Health, Welfare and Disability

Student health and welfare is a top priority at Somerville, and the level of pastoral support is high.

The Welfare Team

The Welfare Officer, Jo Ockwell, co-ordinates welfare provision in the college, providing frontline support to individual students and helping shape the college welfare policy.

Somerville students are generally very supportive of each other. The JCR Welfare Officers’ doors are always open to students with any sort of problem, as are those of the Peer Supporters (whose members are trained by the University Counselling Service).

All students have a Personal Tutor with whom they can discuss any problems, both academic and personal. The Senior Tutor holds regular office hours during which students are welcome to drop in with any welfare concerns. In addition, each student has an annual meeting with the Principal, which is an opportunity to discuss academic and non-academic matters alike.

The College Nurse, Glenys Knighton, is available in college every week day during term time. Please see her office door, Darbishire 16, for her hours.

Outside of office hours, the Junior Deans oversee non-academic student discipline, and provide welfare support to students. The Junior Deans live in College, and one of them is on call every evening, night and weekend during full term. They are available to provide crisis support, and to ensure that the needs and interests of the College, and of all the College members, are respected. Deans’ Regulations & Decanal Disciplinary Procedure explains students’ obligations as members of the College community. In 2020/10 the Junior Deans are Sybilla Pereira, Alex Sheader, Faizal Bin Abdul Aziz and Anna Yakovleva.

A counsellor from the Counselling Service, David Anderson, works at Somerville one morning a week. He can be contacted at

College Welfare Procedures and Information

JCR Welfare Booklet 2020-21

Student Welfare Poster 2020-21

Welfare – A Guide for Tutors

Somerville College Confidentiality Policy

College Harassment Policy

Welfare and Wellbeing Support – Christmas Vacation 2020


We would also like to direct your attention to the University Counselling Service, open to all students, which is just round the corner from Somerville. Visit its Web page here. One day a week a counsellor from the University Counselling Service sees students in Somerville. The College Counsellor can be contacted at


We welcome applications from people with disabilities and are committed to making reasonable adjustments so that all students can participate fully in the life of the College.  Our building access guide can be found here.

The Welfare Officer is the College Disability contact. Please contact her at if you have any questions relating to disability. The College’s Disability Lead is the Senior Tutor. The college operates within the Common Framework for Supporting Disabled Students. Students can also contact the Disability Advisory Service for advice about a range of issues and also regarding the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

Somerville is able to provide specific accommodation or equipment for students with a disability / disabilities or long term health condition. Applicants and offer holders should contact the Welfare Officer ( to discuss their needs prior to arrival. Continuing students can apply for specific accommodation or equipment through the ‘Application for Accommodation Off-Ballot’ Process. More information about how to apply can be found in the Procedure for allocation of rooms off-ballot.

General medical care

You will be eligible to seek some medical care from the National Health Service (NHS), the State-run service covering all aspects of health. Depending on your residency status, you may not be eligible to access all services provided by the NHS. Information on the NHS is available at If you have medical concerns, your first port of call will probably be one of our College Doctors, Dr Fiona Boyle and Dr Paul Ch’en, who are based at the Jericho Health Centre ( A College Nurse also holds consulting sessions at Somerville every day during term time.

Dental treatment

The College has agreed limited dental cover with:

David Le Tocq, 31 Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2NZ

Tel: +44 (0)1865 557 507

This agreement will only provide for emergency treatment at a special rate for students, which is on a par with NHS rates. All other dental work provided by Dr Le Tocq will be at the request of individuals, who will be fully liable for all costs at private rates. Students who are already registered with an NHS dentist are therefore urged to retain that registration, and to undergo dental treatment at their home surgery during vacation periods. There is also a Studental dental practice based at Oxford Brookes University which takes NHS patients. Further details can be obtained from the practice’s website at

Cycling safety

Cycling in Oxford is a very good idea as it’s often the fastest way of getting round the city and research has shown that the more people cycle, the safer it becomes. Please visit and for more information about how to keep yourself and your bike safe.

Personal security

Safety and well-being are taken very seriously at Oxford. Advice on personal and property crime prevention, staying safe on nights out and who to contact in an emergency is available on the Oxford Students website. In particular, you are reminded to:

  • Register personal possessions that have serial numbers such as laptops, mobile phone and cameras on Immobilise, the National Property Register.
  • Put laptops in a locked drawer when they are not being used, even if you just leave the room briefly, particularly if your room is on the ground floor and your desk is near an open window.
  • Back up work on a USB stick which is kept in a separate location, or use a cloud-based storage facility such as DropBox, Microsoft Cloud or iCloud.
  • Consider using a tracking service in case any of your devices are stolen, such as Prey Project.

Security Services can be reached 24 hours a day at 01865 (2)72944 or (2)89999 in an emergency. Incidents can also be reported online on the Security Services website (