Student wellbeing

At Downing, we want our students to function well, feel good and flourish academically and socially. That’s why we support all aspects of their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Downing’s wellbeing service is delivered by a Head of Student Wellbeing, a Student Wellbeing Advisor, two College Nurses and a physiotherapist. We take a holistic, proactive and preventative approach to wellbeing, with the aim of supporting, improving and protecting students’ wellbeing.

We offer a range of wellbeing interventions including guided self-help; one-to-one physical and mental health advice and signposting; wellbeing support groups; and wellbeing plans to help students access their studies. We also promote positive physical, mental and community health and run wellbeing campaigns, activities and events.

The wellbeing service is based in the Wellbeing Centre, Howard Lodge, and is fully accessible.

More information about student support can be found here.

The Downing wellbeing team

Dr Kate Daniels, Head of Student Wellbeing

Kate is a BACP-registered psychotherapist. She liaises with the wider College welfare team and oversees wellbeing service design and delivery. Her aims are to improve student mental health literacy and better understand the key risks and protective factors for student wellbeing.

Kate provides one-to-one psychological and emotional support to Downing students, including:

  • One-off wellbeing chats and check-ins
  • A reflective space in which to feel heard and understood
  • Advice and guided self-help on themes such as stress and anxiety, low mood, self-care and coping strategies
  • Signposting to relevant services within College, the University or the NHS
  • Assessments and consultations for more complex mental health difficulties
  • Crisis support as needed

Kate also coordinates and delivers wellbeing workshops and activities.

Rachel Lister and Lara Murphy, College Nurses

Our College Nurses offer a range of health and wellbeing support for students including assessment, signposting and advice with minor injuries or mild to moderate mental health difficulties. They can coordinate support from your GP and, in some instances, refer you for more specialised help or treatment.

To book an appointment with a College Nurse, please log on to Moodle via the College Nurse Registration and Appointments page

Rebecca Fensome, Student Wellbeing Advisor

Rebecca is our Student Wellbeing Advisor and supports students with a variety of wellbeing needs. She works 1:1 with students to help with issues such as stress, anxiety, relationship problems, time management, sleep, motivation, low mood, and a range of mental health issues. Rebecca is an experienced wellbeing practitioner who specialises in mindfulness and offers 1:1 teaching to students in this area.

As well as 1:1 work, Rebecca organises and coordinates wellbeing events and workshops for students. These range from sharing information and techniques to improve your wellbeing and events aimed at providing relaxation and self-care.

You can book an appointment with Rebecca via email

Karen White, College Physiotherapist

Our experienced physiotherapist Karen White provides early access to assessment and treatment of joint and soft tissue problems. The College physiotherapy service also offers help with relaxation exercises, posture re-education and ongoing Musculoskeletal problems. 

Please contact the College Nurse if you would like a referral to the free College physiotherapy service provided by the Cambridge City Physiotherapy Clinic, at Cambridge Regional College, Cambridge CB4 2QT.

First aid

A first aid box is held in the Porters’ Lodge and all Downing College Porters are trained first aiders. Porters' Lodge telephone: 01223 334800.

An accident form must be completed for any injury requiring first aid which is sustained on College property. Forms are available from the Porters’ Lodge.