Peer Support

Somerville College Peer Supporters make up the main body of the JCR welfare team. Our goal is to ensure that no one in college feels isolated in their time of need.


Students who have received training from The University Counselling Service. They are able to listen to you fully and talk through whatever is going on for you, without any judgement. This is completely confidential.


You bet it is! None of us are immune to bad days and, so, none of the peer supporters are for someone in particular. Whatever it is, don’t hesitate to contact them either via email/Facebook or by simply approaching them.


You can simply approach peer supporters when you see them. Alternatively, you can e-mail them or contact them on Facebook (click on each peer supporter’s name for a link to their profile).


You’ll need to apply later in Michaelmas – look out for an application form on Facebook. If you receive a place, you’ll need to attend training in Hilary. Don’t hesitate to ask peer supporters for more details.



Peer Supporters 2018/19


Ria Chavda

Hey, I’m Ria! I’m a third year Mathematician from London. I’ve completed Peer Supporter training run by the University Counselling Service, which is intended to give me skills to help others dealing with a range of issues, from adjusting to university life to mental health. I did Peer Support training because I have had several encounters with mental health issues through family and friends, and so wanted to be able to support others in any capacity I can! I’m always happy to talk through anything that’s bothering you, no matter how big or seemingly insignificant – the smallest conversations can honestly make the biggest difference!



Sowon Lee


Hi, I’m Sowon and I’m a fourth year classicist. I was a peer supporter at my high school in the US because I wanted to be someone you could confide in, who was more relatable than a teacher. It’s important to have someone you can trust and talk to – whatever’s on your mind, you can message/find me in person!




Sade Clarke

Hi all! I’m Sade (she/her) and I’m a 3rd year CAAHist from Croydon. I wanted to be a peer supporter because I think that it is essential to have someone to talk to when you’re struggling with something! Having undergone training, I am well equip to truly listen to whatever may be bothering you whether it be something big or small! I’m a friendly face you’ll commonly see around college and so do not feel worried about approaching me.

Sade is a peer of colour.


Daanial Chaudhry

I’m Daanial, a second year PPEist from London. I completed my 30 hours of Peer Support training this year and I know from personal experience that talking about issues affecting you (whether big or small) can really make a difference. If there’s anything that you want to talk about and reason through, I am happy to meet up and talk it through.



Finbar Kavanagh

Hey! I’m Fin. I decided to join the peer support program because I wanted to improve my listening skills in a welfare capacity. I believe that everyone should be able to express their emotions and feelings, whether to friends or a peer, openly in the confidence that they will not be judged. I am personally passionate about men’s mental health, something society is only really just starting to acknowledge. Whatever your concerns are, big or small, please feel free to stop me and we can arrange a chat.


Gerda Mickute

The concept of peer support seems slightly unconventional to most people: “You’re here to listen, but can’t give advice? Then what’s the point?”
A large chunk of our training was listening and that meant we had to open up ourselves. It didn’t take much time to appreciate how liberating it is to get something off your chest (sometimes hardly even realising it was bothering you). The peer supporter is there to listen and follow up on your thoughts, helping you to verbalise and better understand the feelings that wouldn’t leave you alone.



Yinni Hu

Hey, I’m Yinni! I’m a second year PPEist from Norway and I’m super excited to be one of the peer supporters! Life isn’t exactly always a bed of roses in this pressure cooker we’re in, so my role is making sure that you always have someone to turn to if things get difficult. While I know first-hand that many issues can feel either too big or too insignificant to share, I also know that having someone listen to them can make a world of difference, and being that listener is exactly what I’m here for! As a trained peer supporter I am bound by 100% confidentiality, so please, please do not hesitate to come for a chat no matter what is bothering you!       


Alyssa Crabb


What the role of Peer Support means to me is that one has the skills in order to help someone. We are able to help people and point them in the right direction for further help if needed, or even just to improve someone’s general mood and day. Our college’s ethos is to be welcoming to all, and Peer Supporters are a friendly face around college. I became a Peer Supporter because I want to help make college a comfortable place for everyone!




Niamh Walshe

Hi, I’m Niamh, and I’m a fourth year English and Italian student. I have no co-ordination whatsoever but I love sport so can usually be found in the powerlifting room at Iffley spending 90% of my time talking and 10% actually lifting. I love being at Somerville but life here is not always smooth sailing and I’ve found that having someone to talk to in college can make a hugely positive difference when I’m not feeling 100%. I did 30 hours of peer support training in my 2nd year because I believe sharing how you feel, even if you’re not sure where to start or what it is that you’re feeling, massively helps. There really is no problem too big or too small so please come say hi or find me on Facebook/E-mail if you fancy a chat.

Niamh is a rainbow peer.