Information for Parents and Guardians

Supporting your children or relatives to attend university can be both an exciting and worrying time for parents and guardians. We hope that the information on these webpages help to raise your awareness of the support available to our students and offer some advice on how you can help. 

Some students may settle in quickly to university life and immerse themselves in their new environment and routine, however for most it will take them a little longer to settle in. This is usual in times of change. Because of this, during Welcome Week and the first week of term, the Wellbeing Team facilitates Welcome Wobbles sessions which provide an opportunity for new students to come and talk to one of our team in a quiet and confidential space.

Please do encourage students to attend one of these sessions if they are feeling worried or overwhelmed with starting university. These excellent Student Minds resources may also be of help.

What can I do to help?

Support and Signpost: Providing a listening and supportive presence at the end of a phone could be really important. You might be able to help them to get perspective on the situation and also signpost them to support at university should they require this.

Step-by-step: Encouraging them to take the start of university one day at a time could help it seem less overwhelming. Asking them to focus on today, what their plan is and who they are going to meet up with could help them to refocus on manageable steps.

Integrate: If new students can start taking steps themselves to meet the challenges they face and take part in their new community they will hopefully start to feel more confident in their new environment. We often find that students who tell us they are struggling in the early days of university report that they feel isolated and aren’t meeting people. By encouraging them to take proactive action to join new groups or access support if needed they may be able to start to enjoy their university experience more and feel more confident. 

Reassure: Letting them know that it is totally understandable to feel nervous or worried about new environments, people and situations might really help them to take the pressure off themselves and get used to their new environment one day at a time.

Support available at York St John

Here at York St John there is a lot of different support available, all aimed at supporting our students to achieve their academic potential. Please see the information below with links to more detailed pages.

Student Services – based in the Holgate Student Centre this department provides support in the following teams: Student Information Desk, Disability Advice Team, Funding Advice Team, Wellbeing Team and the Student Success and Engagement Team.

Academic Tutors – students are assigned an academic tutor at the start of their studies and they are encouraged to book tutorials with their tutors to discuss academic or course related concerns.

Residential Support Assistants - RSAs are student representatives who live in our accommodation. They work on an out of hour rota basis to respond to concerns or incidents that may occur in the residences. They are supported by our Security team who are based on our Lord Mayor’s Walk campus and available 24/7.

Careers and Employability – this team can provide advice and support for students to search for work and volunteering placements and improve your employability skills. 

Students’ Union – the hub of student social life, the Students’ Union has a wide range of student societies and sports clubs. They also have elected student representatives who can provide impartial representation and support to students in need.

International Student Support Officers – designated to be the first point of contact for our students whose home is outside of the UK. They are based in the Holgate Student Centre.

Medical Centre – the on campus medical centre, open during term time, provide GP and nurse services. Out of term time students can attend one of several local surgeries linked with our Medical Centre.

Chaplaincy – York St John chaplaincy provides spaces and opportunities for reflection, listening, confidential support, prayer, worship, meditation, socialising and spiritual exploration.

Security – Our security team is based on our Lord Mayor’s Walk campus and they also respond at our accommodation sites. They are available 24/7 365 days per year and are all first-aid trained. T: 01904 876444. 

Where can I get advice?

You are welcome to contact the Wellbeing Team for advice if you are worried about one of our students. We will offer you some general advice and explain more about the support available here, subject to confidentiality. 

T: 01904 876477



Please be aware that due to data protection legislation and policies we protect our students' privacy as legal adults and as such we are unable to provide any information about our students, even to their own family, unless we have specific consent to do so. 

We understand that this may cause some frustration however we will always try to give general advice when requested and may also offer to pass on your concerns to a student ourselves.

Serious Concerns

If you have serious concerns about the wellbeing or welfare of one of our students then do let us know. You can do this by contacting the Student Information Desk (available Monday-Friday) T: 01904 876477 or E:

If you have an immediate and urgent concern for your relative out of hours and they live in university accommodation you can phone our Security team (01904 876444). If your relative lives off campus and you are similarly concerned please phone the emergency services immediately. 

We will do as much as possible to help our students, however please be aware that we do not hold parental responsibility and we cannot mandate a student to engage in the support that we offer them. If you are concerned that you your son/daughter is not engaging with support at university then it might help to visit them and encourage them to seek support.

In some cases we may reach out to students and contact them if your concerns, for example, are regarding risk to the student or others. In situations where we have been made aware of an immediate and serious risk to one of our students, or others, we may take further action and involve outside agencies for the safety of our students, this is however a rare occurrence.

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