• White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Twitter Icon

Welfare Committee

The MCR Executive Welfare Officer is supported by and organises a committee composed of seven postgraduates. Many specialise in a particular area of support, as well as all being points of contact for anybody wishing to privately discuss any matters big or small. The Welfare Committee is open to anyone who wants to join throughout the year. You can speak to anyone on the committee to find out how.

Selin Tuzlan
Executive Welfare Officer

I’m Selin Tuzlan and I’m doing an MA in English Literary Studies. As the MCR Welfare Officer my responsibility is to make sure all members are aware that we are always here to listen their problems no matter how big or small they might seem. Together with the Welfare Committee, our mission is to hold various events and drop-in sessions to maintain student wellbeing and raise awareness to the issues students might be struggling with. You can always contact me or other committee members through e-mail and everything you share with us will be a hundred percent confidential. We are here to provide support whenever students need it. Feel free to contact me on my phone when you feel like you need to: 07535275565, or via email at

Silvia Xiang
International Welfare Rep.

Hey guys, nice to meet you! I am Silvia, and I am on the Welfare Committee for the MCR this year, alongside these lovely people: Sam, Selin and Lizzie. My role is the International Representative. I’m the go-to person for international students if they have any problems regarding their experience in a foreign country. I’m an international student myself and I struggled too, especially in settling into a new environment and the local social life. I’ve been thinking about how can I help myself and others who have the same problem to live better and enjoy our school life which may be one of the most memorable periods in our whole life.


So as an International Rep, I will be able to look at your problems from a student perspective and lead you to other platforms if you should need it. We will be holding weekly drop-in sessions which is waiting for you to come and talk anything you want with me. We will also held some interesting events to help you better engage in your school life. If you feel upset, or uncomfortable with anything, or if you just want to find someone to talk to, feel free to come to me. I will always be there to help you as much as I can.


How to contact me:

Facebook: Silvia Xiang

Instagram: eleisaphant

WeChat: 714806915

Sam Bailey
LGBTQ+ and Equality Rep.

Hello! I’m Sam, the welfare campaigns officer. This means I’m in charge of co-ordinating the three awareness campaigns over the remaining academic year. These campaigns will focus on sexual assault and domestic violence, hidden mental health and equality of the genders. They’ll consist of a series of informative videos and articles in your weekly newsletter as well as some charitable fundraising ventures and events to be held in the New Year. I will also be running my welfare drop-in sessions (usually 13:00-14:00 on Tuesday afternoons) and helping out with any other welfare events. Feel free to drop me a message on or add me on Facebook. As an arts PhD student I have zero contact hours so am always up for an afternoon coffee or a pint or two in the bar if you fancy a chat.


I did my undergrad at Durham so I might be able to help you with Durham-specific questions about housing, societies, college life and services available but have also lived and worked abroad so know what it’s like to be thrown into life in a foreign country with little guidance. My other interests include French and Hispanic culture, cider, sea life, comic books, cats, cheese and playing board games badly.

Favourite board game: Rumble in the Jungle
Favourite sea creature: Octopus
Favourite cheese: ooh a nice creamy wedge of stilton

Lizzie Bestow
Disabilities Rep.

Hi, I'm Lizzie! I am the Mental Health and Disabilities representative. I share the role with my cuddly toy sloth Nigel. I am a Masters student in Philosophy. I am passionate about supporting and representing those with physical and mental illnesses or disabilities.


I found my time as an undergraduate to be severely impacted by my own mental health conditions. Things deteriorated, for me, to the point where I was sectioned under the mental health act and hospitalized at the end of my second year at Durham. A year on, while I still struggle to live with these conditions, I have found the burden lessened through amassing an arsenal of coping skills and strategies! I hope to be able to put these to good use.


It is important to remember that we all have mental health (while some of us have mental illness); and I hope to address this through campaigns and drop-in sessions (featuring Nigel) which target staying well. Feel free to add me on facebook or contact me through

Elizabeth Hoyt
Assistant Welfare Officer

Greeting and Salutations! I’m Elizabeth, and I’ve just recently joined Castle and the MCR Welfare Committee. However, this is my 4th year in Durham, and I’ve been deeply involved in student representation, so I’m able to help with all sorts of issues you might encounter.


I’m here for whatever you need: if you just want someone to listen, I’m happy to provide an open ear; if you need help navigating the labyrinth that is student support (Counselling Services, Disability Services, etc.), I can definitely support you through the process. I’m especially adept when it comes to issues surrounding mental health, sexual violence, and the intersection between the two. I’m here in whatever way you need me to be, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch:)


A bit about me: I’m an American doing a PhD in Shakespeare. I love yoga and just got into meditation. If you’re wanting to get involved in something new, I can give you contact information or introductions to skydiving, fencing, rifles, 180 Degrees Consulting, coding (CodeFirst: Girls), the DSU (if you’re interested in representing students), the Durham Uni Teaching and Learning Award (‘DULTA’, if you want to join the Higher Education Academy), and invigilating (if you’d like a job during the exam period). If you’re interested in doing a volunteer trip abroad during the summer, but aren’t quite sure what that would entail, I’m happy to talk to you about my own experience doing the Durham Drama Outreach Program in Zambia and teaching english in China. Let me know how I can help!

Contact :