Support at Pembroke

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 best placed to help you within College with specific problems you may face.

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. 

Peer support

The Peer Support Programme is a scheme run across the University by the counselling service. 

A team of Pembroke students from the JCR and MCR, across a range of years and subjects, have been trained in active listening support and are available for any Pembroke students to talk to confidentially.

They provide an alternative to talking to college welfare staff, providing support on a more casual, student level. They also have access to a range of resources they can refer you to, or can spend some time with you to support you through hard times

Peer supporters abide by a Code of Practice, attend regular supervisions to consolidate their training and develop their skills, and are available to be contacted for any difficulty big or small you might encounter during term. They can also be found at welfare teas and events organised by the JCR and MCR on at least a weekly basis throughout term

New Peer supporters are trained throughout Michaelmas term, and after this the whole team attends fortnightly supervision sessions to update our training and discuss Peer Support in College. 

Peer supporters aim to be friendly faces around Pembroke and can be approached any time.

There are peer supporters within both the JCR and MCR, but you can contact the peer supporters below via email should you wish to speak with them. They are trained to help with welfare concerns and work to strict confidentiality rules.

The 2019-20 Per Supporters are:

Josie Finegold

Peter Rae

Aimee Cochrane

Natayla Stahl

Florence Butterfield

 

Medical Advice

Porter's Lodge (before 999)

  • Our Porters are first aid trained, or will call someone who is, and will always assist you if you require guidance or help: 01865 276444

College Nurse

  • Victoria Mills is our college nurse, she is available to help you manage health problems and illness, and can refer you elsewhere when necessary. She can advise on injuries, dressings/remove stitches and care for wounds. She offers advice on contraception and the emergency pill, and is very happy to give support and advice for emotional and psychological problems, all consultations are absolutely confidential.

  • The nurse is available weekdays excluding Wednesday during term in the Neil Arnold Room which is wheelchair accessible, next to the Pichette auditorium. However room visits can be arranged if required, please contact Victoria to discuss this.

Email: nurse@pmb.ox.ac.uk

Phone messages can be left at the Lodge: 01865 276444

Ensuring joined up care between your College Nurse and your GP. This leaflet addresses any queries the students may have about the sharing of their personal information and the relationship between your College Nurse and the College Doctor.

Mental Health

  • There are a wide range of people in Pembroke 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.

Doctor's Practice

  • Whilst you are at Pembroke, the College requires all students to register under the NHS (or make a private arrangement) with the College Doctors’ at 19 Beaumont Street, OX1 2NA. To ensure you receive continuity of care, it is advisable that you remain registered for the duration of your course. You can register using an online form here.  Appointments can be made in person, through the college nurse, or by calling 01865 240501.

  • During vacations, you will still be able to receive NHS treatment at your local GP, or elsewhere, by registering as a ‘temporary resident’. 

Mental Health

Within the College you can speak with any member of our Welfare Team in complete confidence, who can advise you further. The JCR and MCR welfare reps have experience of many students with mental health conditions and can certainly provide advice and support. These people can suggest next steps for what support would suit you best during your time at Oxford.

Welfare and Wellbeing Co-ordinator:

Dr Rebekah White (rebekah.white@pmb.ox.ac.uk)

College Nurse: 

Victoria Mills (nurse@pmb.ox.ac.uk)

The Junior Deans:

  •  George Klaeren living on Main Site

  •  Anna-Katharina Hauperich living at the GAB 

The Junior Deans can be contacted by email (junior.dean@pmb.ox.ac.uk) or you can ask to speak/meet with them via the lodge (01865 276444)

Please see Further Support outside of College for more information on other options.

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.

Academic Support & Exam Stress

Academic Issues

  • In a fast-paced environment like Oxford, any academic issue can become a source of stress, which is why Pembroke has a huge number of people willing to help and support you in any way we can.

  • Academic issues don’t have to be big – they cover everything from needing a book the library doesn’t stock, problems with a tutor, unmarked collections, or struggles with the workload. If anything is affecting your work, don’t hesitate to reach out for support.

Subject Reps

  • If your problem is specific to your degree, your subject rep will be a good point of contact. They are likely to have had experience with the same tutors, lecturers and the workload – they will know what you’re going through and can offer subject specific advice and support.

  • If you’re not sure who your subject rep is, check the ‘Academic’ section of the JCR website if you are an undergraduate, or contact your course administrator for Masters courses.

  • For those doing DPhils, clearly your degree is very specific to you, however the requirements of the course are not. You should be able to speak with departmental administrators about the requirements and timelines you need to keep to, and your supervisor(s) should be able to support your project goals and keep you on track.

Personal & Medical Factors

  • If a personal or medical issue is affecting your academic work, you are asked make sure that someone is aware as soon as possible so this can be taken into account, regardless of how much it’s affecting you right now.

  • You can approach your college tutor or the Academic Office to discuss it in confidence, and you may qualify for examination or tutorial support, or further help from the University. Your tutor can take your issues into account when setting work, arranging tutorials or offer specific advice. The academic office will need to ensure you have the right support for your degree.

Academic Reps

  • If you’re unsure who to go to, or what it is that you need, don’t hesitate to go to the JCR or MCR Academic Rep – they are here to help you with absolutely any academic concern you have. Your academic rep also organises academic feedback sessions once every term, so this can be a good opportunity to anonymously feedback on any wider problems related to your tutors and faculty. If you’re not sure who your academic rep is, please refer to the JCR or MCR web pages:

  • If you still have concerns after speaking to an academic rep, it is easy to arrange a chat with our Academic Director, who is very willing to help. Email: nancy.braithwaite@pmb.ox.ac.uk

Sexual Violence

You can receive emotional support from anyone within the Welfare Team.

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.

Please see Further Support outside of College for more information on other options.

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.

Much of the below advice and information has been borrowed from the Oxford University Student Union webpage on Harassment & Abuse.

College and University Advice and Support

  • Any of our Welfare Team will be willing to talk to you about any harassment you are experiencing, no matter how serious you deem it to be.

  • The College also has a Harassment Adviser – Rebekah White, wwho you can speak to. 
  • The University has a Harassment Policy, which is available here.

  • There are also Harassment Advisors in the University - you can read about the Harassment Advisor Networkemail them, or telephone 01865270760.

Please see Further Support outside of College for more information on other options.

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.

Some simple tips that can contribute to a healthy and productive time in Oxford are available on our 'Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle' document.

Below is advice and links to help you deal with any longer-term or more serious difficulties that may be affecting your wellbeing.

Pembroke College Support

At Pembroke, the Junior Deans, Welfare Reps and Peer Supporters are all bound by confidentiality (this means they won’t speak to anyone about what is disclosed to them, unless they have permission from the person in question, or believe this person to be a serious threat to themselves or others). They are a useful first port of call if you need a chat or some more information about support for any of the above issues.

Eating

Sleep

Help, Support and Advice (when you are ill or have changing needs) and you are living in or out of College

  • The first step at times when you are feeling unwell, or you have been diagnosed with an illness that may need extra support, is to talk to one of the College Welfare Team in confidence. They will help to coordinate any changes that may be needed to your living arrangements – whether that be provision of food or even just help with an extra blanket or whatever – all of our welfare team are here to help and will try to pull together all the different resources we have to make life easier for you

  • If you are ill and can’t get to Hall for meals we can arrange for food to be brought to you (if you live in Main Site accommodation) – and normally this will be tailored to how you are feeling and what you need.  Our chefs have lots of experience in adapting to specific dietary requirements and our Hall staff can bring meals to your room - if that is the best solution for you.  Just contact any of the welfare team or even ring the Lodge (a Junior Dean will come and visit you to see how we can help) to start the ball rolling.

  • If you have a condition which is making life difficult for you please contact the welfare team and ask for help. We will then pull together the right people to offer assistance.

  • Should your accommodation no longer be suitable for you, or you are worried about how you will cope if you are in accommodation that requires you to move out during vacations, then please let us know.  We can look at all options from changing rooms in College, to finding accommodation closer to a faculty building or even taking temporary accommodation in a local hotel if necessary.

  • Likewise, if you have a member of your family coming to visit you, perhaps to help you recover from illness, then we may be able to provide a guest room for a night or two.  Again, please let our welfare team know.

  • If you have a Student Support Plan we will look at how we can adapt our facilities to help and make adjustments. 

  • Finally, please let us know if your needs are changing so we can attempt to tailor our support or offer advice – we have a great deal of experience in adapting to changing situations but we need to know if you think your current arrangements are no longer suitable.

 

Please see Further Support outside of College for more information on other options.

Financial Strain & Hardships Grants

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.

To talk confidentially about financial matters or for more details about the below funds, please contact Kirstie Morris.

For a whole host of information about University fees and funding, including living costs and how to apply for government support, visit the Oxford University Fees & Funding pages. The Oxford University Student Union also has a page dedicated to funding advice. For further University support outside of College, please click here.

College Hardship Grants

  • College hardship grants are for hardship not covered by the Access to Learning or the University hardship funds (see above), or to supplement their sources.

  • EU and Overseas students may apply

  • Students should contact Kirstie Morris in the Academic Office who will be able to guide them through the application: academic.office@pmb.ox.ac.uk

JCR Art Fund Hardship Grants

  • The JCR Art Fund provides hardship grants all year round for unexpected or sudden (and not persistent) financial hardship.

  • Examples may include a broken laptop, an emergency trip home, or a parent/guardian suddenly out of work etc. but this list is not exhaustive.

  • There is no maximum amount for which students may apply

  • Further information regarding eligibility and the application form can be acquired from the current JCR Vice-President (myah.popat@pmb.ox.ac.uk for 2017-18)

Useful Contacts and Links

Please see Further Support outside of College for more information on other options.

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.

Homesickness

  • If you are feeling homesick, this is not an uncommon feeling and you will not be alone amongst either the JCR or MCR, do consider coming along to a welfare tea and speaking to the peer supporters.

Feelings of Isolation

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

  • College Clubs and Societies provide a great way to meet and talk to new people, and they’re always looking for fresh faces so it’s never too late to start. Speak to the JCR or MCR committee members to find out what’s available.

  • Peer Support teas and other events in College are also fantastic ways to chat to new people. Please contact your Welfare reps for more information on peer support.

  • 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

  • If you are experiencing feelings of loneliness that are seriously affecting your wellbeing or health and you would like to talk to someone, you are welcome to speak to a College Peer Supporter or a member or the welfare team.

Please see Further Support outside of College for more information on other options.

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.

College Support

Academic Worries

  • If you are concerned about your academic work or progress during your year abroad or year of suspension, you are welcome to contact the Pembroke Academic Office or Nancy Braithwaite, the Academic Director.

Disability Service

  • If you have a disability, chronic illness or mental health problem and would like support on your return to Oxford, you are welcome to register with the Disability Advisory Service.

  • We advise you to register as soon as possible, before your return to College, so that provisions can be made in time for your arrival.

  • Find out more about support for disabled students at Pembroke here.

Please see Further Support outside of College for more information on other options.

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.

Welfare Provisions

  • There are a few means of accessing welfare support, which are available to all within Pembroke College.

  • This can be in order to discuss particular concerns, related to related to race or differences in cultural experience, but can also be used in order to tackle other welfare concerns, such as with regards to mental health provision and anti-discrimination.

  • Find out more by browsing our Welfare Pages here.

Points of Contact

  • There are JCR Welfare Representatives and other Peer Supporters (including an inter-collegiate alliance). With extensive training to provide emotional support, the Peer Supporters are an invaluable point of contact, when you need a keen listening ear.

  • In 2016, the Peers of Colour initiative was launched, where peer supporters utilise both their training and personal experiences, to provide assistance, tailored for BME students.

  • The JCR Racial and Ethnic Minorities Representative has both a welfare and liberation role. This rep will be able to address issues related to race and racism, particularly by signposting you to the correct individuals. See the current JCR committee members here.

Exam Arrangements for Cultural or Religious Observance

The below is quoted directly from the University site, but please do consult Pembroke's Academic Office for further assistance with this concern.

  • If you wish to uphold religious observances which impact on your ability to sit examinations at particular times, you should speak with your College office at the earliest opportunity and make an initial application for alternative arrangements so that your preferences may be taken into account during the setting of the examination timetable.

  • There is no guarantee at this stage that your requirements will be met, but once you receive your individual timetable, if there are any clashes with your religious observance, you may apply to the University for an adjustment to your individual timetable (under Part 12 of the Examination Regulations).

Please see Further Support outside of College for more information on other options.

LGBTQ+

Coming to university is a time during which many LGBTQ+ 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.

Anyone on our Welfare People page is happy to talk with you, however you may wish to speak with your JCR (undergraduate) or MCR (graduate) LGBTQ+ representative too. At Pembroke we welcome and accept everyone, regardless of their gender and sexuality. However, should you experience discrimination of any sort, we hope you would feel comfortable to raise it with someone in college.

Pembroke Diversity Week

As a celebration of diversity within College, Pembroke's JCR held its inaugural annual Diveristy Week in April 2016. Find out about the week's events here.

LGBTQ+ Society and Socialising

The LGBTQ+ society offers a range of events from Tuesday drinks (in a different college bar each time) to specific bi, female, and trans meetups. There is also an LGBTQ+ Society handbook available here. Subscribe to their mailing list to receive all the latest LGBT+ related news!

Please see Further Support outside of College for more information on other options.