Anna-Ruth Cockerham

Director of Wellbeing

Community Action
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Anna-Ruth is a 21-year-old student disability activist studying Mathematics at St Andrews. After struggling to manage her neurological disorder throughout university, Anna-Ruth focuses on improving the support networks for disabled students and tackling the inaccessibility of university life.

Throughout university, Anna-Ruth has worked to improve the experience of disabled students through founding an online support group and campaigning for the University to adopt an opt-out lecture capture policy. Anna-Ruth has also previously campaigned on issues like medication shortages and Brexit.

In March 2020, Anna-Ruth was elected Disability Officer for the St Andrews Students’ Association where she founded and chaired the St Andrews Disabled Students’ Network which focuses on creating community for disabled students and advocating for improved support structures. Alongside the Network, she created an Accessibility Pledge and a comprehensive guide to running accessible events for student groups, ran St Andrews’ first Disability Pride Week, and ran campaigns to raise awareness of the support available for disabled students. Anna-Ruth also takes an interest in academic accessibility, overseeing the introduction of class representatives focusing on disability in each school and was a founding member of the Schools’ Wellbeing Advisory Group.

This year, Anna-Ruth was elected the sabbatical Director of Wellbeing for the St Andrews Students’ Association where she will be working to improve student welfare and supporting equality initiatives across the University.

Disability can be incredibly isolating and navigating processes like accessing adjustments and support can feel like a maze at times. Community can empower us, teach us things, and be a shoulder to cry on. I want every disabled person to experience the power of our community.”