Wellbeing Coordinator

Introducing Claire Thompson

Claire Thompson has joined the Fitzwilliam College community from the NHS, where she has worked as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, alongside her work as a Nature-based mindfulness workshop facilitator. Claire graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Natural Sciences, Zoology from Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge and is the author of Mindfulness and the Natural World, and The Art of Mindful Birdwatching. Claire has a passion for wellbeing, therapeutic work, nature connection - and a deep commitment to ensuring we feel heard and valued.

In her role as Fitzwilliam College Wellbeing Coordinator, Claire will provide all staff and students a 1:1 Confidential Support/Advice for psychological wellbeing, including:

•    A one-off chat or check-in
•    A friendly, gentle, safe space to feel heard
•    Guided self-help resources involving tools for management of anxiety/low mood; self-care; mindfulness; low-intensity CBT tools; and nature-based practices.
•    Signposting to appropriate services within College, University or NHS through GPs, counselling, other therapy or crisis support if required.

Appointments will be kept up to 40 mins. Times for appointments include mornings, afternoons and some evenings. Claire will endeavour to respond to e-mails within two working days.  

Claire will also coordinate the wider wellbeing and pastoral team in Fitzwilliam College (including Chaplain, Counsellor, Nurse, Tutors, Senior Tutor and Welfare Reps) and coordinate and organise Wellbeing events and initiatives across the college.

To book an appointment with Claire, e-mail (account monitored Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm).

Wellbeing at Fitz

The vision for Wellbeing at Fitzwilliam College is to develop a culture which that supports wellbeing and mental health for the whole community, through:

•    Listening - to ourselves, each other and the wider world. We all need to feel heard and valued.
•    Community - Supporting ourselves and each other. Wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility.
•    Compassion -for ourselves and each other
•    Respect- for ourselves and each other
•    Nature Connection - Reconnecting with the natural world 
•    Belonging - as individuals to an inclusive community where it feels safe to be brave/vulnerable.

Taking care of our physical and mental health and wellbeing is vital if we are to fulfill our potential while enjoying our student and working lives. Fitzwilliam can be a place in which we not only thrive academically and professionally but also continue to learn about what it means to be human, living together in an uncertain world.


A significant root cause of our wellbeing and mental health challenges is our disconnection from ourselves, each other and the wider world. This disconnection means we have lost the ability to value and pay attention to our physical and emotional needs and respond accordingly.  To varying degrees, many of us have needed to cast aside our emotions from a young age. But our physical and psychological experiences are essential because they provide feedback on our needs – on what’s meaningful and what matters to us, on what’s okay and not okay for us.

Our bodies and minds are our guides to living happy, healthy, meaningful lives. When we fail to pay attention to them – at best we begin to lose our ability to live to our greatest potential. At worse we can start to experience more acute mental health difficulties.  Wellbeing and mental health issues are complex, and individual. These difficulties exist on a spectrum, from dealing with difficult emotional responses to the everyday challenges of life, to severe clinical mental illness – and everything in between.

In case of emergency

•    In an emergency, or if you feel a danger to yourself, others, or are concerned about the wellbeing of another, contact the Porters on 01223 332000 for advice and support.
•    In a mental health crisis, contact the First Response Service by dialling 111 and selecting option 2 for immediate advice and support from trained NHS staff - 24/7.
•    If you need an emergency ambulance, call 999, then immediately inform the Porters. 
•    Call the Samaritans for confidential emotional support to people in distress, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Phone 116 123 (free) 
•    Text Shout - a text-based crisis line for immediate help. Text 85258 from your phone. It is a free service available 24/7.