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Welcome from the SRC President

Becca Jackson

SRC President 2021-22

Welcome to Hild Bede, your home for the next three years and beyond. Congratulations are in order! A massive well done on the brilliant achievements that have brought you to us. After a challenging period, all of your work and effort has paid off, and you should be immensely proud of yourselves. You are soon to be enrolled at a world class institution, at the best and one of its oldest colleges. There are many things that Hild Bede can boast about. Chief among them is our vibrant community, where everything is run by and for students. No matter your background, there are abundant opportunities and experiences to benefit from. We have over 35 clubs and societies covering everything from rowing to ultimate frisbee – and if a specific group for a niche interest of yours doesn’t yet exist – you can always create one. There are always things to get involved in and do.


We put on multiple events throughout the year, including: our famous Winter and Summer balls; formals; college day; beer festival; quizzes; karaoke and open-mic nights galore! If you want some down-time, we also have a bar and welfare services running throughout term.Our remarkable college is situated within 16 acres of parkland, filled with idyllic scenery and the beautiful River Wear on our doorstep. In terms of facilities, we have: tennis and squash courts, a gym, a renowned theatre, and the first and second-largest cinema in Durham. We have a long-standing reputation for friendliness and passion, and with 450 residents and even more livers-out, you can rest assured that you will find your people and place here.


Upon arrival you will be greeted by our incredible team made up of the executive committee and freshers’ reps (aka Freps). The executive committee are a group of elected student leaders that organise all aspects of life at Hild Bede through their specific roles of responsibility. Our Freps are student volunteers eager to help get you settled in and make your freshers’ week enjoyable. They have spent weeks in preparation to give you an unrivalled, memorable time. Feel free to ask them questions and let us know if you need anything. We can’t wait to meet you all.


I am the president of the SRC (Student Representative Council), which is a huge privilege. My duties are: overseeing the work of our executive committee; representing the student body’s voice to multiple external organisations and managing our events and finances. I live in college and my office is located in the main Hild building, opposite reception. Please feel free to drop in whenever you want or need -  my door is always open, and I will happily provide a cup of tea and chat. Alternatively, you can email me with your queries, no matter how big or small. I am here for you, to make sure you have access to information and feel at ease.


Undoubtedly your time at university will entail difficulties, push you out of your comfort zone, allow you to develop your interests, and forge lifelong friendships. There is no pressure to define this time by your freshers’ week, just trust that by being yourself and open to new things and people, you will flourish here.


Finally, I cannot express how glad we are to have you. Everyone makes a valuable contribution to the college, and we hope to supply an environment where you can grow and prosper. We will support you every step of the way.


Becca Jackson

SRC President 2021-22

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Welcome from the College Principal

Simon Forrest

I am delighted to welcome you to the College of St Hild and St Bede, one of the oldest, and the widely known as the friendliest of the colleges within Durham University. I am full of admiration for all the hard work and endeavour that has gained you a place at Durham University. Many congratulations. We are delighted that we are going to have you as part of our intellectual, social, collegiate and city community.


As you will discover, Hild Bede is a great many wonderful things. It is the place from which we hope to see you continue to fly in your studies. We aim to support your academic life and we are a place where you can engage with student colleagues studying the full range of subjects offered across the University. As a consequence, you will undoubtedly have the opportunity to consider the topics and issues, ideas and contentions in your own field from other perspectives and with the benefit of other disciplinary insights. College plays a part in creating a University-wide culture that recognises that contemporary problems are only resolvable when we think and work across fields of studies and subjects rather than exclusively within each.


Hild Bede is also a place where you will find amazing pastoral and welfare support. I have a fantastic team of colleagues working in student welfare and support and we also provide every student with the opportunity of having a mentor. That is someone to help you find your feet, provide a friendly and supportive contact outside College and, for many people, the basis of a friendship for life. We can link you, if you need them, to the wide variety of specialist services through the University. I am delighted to have the privilege of working in complement with the excellent welfare support provide by your SRC and Welfare Committee. There is great strength in our College’s ability to identify, understand and to address your needs, to make sure that you are looked after. Hild Bede is very much a place where we take care of one another. We welcome all, irrespective of background or experience. You are all part of Hild Bede now. We will respect and look out for you just as we will expect you to respect and look out for others.


My wish for you as you enter College is that, like so many who have gone before, you will succeed in achieving your potential in whatever direction that may lie. There will be the academic component but that might also be in sport, music, arts, theatre, in activism, entrepreneurship, leading and much, much more. I wish for you that you will be able to serve and contribute to society in ways that benefit you and others and also be confident, happy and fulfilled in whatever you do and whoever you become. What I want is for you is to have the time, space and opportunities for that to happen because we have created and sustained Hild Bede as a place of belonging and becoming.


We want to make your arrival and joining us as easy as it can be. From your arrival and throughout your time with us you will also get to know and I am sure love and respect the work of management and staff team which I am fortunate to lead. You will also get to know the many other College staff: the receptionists, porters, housekeepers and catering staff. We are all here to help you settle in and to ensure that everything goes smoothly for you so that you get the most out of your years in Durham and really enjoy your time here.


Our part sits alongside the exceptional leadership and contribution to College made by my friends and colleagues in your SRC. You have a fantastic Executive led by the wonderful President, Joseph Cheadle. It is this body that nurtures, supports and inspires our clubs and societies, organises the amazing events that span our year and provides you with representation in College and into the heart of the University. You, me and College are very lucky indeed to have such a magnificent body at our heart.


We know that we will face some challenges, perhaps especially for the first part of this year, as we meet our commitment to keep our College safe and manage the new world of made by Covid-19. Rest assured that we have been working hard to embrace and meet these and find ways to ensure that your experience is as full and wonderful as ever.


I want to leave you thinking about all the excitement and rich experience to come and with a very warm personal welcome. I hope that you enjoy your time with us as you become a member of the Hild Bede College, community and family. I hope that you will thrive and succeed and feel stretched and that you will grow in terms of confidence and authority, your knowledge or others and world and yourself. I am excited to be with you in this most unique and wonderful period of your lives and look forward to our time together.

Simon Forrest

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