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 Susie Renshaw currently offers appointments via phone or video call and can be contacted via email (s.renshaw@joh.cam.ac.uk) or call 07593 139172. The College Nurse (Ruth Dean – Ruth.Dean@joh.cam.ac.uk) and the Assistant Chaplain are trained and confidential counsellors as well. 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.

NB: Students get unlimited access to Headspace (meditation app) with Spotify Premium.


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 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.

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 somethings you would prefer to keep anonymous. Here 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 to all graduate students, so you can all enjoy yourselves safely.