Welfare at Mary’s (WAM)

WAM is here to do whatever they can to help anyone who may be struggling at university. The two head WAM Officers, Fran and Charlie, sit on the executive committee, and the four assistant WAM Officers, Georgia, Apostolos, Naomi, Jules, sit on the ex-officio committee. Each Officer runs a weekly drop-in session where anyone can go and have a chat over some tea and chocolates. There are also free welfare supplies, such as condoms and pregnancy tests available.

WAM also runs ‘Burst Out of the Bubble’ events for the whole college, designed to give everyone a chance to escape the so-called Durham ‘Bubble’ and have some fun in the surrounding area.

Here you can meet WAM:

Head Female WAM Officer: Fran Walker, Law, 3rd Year

Hello lovely freshers! I’m Fran and I’m a third year Law student. First of all, huge well done for getting into Durham, and of course, the best College! I have no doubt that you will have the most amazing time here.

I will be your Female Welfare Officer this year, previously being the Assistant Female Welfare Officer in my second year, so I would like to think you are in safe hands. So, here at Mary’s the student-led welfare team is known as WAM. This past year we have changed the structure of welfare from 4 Officers (and an incredible committee) to 6 Officers + committee which just means more support and access for you!

Essentially the role of WAM is to be a student point-of-contact for the students of Mary’s to ensure that the College is as happy and safe a place as it can possibly be. The Officers’ main roles are to hold drop-ins weekly for anybody to attend if they are having a tough time, want to grab some health supplies or would just like a chat, and also to run campaigns throughout the year on a variety of topics pertinent to university students such as sexual health, mental health and consent. We hope that these facilitate discussion and provide a safe space for learning. This is where the committee really gets involved, as although the campaigns are overseen by the officers, the amazing individuals on the committee really get free reign over how they are executed. We are always looking to expand our committee and it would be amazing if you would like to be a part of it!

Aside from welfare, I’ve been the Publicity Rep for Mary’s FemSoc, helped out on the Ball Committees, and was also a Post-Offer Visit Day Rep. At university level, I also joined the Labour and Mooting socieities and became a Junior Legal Advisor for LawWorks Probono Project and am currently a Campus Captain for Sanctuary Graduates. I really recommend you throw yourself into Durham life and take over opportunity that comes your way!

Back to welfare, five of the upcoming Officers will be present throughout Fresher’s week so if you need anything at all, feel free to come and have a chat! I know that the move to university can be daunting but talking about anything you are struggling with is so important. If you have any questions at all feel free to email me at francesca.l.walker@urham.ac.uk.

Head Male WAM Officer: Charlie Gerlack, Geography, 3rd Year

Hi everyone! I’m Charlie. I’m a third year studying Geography (BA). Throughout this year I will be your Head Male Welfare Officer so you will be seeing plenty of me in and around college; whether it’s during a weekly drop ins where you can come for a chat about any issues/concerns you are having or during one of the termly awareness campaigns led by our committee, Welfare at Mary’s. Caring and looking after the welfare of our students is integral to Mary’s and we pride ourselves on this.

Aside from WAM, I’ve also thrown myself into as much sport as I can since I’ve been here. I’m the Hockey Club Captain, I play football, dabble in darts on a Monday night, as well as cricket during the summer term. There have been so many good memories of college in my two years it’s impossible to list them all, but captaining the men’s hockey team to promotion is definitely up there. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at charlie.gerlack@durham.ac.uk.

Assistant Female WAM Officer: Georgia Greenburgh, Classical Civilisation, 2nd Year

Hiya! I am Georgia, a second year Classical Civilisation student who will be your Assistant Female Welfare Officer this year.

Firstly, a massive well done on getting into Durham and, more specifically Mary’s. As I am sure you have probably gathered by now we are known for being the friendliest college and I am so proud that WAM (not to be confused with hit 80’s pop sensation) is a part of what makes it so.

As an assistant officer I am available for a chat about everything and anything! Whether it be academic, social, sexual or more personal, our weekly drop-ins are the perfect time to discuss. You can also get involved through the Welfare Committee which help to run fun campaigns throughout the year. This is how I first came to be involved with WAM and it was the best thing I did in first year! We are all so keen about WAM and evolving the conversation on topics such as sexual health, consent and mental health, so if you want to get involved please do!

My first year at Mary’s was honestly the best year of my life. I met my best friends, got involved with things I never thought I would, lived in one of the most beautiful places in the world and partied, a lot. (legend) I became involved with drama at Mary’s, taking a “starring role” in the Panto which was one of the best ways to meet people across all the years at Mary’s. I also helped out with Ball Committees, which make the night even more fun when you see your hard work pay off. Being a part of the LGBT+ Association at Mary’s was super fun and if any of you ever want to come to Osborne’s let me know and I will dance with you until the sun comes up.

Seriously though, get involved with everything you can even if it is just for a trial session and decide it isn’t for you. Enjoy your Fresher’s experience and if you need/want to chat to someone come find me (you can’t pay me to shut up really). If you have any more questions, please message me on Facebook or email me at georgia.greenburgh@durham.ac.uk.

Assistant Male WAM Officer: Apostolos Kokoris, Physics, 2nd Year

Hey everyone! I’m Apostolos, a second year Physics student from Greece. Congrats on getting into Durham and a huge welcome to Mary’s from me!

I will be your Assistant Male Welfare Officer for this year so expect to see more of me in college and on the Facebook page! As an assistant welfare officer I’m here to talk and help with any questions or problems you might have; I will have a weekly drop-in so feel free to come and talk if you have any problems or even just to chat! The welfare team also runs many campaigns that touch on various important topics for students that range from consent, to mental health, to body positivity, and more; these campaigns ultimately aim to raise awareness and start a conversation. In short, we’re here to help keep Mary’s the best college in Durham! All of us are here to help so don’t hesitate to come and see us if you want to talk!

Apart from welfare, I’ve also gotten involved with Mary’s Football Club, Mary’s Softball Club, Mary’s Mario Kart Society and I was a Course Rep. There’s honestly something for everyone in Durham and Mary’s and even though first year can be daunting getting involved in societies is easy and fun! The highlight of my first year would have to be Mary’s Day, having heard so much about it over the year and finally being able to experience it myself was an amazing way to finish first year.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch either on Facebook or by email at apostolos.kokoris@durham.ac.uk.

Assistant WAM Officer: Naomi Clarke, English Literature, 2nd Year

Hello everyone! I’m Naomi, Northern Irish second year studying English Literature. First and foremost, a massive congratulations on getting into Durham and welcome to Mary’s!

Mary’s has a special place in my heart as it welcomed me in immediately with friendly people and beautiful buildings, which I hope will make you feel at home here soon enough! Our college prides itself on looking out for its students, especially their welfare, which is why it has one of the largest welfare societies in the university (WAM)! I am very excited to be your assistant welfare officer next year, you can come see me during my drop-ins if you have any issues or just want a chat!

The WAM committee runs campaigns throughout the year raising awareness of important issues and getting involved in these has been one of the most rewarding parts of my year and I hope some of you will join in as well to help give back to the college and students.

I’m also involved with the arts side of Mary’s with the ball committees and I’ll be your publicity officer for Mary’s Dance and secretary for Mary’s Drama company! Outside the college I’m involved with the journalism as Head of News for Purple Radio and a writer for the Palatinate, a Durham student newsletter!

My advice is to ask for help whenever, if it’s an explanation in a seminar or advice from a friend. Everyone’s trying to work themselves out at uni and we are all here to help each other along the way. So be open to new things and people as much as possible and you’ll come across loads of new opportunities!

If you have any queries about anything at all, you can drop me a message: naomi.a.clarke@durham.ac.uk, excited to meet you all in September!

Assistant WAM Officer (Livers Out): Jules Mangelaars, Law, 3rd Year

Hi everyone!! I’m Jules, a third year law student and I’m super excited to be your livers out welfare rep this year.

In my role, I’m here to help you with all things housing. This ranges from helping you sort out private housing to organising livers out brunches for second, third, and fourth years. Apart from that, I’ll also hold welfare drop ins! Besides my welfare role, I have been a member of the boat club and been head of decs for masquerade ball.

My best memory from college is Midsummer Ball of my first year. My best friend and I went round the ferris wheel spiny thing (whatever that’s called?) at least ten times, until she threatened to be sick on me.

If you have any questions feel free to pop me an email at goedele.mangelaars@durham.ac.uk.