Along with a number of other colleges at Oxford, Balliol is fortunate to have an excellent provision of a peer service. The Balliol Peer Supporters are a group of student volunteers who are available to listen to Balliol members who would like to discuss problems of any nature (stress from work, supervisors, academic performance, sexuality, depression, homesickness, cultural barriers, relationships, etc.), need help dealing with unfortunate events, or simply want someone to rant at.
They have all completed an extensive training programme with the Oxford University Counselling Service, and are committed to providing a non-judgemental and confidential environment where members can share their issues. More information about the training is available here; Balliol’s Peer Support Coordinator is Mischka Byworth, Liaison Counsellor.
They are also familiar with the variety of services the University provides to deal with personal problems, and can direct members to the most appropriate source of help if talking to the Peer Supporters does not resolve a student’s issues.
They are available for all members of College, undergraduate or graduate and living in or out. They are happy to be approached casually - say, at the College bars, in common spaces, or walking through the quads; or members can schedule a time to talk through email or phone. The group is never too busy to listen and provide support.
Please do contact any of the Balliol Peer Supporters listed (by email or phone - see posters in JCR) or approach them in person if you would like to talk to them. They are well placed to understand the sort of pressures the academic environment places on students from different backgrounds, and want to ensure that no one feels as if they are alone in times of trouble.
Balliol Peer Supporters
Junior Common Room:
- Dom Newman
- Luke Chester
- Lydia Straszim
- Francesca Back
- Ben Walker
- Felix Heilmann
Middle Common Room:
- Angharad Jones Buxton
- Mohamed Elmi
- Andrea Schnabl
Graduate Officers with peer support training: