Welfare & Equal Opportunities



As your Welfare and Education officers, we aim to cater for the wellbeing of students in the MCR from a number of angles. Firstly, we are here to support our peers through whatever issues they may be facing, whether that be academic, personal, big or small – we’re here to help! During term time, we run weekly drop in sessions on a Wednesday evening so that anybody can feel free to come along and talk. We are also contactable online via our email address (mcr-welfare-officer@dow.cam.ac.uk). Beyond this, there is also weekly tea and cake provided for free in the MCR on a Sunday at 3pm – a great chance to chill out and chat with other members of the MCR. In the MCR you’ll also find a new selection of Self Help books, these provide a chance to try and understand issues that you or your friends may be facing, without the potentially worrying aspect of approaching somebody you’re not necessarily comfortable with. Finally, keep an eye out for one off events and well-being advice on our Facebook page (Downing MCR Welfairy or Downing MCR Events) or via email!

Keep happy and healthy!

Here is a list of useful contacts and sources:

  • Welfare Officer: mcr-welfare-officer@dow.cam.ac.uk
  • Downing College Nurse: nurse@dow.cam.ac.uk
  • The CUSU Welfare Officer: http://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/contacts/welfare/
    Email: welfare@cam.ac.uk
  • CUSU Academic Officer: academic@cam.ac.uk
  • The Student Advice Centre: http://www.studentadvice.cam.ac.uk/
    Email: advice@studentadvice.cam.ac.uk
    Tel: 01223 746999
  • CUSU Student Support phone: 07999859940 (9am – 7pm every day, all year)
  • Linkline: Anonymous, non-judgmental, confidential support by fully trained volunteers. 7pm-8am every night in full term: 01223 367575 or (7)44444, or drop in to 8 St. Edwards passage
  • Cambridge Samaritans: Anonymous non-judgmental and confidential support 24hr freefone 08459 909090 (national), 4 Emmanuel Rd 01223 364455 9am-10:30pm
  • University Counselling Service: Counselling, Free advice and useful resources for all students. 13-14 Trumpington St. 01223 332865 during Office Hours. Their (http://www.counselling.cam.ac.uk) includes all their leaflets on exam stress, depression etc. (as does our Nurse)
  • Cambridge Citizen’s Advice Bureau: (http://www.cambridgecab.co.uk) Providing free, confidential, impartial, independent advice and practical help with your problems – general, welfare & benefits, money, employment, consumer, family, mental health etc… Phone 08701 264 010.
  • Centre 33: Free counselling and info for U25s. 33 Clarendon St. 01223 316488 (times vary during the week, call to confirm).
  • Doctors: 48 Lensfield Rd – appointments on 01223 351779, otherwise 352779
  • NHS Direct: Non-emergency medical information and advice, staffed by nurses. 0845 4647 or (http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/ )
  • Disability Resource Centre: Help/advice for disabilities (physical and mental including dyslexia). Silver Street, 01223 332301 (office hours) or email at ucam-disability@lists.cam.ac.uk
  • Urgent Care Cambridge: 0330 1239131
  • University’s Childcare Information Adviser: Available to help all students with children with child related matters. Including information on childcare, financial assistance and university facilities.
  • Sexuality
    CUSU Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay support: Info/support on sexuality. Phone line and parenting scheme 01223 740777 8-10pm Tues in term. Or email (lesbigay@cusu.cam.ac.uk) or look at their http://www.lgbt.cusu.cam.ac.uk/
  • Drugs, alcohol and related problems
    Alcoholics Anonymous: 01223 833900 or 08457 697555 (national)
  • Bridge Project Drug Advice Centre: Counselling, treatment and info; free and confidential. 154 Mill Rd 01223 214614
  • National Drugs Helpline: 24hr freefone: 0800 776600
  • Drug and Alcohol service: Treatment and advice for drug, alcohol and tranquilliser dependency. Mill House, Brookfields Hospital, 351 Mill Rd. 01223 723020.
  • Sexual health
    National AIDS Helpline: 24hr freefone 0800 567123.
  • Beeline: Pregnancy, child care and sexual health advice/support from trained male and female volunteers. Saturday and Sunday during full term 3-5pm, 01223 333179 or email beeline@cusu.cam.ac.uk.
  • Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre: 01223 358314 Wednesday 7-10pm, Saturday 11am-5pm, machine at other times.
  • Clinic 1A: Genitourinary clinic and sexual health advisory centre. Addenbrookes Hospital, Hills Rd 01223 217774.
  • Eating Disorders
    Eating Disorders Support line: Mondays and Wednesdays 8-10pm in term 01223 740555 or email eds@cusu.cam.ac.uk


Equal Opportunities

At Downing

Downing college is home to a diverse and vibrant community. The Equal Opportunities Officer is here to make sure that the MCR is inclusive, accessible and respectful to all, and recognises and celebrates our differences regarding gender, sexuality, race, religion, background and ability. We host film nights and discussion groups, organise trips to interesting events in Cambridge, and support MCR students who encounter issues due to their identity.

External resources

Disclaimer: whilst we have been careful to check the suitability of these organisations as contact points, we cannot be held responsible for the work or advice of any external organisation. This list should also not be treated as exhaustive. If you would like to suggest any changes or additions, please drop a line to the Equal Opportunities Officer.


  • University of Cambridge Equal Opportunities Policy. This document outlines the University’s commitment to equality and diversity.
  • Dignity@Work. The Dignity@Work policy statement explains the University’s commitment to protecting the dignity of all its members and what action can be taken in cases of harassment, bullying or other inappropriate behaviour.
  • Open Out Cambridgeshire. A third-party reporting scheme where you can report any prejudice incident or hate crime confidentially and, if you so wish, anonymously. If you choose to report the incident to the police, Open Out can act as an intermediary and help you through the process.
  • Cambridge & Diversity. This project celebrates and explores eight hundred years of University of Cambridge history by highlighting the stories of its past and current staff and students.
  • Equality and Diversity Events at the University of Cambridge


  • CUSU Women’s Campaign. The CUSU Women’s Campaign works to eliminate all forms of gender disadvantage within the University. All students who self-define as women are automatically members and can benefit from their representation and support.
  • Cambridge Graduate Women’s Network. A meeting place for graduate students in Cambridge to discuss issues of interest to all. It holds one meeting per term where one academic speaker and one industry speaker share their views on the chosen topic through their own life stories.
  • Cambridge AWiSE. The network for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in Cambridge. It provides support, information and regular networking opportunities to help women stay in their chosen field and make the most of their careers.
  • WiSETI: Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative. A positive action initiative that promotes and supports women at all levels of science at the University of Cambridge, from undergraduates to professors. It aims to redress the under-representation of women in employment and career progression.
  • Women@cl provides local, national and international activities for women engaged in computing research in Cambridge and supports them in their careers (only one in four computing PhDs, one in eight computing academic staff and one in twenty computing professors are female).
  • Women in Biology. Resources for women at any stage of their studies or career in the biological, medical and veterinary sciences.
  • Cambridge Feminist Society. The society aims to dispel myths about what feminism represents and attempts to enable more men and women to self-define as feminist. It holds socials, provides a safe space where feminists may come together, invites speakers, puts on arts and music events and promotes other feminist happenings around the Cambridge area.
  • Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment Campaign at CUSU.
  • Cambridge Rape Crisis provides a confidential and non-judgemental listening, support and information service to any woman who has suffered sexual assault. Its lines are staffed by women who have been trained to understand the needs of survivors of sexual assault.
  • Cambridge Domestic Violence Action Group. The port of call for anyone seeking information on dealing with domestic violence, including details of the various support services available in Cambridge.


  • CUSU LGBT is the sub-division of the Cambridge University Students’ Union that represents LGBT (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender) students across the university. The campaign is very active and has lots of regular events – you can sign up to the mailing list for more information.
  • Thinking Globally. A leaflet with information about the safety and wellbeing of LGBT students who are considering work, study or research overseas.
  • Trans Students in Higher Education is a resource on transgender equality with lots of information on terminology, the process of gender reassignment, practical issues (from accommodation to sports) and the general support of transgender students.

Black and minority ethnic


Physical and mental health

University Counseling Service