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Durham CityStudent experience

Meet the Student Community Wardens

We are excited about Durham University’s new Student Community Warden service. In its first year, there are two Wardens meeting members of the local community, being a student presence at meetings like the Durham City Safety Group, and planning projects to make Durham a cleaner, greener place.  

We will be helping students to find the information they need to be positive citizens in the Durham community, such as pointing them in the right direction when they have questions about common issues like parking and waste disposal. We will also be working to strengthen the relationships between students and members of the local community.  

Meet the SCW’s

I’m Kat, a second-year Geography student at Van Mildert College. I’m currently living out in rented accommodation, so understand the struggles of figuring out the recycling rules, communicating with difficult landlords and organising bills. I hope that as a warden I can make this transition a bit easier for other students and provide clear information and advice on living out. I’m also passionate about environmental sustainability and am excited to work with the University and community partners to come up with ways to make Durham more sustainable.  

I’m Mina, a final year student at Josephine Butler College studying Philosophy. As part of the new Student Community Warden service, I hope to help students with questions about living out in Durham and improve their relationship with the local community with a message of positive citizenship. I also have a particular interest in environmental ethics and hope to promote sustainability and important practical things like recycling and keeping Durham clean and tidy.  

Our work focuses on five key areas… 


Creating a positive relationship between students and the wider Durham community is at the heart of what we hope to accomplish. It’s such a shame that students are frequently presented as a burden to their local community when we have a lot to offer and want to be a positive part of the community. Having already attended several meetings with partners and stakeholders, we understand the current issues and concerns. We hope to encourage students to become more active members of the Durham community by giving them updates and advice. 


For most students, university is the first time they have had to live away from home independently and navigate issues like disposing of waste and recycling effectively, maintaining a home, and being considerate of their neighbors. On top of this, as first-time tenants, it’s important that students are aware of their rights and responsibilities. We will be providing students with key information and tips on these subjects, through our recently launched Facebook page @DUSCWs.  


With the effects of climate change already taking their toll on our planet, we know that environmental sustainability is an issue that both students and locals in Durham are concerned about. We are proud of the many steps the University has already taken to cut their carbon footprint, such as implementing their carbon management plan, and hope to involve the local community in this important change. We will be supporting pre-existing green initiatives run by the University, such as the Green Move Out Scheme, as well as looking into the potential of new projects involving the local community. 

A big focus for us as Student Community Wardens is to encourage proper recycling. We will be raising awareness about the local recycling guidelines to students and encouraging an attitude of sustainability through earth-conscious campaigns.   

Overall, the warden service is designed to be a point of contact between students and the wider community. We will be working with colleagues and community partners to signpost students to appropriate services in response to identified needs and to support any ongoing university and community initiatives. As I’m sure we’re all aware, university operations have been very different this past year as a result of Covid-19. We plan to provide students with clear updates and advice on the University’s response to government advice, including information about the resumption of wider student experience activities. 

How do I get involved and stay up to date?

Follow us on Facebook @DUSCWs

Look at our webpage

For more specific information email community.swceoffice@durham.ac.uk

Kat Gresswell and Mina English

I'm Kat, a second-year Geography student at Van Mildert College. I’m Mina, a final year student at Josephine Butler College studying Philosophy.
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