Further support outside of College

Welfare and well-being provision at Pembroke is delivered by a broad range of people in a variety of roles. These pages aim to sign-post those resources outside of College, best placed to help you with specific problems. The Oxford University Student Union's Student Advice Service also has information and resources for a variety of issues.

Being at university is an exciting and transformational time – but there can be times when some students struggle with the demands of studying or with life in general. We make it our absolute priority at Pembroke to work with our students to promote good physical and mental health, and to support those who need help. Please visit our Emergency Contact Policy and Information for Parents information here.

The College also publishes its Equality Policy and Equality Plan.

Medical Advice

If you run into medical difficulties while at Pembroke, there is plenty of support in place to help you. See below for information and contact details on the support available outside of Pembroke. For support within College, please click here.

Out Of Hours Non-Emergency (111)

  • If you need non-emergency medical attention during the evenings or at a weekend, ring the NHS non-emergency helpline 111. This number will however only work if called from a UK phone. If you do not have a UK phone number, you can either borrow a friend's or call from the phone at the lodge. 

Emergency (999)

  • If you need urgent medical assistance, the UK emergency number is 999.  You must ensure you give a detailed location of where you are within the College ( quad, staircase and room) and the lodge should always be informed (01865 276444). If you need to guide emergency services to the Geoffrey Arthur Building Annexe (GAB), the address is: Long Ford Close, OX14NJ. You should alert the lodge so that they know where to guide the emergency services and can open the parking gate behind the GAB when they arrive. If called for the main site, the address is: Pembroke Square, OX1 1DW.

  • The nearest Accident & Emergency Unit (A&E) is at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

  • If you do not require an ambulance but need to go to Accident & Emergency Unit (A&E), please contact the lodge (01865 276 444) as the porters can arrange a taxi to take you there and back. You will not have to pay for the taxi. 

Mental Health

There are a wide range of resources within the University who can help you with mental health issues, however if you feel you are experiencing a mental health crisis you should call 111 or, in an emergency, 999.

NHS Prescriptions

  • Medicines issued on prescription from a chemist or pharmacy are charged at a flat rate of £8.20 per item. One exception is the contraceptive pill which is free of charge, as is emergency contraception (morning after pill), both are prescription medications but the latter can be obtained by speaking with a pharmacist in a chemist. The nearest chemist is Boots on Cornmarket Street (OX1 3HL).

Contraception and Sexual Health

  • Advice is freely available from the College Doctors and the College Nurse. Full details on Family Planning and STI clinics can be found on the OUSU website and on the Sexual Health Oxfordshire website. You can also contact your Welfare Reps to know what sanitary and sexual health products are available via your common rooms.

Travel Vaccinations

  • These are available by appointment at Summertown Health Centre. Some travel vaccinations are chargeable and it makes sense to book as early as possible before you travel, in case vaccines have to be ordered in. If you are in doubt which vaccines you need, a useful website is: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.

Specialist Consultations

  • If you wish to see a specialist or consultant, you must first make an appointment with your GP even if you have private medical insurance.

  • Physiotherapy and Chiropody are often best sought privately, as NHS referrals may take some time. However, NHS services are available and you are welcome to discuss these with your GP.

  • Alternative Therapies (Homeopathy, chiropractic, herbal medicine, acupuncture etc.) are not available on the NHS and should be sought privately.

Opticians

  • Opticians’ services are not usually covered by the NHS. There are many opticians in Oxford. An initial sight test costs about £25.00 and you must make an appointment prior to being seen.

  • Note: the Eye Hospital is a specialist unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital (JR) in Oxford and deals with medical/surgical problems and procedures only. As with all hospital appointments, you need to be referred there by the GP. 

Dental Services

Support for eating disorders

Support for alcohol and drugs

If you feel alcohol or drugs are affecting one or several areas of your life or your friends’, there are several avenues of support both within and outside University. OUSU has a very good page with information and resources available to you.

Within College, you can contact the College Nurse, Victoria Mills and the Chaplain, Andrew Teal confidentiality for advice about drugs. Within University, you can speak with a counsellor at the University Counselling Service or speak to an Advisor at the Student Advice Service Drop-in to discuss options available to help resolve the issues that are affecting you.

Outside university you can self refer to Turning Point. This service offers motivational support, advice and treatment which address both physical and mental health needs and is free. The Oxford Hub is located at:

Oxford Hub  - Turning Point Oxford, Rectory Road, Oxford, OX4 1BU.  Tel: 0300 0134 776 | Secure email: turningpoint.oxon@nhs.net 

Talk to Frank can provide friendly, confidential drugs advice. Further links can be found on our Wellbeing page.

 

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

Mental Health

You may be helped by a diagnosis through your GP or a mental health professional, which will allow you formal support through financial aid, expert advice and support. However, without a formal diagnosis you can very much access all that the University and College have to offer. For internal Pembroke services, click here.

The university has an excellent Counselling Service, with professional psychologists who operate a confidential service that you can refer yourself to without involving anyone else. They can speak with you in person, with an appointment or via a drop-in clinic or by skype/phone if you wish. In addition their website provides many links, podcasts and articles that you can use for self-help remotely.

Emergencies and NHS

  • In an emergency, if you need immediate help call 999 (or 112 from a mobile phone). 

  • NHS non-emergency services -111 - can also help put you find mental or physical health advice.

  • The Oxford Student Mental Health Network has produced a useful set of guidelines to best support a student experiencing mental distress. These include who to contact, what information to gather, and how to stay safe while best supporting and reassuring the person being supported. These guidelines can be viewed as a flowchart here.

Further Support

The following will speak with you in complete confidence, and also have websites you might find useful:

  • Oxford University Student Union student advice page has a list of advice services you can contact if you are concerned about your physical, emotional or mental health. The following will speak with you in complete confidence, and also have websites you might find useful.

  • Nightline - Confidential listening service run for and by students of Oxford and Oxford Brookes from 8pm-8am, 0th-9th week during Oxford term time. Contact: 01865 270 270

  • Samaritans - 116 123 (UK) free, from any phone. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They offer a safe place to talk any time: jo@samaritans.org 

  • Saneline - For anyone coping with mental illness, from 6pm-11pm. Contact: 0300 304 7000 

  • Oxfordshire Mind Guide - 01865 247 788

  • Minding Your Head - for mental health support. Contact: 0808 808 8000 

  • OU Counselling service - Contact: 01865 270 300

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

Health Information for Overseas Students

Pembroke is committed to helping overseas students settle into life at College. Here, we provide information about accessing UK medical treatment and prescriptions.

Registering with the National Health Service (NHS)

  • In order to access free healthcare in the UK, you must register with our College Doctors at 19 Beaumont Street or, if you prefer, another GP (General Practitioner) in Oxford.

  • You should register at the start of your course; students cannot register with the NHS if they are within six-months of their planned departure from the UK, and unregistered students would have to pay for a private appointment (c.£50-£150). For this reason, it is essential that overseas students register as soon as possible after arriving in Oxford.

  • You are always eligible for free emergency care in the UK, regardless of being registered with a GP, however for the sake of continuity of care the emergency department will be keen that you should have a GP to take over your care and follow up with you following an admission.

Obtaining your prescriptions

  • Many overseas students find that their prescriptions are not available in the UK.  Check in good time that your prescriptions are available, so that alternatives can be arranged if necessary.

NHS Cards

  • You are not automatically given an NHS card now, although some students do have them.  If you require your NHS number for any reason, please phone the 19 Beaumont Street Practice, if you are registered, on 01865 240501 and they will give it to you from your medical records.

Sexual Violence

If you have experienced sexual violence you may wish to consider any or all of the options below, but how you proceed is entirely your decision:

  • You can call the police and report the incident, where evidence will be collected.  Information about preserving evidence, reporting to the police and finding medical attention can be found on the Oxford University website, here.

  • You can go to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) where you can receive medical and forensic help without necessarily getting the police involved. College can provide a taxi free of charge.

  • You can receive medical attention from A&E, your GP or the College Nurse, Victoria Mills (opening times on this page). College can provide a taxi free of charge.

  • The University of Oxford has a dedicated Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service that is an all-in-one provision for any students regardless of age or gender who have been affected by sexual harassment or violence. IT provide free support and advice, along with a safe place to be heard independent of college or department.

  • You can receive emotional support from our  Peer Supporters, our JCR Welfare Reps, MCR Reps, the Junior Deans or the College Chaplain. See the Welfare Team for contact details.
  • You can also receive emotional support from the OUSU Counselling Service.

  • You can go to Solace – a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) – where you can receive medical and forensic help without necessarily getting the police involved. College can provide a taxi free of charge.

Further Support

The University of Oxford has a dedicated Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service that is an all-in-one provision for any students regardless of age or gender who have been affected by sexual harassment or violence. IT provides free support and advice, along with a safe place to be heard independent of college or department.

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

Harassment

Forms of harassment can include bullying, stalking, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, relationship abuse and more.  At Pembroke, harassment is taken very seriously, and the welfare of victims is a priority. Below is a list of options and resources outside of the college that you may wish to use if you are suffering from harassment. To look at resources and support within the college, please click here.

Reporting to the Police

  • Your approach to dealing with harassment is your own choice, but if you would like to contact the police you are encouraged to do so.

  • Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Stalking are crimes and can at any time be reported to the police.

  • Call 999 for emergencies, or 101 for non-emergencies. If you are frightened, the police can help you.

Solace - Sexual Assault Referral Centres

  • Solace centres are sexual assault referral centres where a number of experienced specialists and professionals – including doctors and counsellors) can offer you support.

OUSU and Student Support

  • The OUSU Student Advice Service is also able to guide you through the process of using the many resources available to you.

  • The OUSU Vice-President for Women is available to speak to anyone who wants to campaign in College on issues relating to harassment. 

  • The OUSU Vice-President for Women  is available to speak to anyone who wants to campaign in College on issues relating to harassment.

  • Oxford Nightline is an independent listening and support service run by students. It is open from 8pm - 8am from 0th- 9th week of term. 

Local Resources and Further Support

National resources

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

Wellbeing

The pace of Oxford life means it’s easy to forget to take care of your own health and wellbeing. However, looking after yourself while you’re here will help you to concentrate on your work, prevent you procrastinating and allow you to enjoy your time away from studying.

Below is advice and links to a number of external services that may help you deal with any longer-term or more serious difficulties that may be affecting your wellbeing. For support and services within Pembroke, please click here.

You can find a range of excellent podcasts and online advice for students struggling with a range of problems, including sleep, procrastination, perfection and revision skills. You can find these resources, here.

Eating

Sleep

  • If you are struggling with insomnia, this NHS website has some helpful advice and support links.

Alcohol

  • There are no safe levels of alcohol consumption, however there are recommendations for alcohol excess which have been revised to 14 units per week for both men and women, spread evenly across the week, with drink-free days.

  • 14 units is – 6 pints of 4% beer, or 6 175ml glasses of 13% wine, or 14 25ml shots of 40% spirits. 

  • Head to Drink Aware for more facts and ways to control your alcohol consumption.

  • The Oxford University Counselling Service is available to all Oxford students free of charge – they offer individual and group counselling sessions with professional counsellors, and have lots of useful advice, information and links on their website here.

Drugs

  • Talk to Frank is a useful website for facts on drugs, as well as advice and support for anyone struggling with a drug problem.

  • The Oxford University Counselling Service is available to all Oxford students free of charge – they offer individual and group counselling sessions with professional counsellors, and have lots of useful advice, information and links on their website here.

Smoking and Cigarettes

Further Support

  • If you would like to book an appointment with OUSU counselling, information can be found here.

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

Financial Strain and Hardship

At Pembroke, we recognise that financial worries can be a concern for students and their families. We also recognise that your financial situation is personal and you may be concerned about discussing it with others.

For a whole host of information about fees and funding, including living costs and how to apply for government support, visit the Oxford University Fees & Funding pages.

Below is a list of financial relief resources that you may wish to consult from across the entire university. Support initiatives do exist specifically within Pembroke as well, and these can be accessed by clicking here.

University Wide Hardship Funds

Oxford Bursaries

  • If you have a direct entry place to study at Oxford University, and receive a Higher Education Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant of any level, you are eligible for an award from the Oxford Bursary Scheme.

  • Applicants must complete a financial assessment in their application for UK Government Funding and consent to share their household income with the University.

  • You do not have to make a separate application for an Oxford Bursary, and eligible students will receive a letter from the Student Funding Office explaining their entitlement.

  • Students receive up tp £3700 per year depending on their household income.

  • If you are a student applying to Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) or if you believe you have not signed the bursary consent statement, you need to contact SAAS or the SLC (Student Loans Company) to give them permission to pass on your household income information to the University.

For details, see the Oxford Bursaries and Fee Reductions webpage.

Access to Learning Fund (ALF)

  • Access to Learning Funds are provided by the government and are administered and distributed by the University.

  • Application forms are available in College from the Academic Office

  • The awards are for undergraduate or graduate students experiencing financial difficulty

  • The maximum award is £2500 and awards are paid in termly instalments.

Find out more about the Access to Learning Fund, including eligibility and the application process, on the relevant Oxford University webpage.

University Hardship Fund (UHF)

  • The University Hardship Fund aims to assist students who experience unexpected financial difficulties due to circumstances which could not have been predicted at the start of your course.

  • The maximum award is £6000 and awards of this level will usually be a combination of a grant and a loan.

  • Students in their final year will normally be given a loan as it is expected that they will be able to take on paid employment on completion of their studies.

For details of eligibility and the application process, visit the University Hardship Fund webpage.

Funding for Students with Disabilities

  • Enquiries regarding funding for students with disabilities are handled by the Disability Advisory Service.

  • Disabled Student's Allowances (DSAs) are available to all British ('home') students. DSAs are not means tested and are do not need to be repaid. Details are available on the GOV.UK website.

Useful Contacts and Links

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

Loneliness

For many students, Oxford can at times be a challenge. We cope through the strength and support of our friends, and feeling like you are without or disconnected from them can make the experience an even more difficult one. However, if you’re feeling lonely, there are many ways to begin to approach this.

Below is a list of options and resources that you can consult from across the university. Pembroke also offers its own internal resources that can help students to cope with and overcome loneliness. They can be found by clicking here.

Homesickness

Feelings of Isolation

If you are looking for ways of meeting new people and experiencing new things, here are some suggestions:

  • Outside college, there are HUNDREDS of societies out there - check out the Oxford Student Societies list. Pick something you’re interested in, have a Google and ask to be put on the mailing list, and then go along to some events. There’s no better way to be sure of meeting people with a common interest to you!

  • Taking these first steps can be daunting, but finding the courage to put yourself forward is the hardest part of the process. It only gets easier from there. 

Who to talk to

You can request a free appointment from the OUSU (Oxford University Student Union) Counselling Service if you are experiencing feelings of loneliness that are seriously affecting your wellbeing or health and you would like to talk to someone.

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

What if I'm Not in Oxford?

Students who are on their year abroad, or who have had to suspend their course (for any reason) are encouraged to reach out if they experience difficulties while away from Oxford.

Many options for dealing with these difficulties are available within Pembroke, and can be found by clicking here. There are also additional resources and support initiatives available across the wider university and beyond, and these can be found below.

Counselling

  • Year abroad and suspended status students are eligible to use the University Counselling Service, which you can self-refer to. The Counselling Service offers phone, Skype and face-to-face counselling sessions as you require.

  • Students who use the counselling service but will be going on a year abroad or suspending their course are advised to contact the counselling services before these events so that a plan can be put in place to support them best in that period. The service also offers self-support resources, including podcasts, fora huge variety of issues here.

Support for British Nationals Abroad

  • If you experience difficulties while abroad, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides information for British Nationals on the Gov.uk website.

  • This includes information on how to stay safe abroad, what to do in an emergency, how to access medical care and much more.

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

Disabilities

Disability at Oxford

There are over 2,500 students with a declared disability at Oxford, representing around 11% of the total student body – so you are not alone.

“Disability” is a category that is much broader than many people think. The definition of a disability we use is that described in the Equality Act 2010 and includes a wide range of conditions, both visible and invisible, which have a substantial and long-term impact on day-to-day activities. Disability can include:

  • Specific learning difficulties (SpLD)

  • Sensory or mobility impairments

  • Mental health conditions

  • Autistic spectrum disorders

  • Long standing illnesses or health conditions.

Disclosing a disability

We strongly encourage students and offer-holders to tell us if they have a disability or mental health condition that might affect their wellbeing and studies while at Pembroke. You are not obliged to tell anyone about your disabilities, but if you do it makes it much easier for the University to give you any help you need and this may improve your overall experience at Oxford. The University is bound by the Equality Act to make adjustments for its disabled students but beyond that it is committed to encouraging and welcoming disabled students. You can find a number of disabled students’ profiles sharing their experiences of Oxford here.

We have a number of provisions and support resources available for students with disabilities. Resources available within Pembroke can be found here. Below is a list of other services that can be accessed from across the wider university. 

The Disability Advisory Service (DAS)

The Disability Advisory Service (DAS) provides information and advice on disability issues at Oxford and facilitates support for all UK and international students with disabilities. The team of advisors will discuss with you your experiences and expectations of study and support and consider how they might be met here at Oxford to ensure you can get on with your studies.

The DAS works with you, with Pembroke, and with your subject department to identify any support you might need. One of their key jobs is to make recommendations for your support. They do this by discussing your disability with you to understand the impact of your disability on your study and gather any medical or educational evidence they might need. They will then write a student support plan with you, to summarise their recommendations. This information will be shared with Pembroke and your Department who are responsible for implementing your support. They will also provide you with a copy.

The Service is open 09:00-17:00, Monday to Friday. There is Level/Lift access throughout, hearing Support System in meeting rooms, and automatic doors at main entrance and throughout.

Tel: 01865 280459

Email: Disability Advisory Service

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

To access the full range of disability-related support while at University, all UK students are encouraged to make an application for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

This is available for students undertaking undergraduate and graduate studies, including those studying through the NHS Bursary Scheme and those working with the UK Research Councils. A step by step guide to applying for Disabled Students' Allowance and other related support can be found here.

 

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

BME Students

The following information has been provided by the Pembroke REM (Racial and Ethnic Minorities) Student Representative. 

Many terms are used around University, with BME (Black and Ethnic Minority) being a broadly used acronym. There are limitations to using this terminology, and so students/staff are sometimes more comfortable with using alternate language, which is noted in the Key Terms section below.

Directly below is a list of resources from both the central university and beyond that BME students at Pembroke may wish to consult. There are also additional resources that are available from within Pembroke itself, and these can be found by clicking here.

Points of Contact

Societies

  • The Racial Inequality Support Network (RISeN) is a newly set-up collective to provide a social escape for BME students/staff and facilitates discussions on aims to achieve racial equality.

  • A wide range of societies exist in Oxford to provide spaces for BME and international students.

Campaigning

  • Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE) is the Oxford University Student Union’s (OUSU) campaign, which works to develop a more inclusive and culturally aware environment at Oxford, and holds weekly meetings to develop ideas on how to combat racial inequality. The campaign's Race 101 workshop is a useful introduction to the discussions which need to be had in Oxford, on race and improving the BME student experience.

  • The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) - this allows a space for academic collaboration, but also develops projects to increase diversity in the humanities.

  • The Racial Equality Network is an initiative that was launched in 2009 to promote understanding between people of all races and cultures, whilst also providing support.

  • The Racial Equality Newsletter is a mailing list for people who have an interest in race equality at Oxford.

Racial Harassment / Discrimination

There are avenues through which you are able to report racial harassment.

  • Gillian Hamnett (Director of Student Advice and Welfare Support Services) is able to be contacted to report any racial macro/micro-aggressions and is able to provide advice on how to escalate this further (for example, mediation with the other party or through the harassment policy, if this is appropriate)

  • True Vision is the official Police website which provides information about hate crimes, online forms for reporting a hate crime, and resources for support
     
  • Stop Hate UK provides an independent, confidential and accessible reporting and support for victims, witness and third parties of hate crime

Legislation

  • Your right to protection from racial discrimination is also protected under legislation

  • Human Rights Act - This provides protection against discrimination in the rights established under the Act

  • Equality Act 2010 - This Act provides general legal protection against direct and indirect forms of discrimination, based upon the protected characteristic of race (it also covers other protected grounds, such as sex, disability and sexuality).

Intersectionality

The importance of recognising that individuals can identify with many different liberation groups is crucial. This section covers other points of contact available to you.

Gender

  • OUSU’s Women’s Campaign (including students who are gender non-binary or genderfluid) is dedicated to promoting gender equality and providing a platform for feminist discussions.

  • WomCam’s Women of Colour group provides a safe space for discussion of concerns and socialising.

  • Points of contact include: OUSU’s Vice President for Women (Orla White, 2016-2017) and the JCR’s Gender Equalities Representative are also present to address any concerns which you may have, particularly within college.

LGBTQ+

  • OUSU’s LGBTQ+ Campaign acts as the political arm of Oxford’s LGBTQ+ community.  

  • Oxford University’s LGBTQ+ Society holds a more social role, encouraging friendships in the community, whilst also providing welfare support as well

  • Rainbow Peer Supporters’ initiative has also been established, to provide emotional support for those who identify with the LGTBQ+ community.

  • Points of contact include: OUSU’s Vice President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities; the LGBTQ+ Representative are also present to address any concerns you may have, particularly within college.

 

Disability

  • Oxford Student’s Disability Community (OSDC) is an OUSU campaign, dedicated to raising awareness about and improving treatment of disability.

  • Disability includes: physical, sensory, cognitive, mental and developmental disabilities, as well as those with chronic illnesses and learning difficulties.

 

Key Terms

  • Intersectionality: expressions interactions of social categorisations (such as race, class, and gender) as they apply to a given individual or group, which develops interdependent systems of discrimination or structural disadvantage.

  • Macroaggressions: structural practices, creating unjust or exclusionary conditions.

  • Microaggressions: brief, everyday interactions, which reinforce stereotypes to further marginalise BME students.

  • Implicit/Unconscious Bias: Individuals are influenced by the surrounding environment; this can result in attitudes or stereotypes which affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner, i.e. without the individual’s awareness or intentional control. Find out more here.

  • Ableism: discrimination in favour of able-bodied people.

  • Institutional Bias: a tendency for institutional procedures to operate in ways which result in certain social groups being advantaged and others being disadvantaged

  • Alternative terms for BME: BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) or POC (People of Colour)

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

LGBTQ Students

Coming to university is a time during which many LGBT+ people come out to friends and family whilst at the same time being exposed to new people, as well as personal and academic challenges. Whether you are sure and open about your gender and sexuality or not there are many resources available at Oxford and further afield to help you.

To view the resources available within Pembroke, click here. To view the resources that are available within the wider university and beyond, please read below.

LGBTQ+ Info and Support at Oxford

Oxford University LGBTQ Society - A University-wide society that runs events and activities while offering a community of support.

LGBTQ+ Support outside of Oxford

FFLAG - Charity dedicated to supporting parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual daughters and sons (Tel: 0845 652 0311)

LGBT Foundation - Wide range of services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities. (Tel: 0345 330 3030)

LGBTQ+ Campaigning 

LGBTQ Campaign is supported by OUSU (Oxford University Student Union) and is the 'political campaigning arm of Oxford's queer community'.

Please see Support at Pembroke for more information on other options within College.

Oxford SU Student Advice Service

The Student Union (Oxford SU) runs an independent advice and information service for Oxford University students. The service offers a space for you to talk in confidence and information on a range of issues you might encounter during your time at Oxford.