A Statement from the College

Churchill College endorses the Vice Chancellor's statement regarding the events surrounding George Floyd's death in the USA. Racism has no place in our community. Please read our statement here

Covid-19 Update

Due to the latest government update the College is now closed to all but essential staff. If you are a staff member and you need help with logging into the Staff Area with your Raven ID, please click here.

Counselling service

Counselling at Churchill

The College provides a confidential counselling support service for students and staff. You can talk to the Counsellor about any issue that is troubling you.

In the period April-June 2020, the Counsellor is providing remote video or audio welfare appointments using Zoom or a similar platform. You can choose either a 30- or 50-minute appointment.

Counselling offers a safe, non-judgemental space to talk about your problems. The Counsellor will listen carefully and help you to explore aspects of your life and feelings. This can relieve your distress, increase your personal understanding and perhaps assist you to make helpful changes in your life.

While talking to family, friends or other staff can be helpful, there may be times when you want to talk to someone outside your normal life and who is professionally trained. It can sometimes feel daunting to go and see a counsellor but these feelings usually dissipate fairly quickly and most people find it a helpful experience. 

You can use counselling to help you work through any personal issue from immediate concerns to longer-term problems. Issues people bring include, abuse, anxiety, bereavement, depression, eating disorders, family difficulties, identity, procrastination, relationships or social concerns, self-harm, settling in, sexual harassment, sexuality, stress or suicidal feelings.

The Counsellor, Tim Ellis, has a wide range of experience, especially in working with students. If the College Counsellor judges it appropriate and likely to be helpful, it may be possible to arrange to see another, female, Counsellor.


To request an appointment, please email. The Counsellor will normally reply within 24 hours. Depending upon demand and your availability, the Counsellor will try to offer you an appointment within about a week.



Appointments are offered on weekdays between 0800 - 1900 BST (0700 - 1800 UTC) in arrangement with the Counsellor.


In person counselling sessions are not currently available. Normally, the room is 1H at the top of staircase 1.

Taster sessions

If you are new to counselling or welfare, or new to using it remotely, you are welcome to have a 30-minute audio or video session instead of a longer session. You can use the initial session to get a feel for it and ask any questions you may have. 

Other counselling available

The University Counselling Service is currently offering 30-50 minute welfare appointments remotely. The website includes a large number of self-help leaflets with information about a range of common difficulties. It also provides a comprehensive list of other sources of help and advice

Staff can use the Staff Counselling Service. The Service is providing remote sessions to existing clients but it is not taking new clients.

Out of hours support

Samaritans, Cambridge Branch is the local branch of a national service for people in distress or despair. Calls may be answered by someone in a different branch. You can use the service if you are currently outside the UK.

The Cambridge branch is not currently open for personal visits.

Available for phone and email contact: 24 hours, every day.
Email: jo@samaritans.org
In the UK Tel: 116 123
Outside the UK Tel: +44 (0)330 094 5717
Calls from abroad are charged at international rates and the call will appear on your bill.

NHS 111 Service: In the UK you can message or telephone the NHS for mental (or physical) health information and the contact details of local services. The online service will not require a wait. It is not possible to use this service outside the UK.

Tel: 111
Message: https://111.nhs.uk/sms

The Sanctuary is an NHS service providing a safe place for people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis. It is still open normal hours.

Open: 6pm–1am every day
Tel: 111, option 2 

Nightline will be closed in Easter Term 2020. It normally offers a helpline run by students for students in Cambridge. When open you can phone, instant message, email or Skype.

Open: 7pm–7am in full-term only
Email: email@cambridge.nightline.ac.uk
Skype: Cambridge.Nightline
Tel: 01223 744 444

Saneline is a national mental helpline providing specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by a mental health issue or crisis, including friends and family. Although the helpline is not open as normal, you can leave a message and they will call you back as soon as they can.

Tel: 07984 967 708 and leave a message with your first name and a contact number.
Email: support@sane.org,uk

The NHS has a list of other helplines, some relating to specific issues.

Confidentiality and Data Protection

All personal information provided to the counselling service is confidential and private, and no information will be passed on to anyone else without your consent. The only exception to this is if you, or someone else, are at risk of significant harm; or when the College is legally obliged to do so.

Minimal confidential and anonymous case notes are kept, stored separately from a list of names and email addresses. The information is securely stored on the Churchill College IT system, or in a locked filing cabinet. This information is not shared (unless you request it to be shared) and used only to facilitate ongoing counselling work (the only exception, as stated above, if there is a serious and imminent risk to safety). This information is kept according to the Records Retention Schedule of the College for 7 years and then deleted.  The counsellor’s personal and more detailed case notes are shredded at the end of the work with you.  You can request to see or have a copy of the data that is held or withdraw your consent at any time by contacting counsellor@chu.cam.ac.uk.   

You will be asked to electronically sign a form confirming your understanding and consent to these arrangements prior to your first video or audio session.

Ethical standards and complaints

The Counsellor is professionally registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and abides by its Code of Ethics and Professional Practice

If you have a complaint, you are welcome to raise it directly with the Counsellor either during a session or at another time, either by email or by telephone. The Counsellor will try to resolve the issue with you. If you do not want to do that, or if you want to take the matter further, you are welcome to contact the Senior Tutor.

A further option is to make a complaint to the Counsellor's professional registration body, the UKCP.

For legal purposes, the Counsellor operates from the UK and the sessions will be treated as UK-based, wherever you are located. It is understood that you explicitly consent to this when you participate in a session.

Welfare support at Churchill