Welfare & Wellbeing

The combination of work and living away from home can be difficult to manage. However, there is a support network set up to help you with academic and personal problems.

Where should I go for support?

Often, the most important thing when facing a problem is to know what support is available and how to access it.

In the case of an emergency, or if you feel a danger to yourself, to others, or are concerned about the wellbeing of another student, please contact the Porters immediately on 01223 332000 who will support and advise you.

If you need an emergency ambulance, call 999 without delay, then immediately inform the Porters so that they can offer you support and ensure that the paramedics can gain the required access to buildings immediately.

Alternatively, in an emergency you can go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) at Addenbrookes hospital on Hills Road in Cambridge.

In any mental health crisis you can contact the First Response Service at any time by dialling 111 and selecting option 2. This enables you to access immediate advice, support and appropriate treatment from trained NHS staff 24/7.

The Samaritans provide confidential emotional support to people in distress or despair, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Phone 116 123 (free).


Accident Transport Fund ('College Taxi Scheme'): An in-house insurance scheme that covers the cost of necessary taxi journeys. The primary use of the scheme is in situations when injury or serious illness prevents independent travel between Fitzwilliam College or College properties and Departments of the University. Another legitimate use of taxis is in the event that a student feels that returning late at night poses a genuine safety or security risk, or in the event of an emergency. The scheme will also cover the costs of a student being sent back to the College from hospital. The College has an arrangement with Panther Taxi.

For undergraduates, your Director of Studies has a responsibility to guide and support your academic engagement and development. They will be active in research and teaching in the subject you are studying, and will usually be a Fellow of the College. Postgraduate students will have a course director or supervisor appointed by their Department, to fulfil a similar role. You can also raise academic concerns with your Tutor. Your Tutor is a Fellow of the College whose subject is not the same as your own so that you can also raise any problems about your course or supervisions without treading on the toes of their colleagues.

Undergraduate Tutors and Graduate Tutors provide all-round support, information, advice and guidance to students, including problems with study, finance, illness, friends, family and other personal circumstances. You can speak to your Tutor on any matter: academic, social, financial, medical or to do with your home life. It's their job to listen and support you. If your Tutor is unavailable, or you wish not to speak to your allocated Tutor, you can approach a different Tutor. The Senior Tutor is also available to talk to any student about any issue.

In the current lockdown of Lent Term 2021, tutorial meetings will normally occur remotely. Tutors will continue to offer full support to all students, whether or not you are in Cambridge – so do not hesitate to contact them.

The College Nurse (Dee Williams, provides a variety of health and welfare support including assessment, support and advice for students with minor illnesses, injuries and mental health concerns; they can also refer you to or coordinate support from your GP, if more specialised help or treatment is required.

There are first aid boxes in the Porters’ Lodge, Catering, Housekeeping and Maintenance departments on the College site.

There are also first aid boxes in the kitchens of all outside properties for emergency use.

Defibrillators, meanwhile, are held at the Gatehouse Porters’ Lodge and in the Buttery/Servery. Find a full list of the locations of all first aid boxes and defibrillators available here.

Fitzwilliam students have access to a range of mental health resources, from Tutors and peer supporters, to the College Counsellor, Mary Cavander Attwood, and the University Counselling Service. More information is listed here.

The College Chaplain, Graham Stevenson, ( is responsible for providing a pastoral service to members of the College community, including matters of religious and spiritual life. Graham is available to all students, of all faiths and none. Further information about faith in the College.

Tutorial Office staff act as a first point of contact to students for a wide range of tutorial, educational and welfare issues, as well as providing support to the Tutors and running many of the administrative processes which keep the College ticking. If you are an Undergraduate, please contact; Graduate students should direct enquiries to

The College does not tolerate any form of harassment of any student, member of staff or other employee of the College or any visitor to the College. If you experience or witness any incidence of harassment or misconduct, please be assured that the College will support you in challenging such behaviour. Support is available within the College, from the University’s specialist Sexual Assault and Harassment Advisor, and from external organisations. For a rapid response in an emergency situation, dial 999.

You can address any questions to the email address, which is being monitored by a team of Fitzwilliam staff. You can also contact Dr Steve Sawiak, the COVID Liaison Tutor for COVID, on If you wish to report symptoms, please do this immediately, by calling or emailing the Porters ( DO NOT GO TO THE PORTERS’ LODGE IN PERSON TO REPORT COVID SYMPTOMS!

JCR/MCR Welfare Officers are student representatives elected by the College’s student body for a year at a time to support the welfare needs of students within the College. You can find the list of Welfare Officers in post here: JCR and MCR

The Students Union’s Student Advice Service offers free, confidential, and impartial advice and support to all Cambridge University students - undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate - from any College or course.  You can go to the Student Advice Service with any issues or problems you might experience as a student, from making friends to working relationships, from exams to intermission, and from welfare concerns to finance. They are there to help you navigate your way through the Collegiate University informally and formally.  They can support you by:

  • Listening
  • Providing information
  • Explaining and guiding you through University and College procedures
  • Helping you to explore your options
  • Providing assistance and/or representation
  • Signposting to other services

The University’s Student Wellbeing team have published guidance to further support resources and organisations within the University, and a further list of external organisations.

We have compiled a page linking to specialist resources offering advice and support in particular areas.