procedure can be found here: Breaking the Silence.

Anonymous Forms

We understand that sometimes you would prefer to remain anonymous. For this reason we have two forms for college students only:

If something that has happened, inside or outside of College, that you wish to report anonymously we have an incident report form that you can fill out – no matter how big or small you may think it is.

The SBR also offers free sexual health supplies (including menstrual cups) to all graduate students, so you can all enjoy yourselves safely.