Cambridge condom scheme: how many do you really need?
A new scheme is allowing students access to up to 60 free condoms a week
by Ainslie Johnstone
Saturday 6th October 2012, 14:10 BST
An all new CUSU scheme will allow all Cambridge students to register for a C-Card, a small plastic card attached to a key-ring, which can be used to pick up a free pack of 6 condoms and a lube sachet. The service is available at various points around the city including Superdrug on Sidney Street, Boots on Petty Curry and many of the colleges. Each card can be used 10 times, after which students can re-register for another.
Though many colleges already give away free condoms, it is hoped that the new scheme will improve accessibility and anonymity. The scheme also promises to provide highly trained support and information to students on sexual health issues. Though most colleges include welfare talks into their freshers' program, many of these are presented by untrained members of the college.
To join the C-Card scheme students must visit a registration site which can be viewed on the CUSU website The registration consists of a short meeting with a member of the trained C-Card team about how to use the card and advice on condoms and sexual health.
With the potential for every student to use 60 condoms a week, there have been questions about whether this is a waste of money, that duplicates services already on offer. CUSU’s website, however, states that the C-card scheme is a re-allocation of funds already spent on condoms to create a more fair and effective system, and does not involve any new expense.
Chris Page, CUSU welfare officer said, “In the few days of term we have had so far I have received a positive response. Lots of students have signed up.”
As a disaffiliated college Corpus Christi is not participating in the CUSU run scheme and several other colleges have not yet officially joined either, meaning that so far the card is only available to some of Cambridge’s students. However, many Welfare officers at these colleges said that this was only a temporary situation and that they would be joining the scheme in the upcoming weeks.