Welfare at Girton provides a number of different types of support for you during your time at Girton. As well as being a service, Welfare is also a bridge to other sources of support and a bank of contacts, and also puts on events regularly during the course of the year.

The Welfare Officers

As the Welfare Officers we are student representatives for your welfare and wellbeing on the JCR committee. Our roles are divided to Men’s and Women’s Welfare. For 2012-13 we are;

Men’s – Bhargav Srinivasan (jcr-welfare-men@girton.cam.ac.uk)
Women’s – Ellie Hayward (jcr-welfare-women@girton.cam.ac.uk)

Here is a summary of what we offer as part of our roles:

Support

We are a really good first port of call in college if there is any worry troubling you, academic or not, as we aren’t so far away both in terms of distance and experience. You can approach either of us at any time and by any means (in person, by email, or in the designated office hours for men’s and women’s welfare). We also have the contacts to refer you to external support if more apt, so see the right hand column of this page for further info and watch the Welfare noticeboards on the JCR corridor as there is up to date contact information and notices of events on there. Email either one of us if you would like any specific contact details.

In Easter Term 2011 we also made an Exam Period leaflet for everyone to collect from their pigeonholes, which included a schedule of the events for the term (see below), tips on revision, time management and relaxation, and a list of external support contacts.

Welfare Office Hours

The office hours are set up as a designated hour each week during termtime in which each of us are available in the JCR Office to discuss anything you would like to. Our office hours usually fall at the following times and we normally send out an email notification of them during the week:

Women’s: 5-6pm Tuesdays in the JCR Office
Men’s: 5-6pm Fridays in the JCR Office

The JCR Office is located on the same corridor as the JCR behind the Old Hall. Just knock on the door if it’s not open. Our office hours are open to anyone in college to talk about anything and it is a completely non-judgemental, informal and confidential environment. If you would like to discuss something with one of us but you can’t make the hours just email us and we can arrange to see you another time.

Events

We put on Welfare events throughout the year in order to de-stress, lift blues and generally share advice on wellbeing, with the aim of hopefully making college a pleasant place to live and work with as relaxed an atmosphere as possible. Our schedule is busy with Welfare events at key times such as Freshers’ Week, Week 5 and Exam Term. Events put on last term ranged from massage classes and a Krispy Kreme sale to weekend film nights and teaparties:

The expense for such events comes out of Welfare’s allotted budget, and so they are totally free to attend. We hope this invites people to take advantage of the opportunity to stress-bust when term gets hectic.

To keep up to date with events going on during term take notice of posters up around college, leaflets in pigeonholes and updates on the ‘Welfare at Girton’ Facebook page.

College Parent System

We also serve as the organisers of the College Parent System in place in Girton, along with Ms Angela Stratford (Head of Tutorial & Admissions Office). Once A Level results have come out, we assign each undergraduate student coming to Girton to ‘parents’ (current undergraduates) who have signed up to the scheme, according to what subject they do and if possible which country they have come from. Parents then get in touch with their children in the holidays before term starts to impart some invaluable knowledge about life at Girton and in Cambridge (e.g. what to expect academically, what to bring for your room, how much a washing machine token costs), and to answer any questions children may have. Once children arrive at Girton their parents are still their for guidance whenever they need them, and ‘Family Dinners’ take place in Freshers’ Week, as a chance for new students to get to know their parents and siblings. We believe it is an extremely useful system to have in place, as it means there is a friendly face for everyone on their arrival to college.

Sexual Health

Condoms

Our budget also funds the stocking of the condom machine which is located on the wall in the Nurses’ station on A corridor. The machine dispenses 3 condoms at a time free of charge and can be accessed 24/7. Keeping the machine stocked is a major expense for the Welfare budget, and so we ask that it only be used as a last resort and not as your main source of contraception. Please sign up for the C-Card scheme for access to free condoms (details below). You can get Durex condoms free of charge from the Laurels (see below) or from your GP (for the majority of us, 1 Huntingdon Road).

The higher quality standard Durex condoms can now be bought from us for 10 pence each. Just leave the exact money for the number of condoms you want in an envelope in either of our pigeonholes (P.WISEMAN or J. FALCONER-ROBERTS) with your name on and we’ll deliver the condoms to your pigeonhole as soon as we can.

C-Card Scheme

The C-Card scheme gives you access to free condoms at a variety of pick-up points around Cambridge. Register with us during welfare hours to collect a C-Card keyring, and show your key-ring at any pick-up point to collect a pack of 6 condoms. It’s completely free, you can get condoms as often as you like, and we don’t collect any of your personal details.

Pick up points:

  • Us in welfare hours
  • Other college welfare teams (see here for a full list of times and places: http://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/services/sexualhealth/ccard/registrationandpickup.html
  • CUSU offices on the New Museums site
  • Boots and Superdrug in the centre of town (near Sainsbury’s/Market Square)
  • Pregnancy Testing

If you would like a pregnancy test, we continually restock the nurses’ supply of Pasante pregnancy tests. Go along to the medical centre on A corridor to ask for one free-of-charge when they are in. Alternatively, drop us an email (Women’s – pkw24@cam.ac.uk) and we can pick one up for you, let us know how you’d like us to deliver it (pigeonhole / Welfare Office Hour etc). The most straightforward and anonymous way of obtaining one is through CUSU (click here). They are free of charge and will be delivered to your pigeonhole via CUSU-MS, and your details will be deleted after the order.

Chlamydia Testing

If you would like to be tested for Chlamydia, drop either of us an email during termtime and we can collect a testing kit for you from CUSU free of charge. At various ents throughout the year we often hand out testing kits for free. Your results can be texted directly to you, making the process more subtle. Likewise, the most straightforward and anonymous way to get one is online for free at freetest.me.

The Laurels is the NHS Sexual Health Clinic in Cambridge. Their services include sexual health screening and providing free contraception. Appointments are required unless requiring emergency contraception, and there is a no-appointment-needed drop-in session on Saturdays 12.30-1.30pm. The clinic telephone is 08456 50 51 52 and they are located at 20 Newmarket Road. They also have an online booking system and plenty of useful advice and information on their website; https://www.sexualhealthcambs.nhs.uk/index.php.

Personal Safety

Personal Alarms

We are looking to get a supply of personal alarms to be readily available in college, in the meantime if you would like a personal alarm we can also pick those up for you from CUSU free of charge – you can ask either of us or the Women’s Officer.

External Support

Both your Director of Studies and assigned Tutor are happy to talk to you.

  • The college nurses can be found in their office on A corridor – they have certain hours which are posted on this page.
  • The chaplain is also happy to see any member of college in confidence for a chat, click here for more info.
  • College provides a counselling service. You can find information on this page.
  • The UCS (University Counselling Service) is available for any member of the university to use.
  • The CU Students’ Union (CUSU) has a support phoneline open 9am-7pm everyday all year: 07999859940
  • Linkline is a listening support and information service run by students for students across the university. They run 7pm-7am in termtime and can be reached on 01223 744 444 or 01223 367 575.
  • Plenty of information on welfare support can be found on the CUSU website, and good tips for revision, time management and relaxation here.
  • And even more information on types of distress and therapies can be found on the external Counselling Directory website.