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Nottingham Nightline is the service you need to know about

They say no issue is too big nor too small.

There is a good chance you have seen an ad somewhere for Nottingham Nightline on campus. Whether it be a small poster on the back of a toilet door in George Green or a big display at one of their publicity events.

Nightline is an important service, and its high usage from students can testify this fact. 19 days worth of calls (approximately 456 hours) were taken last semester.

The Nottingham Tab met with two of Nightline’s committee members, Beth and Will, to find out more about the service.

What is Nightline?

Nightline is a confidential, anonymous, non-judgemental listening service. It runs at several universities, including at Notts. Will likened Nightline to the Samaritans, but for students.

It has been running at Nottingham for 48 years. The first Nightline started at Essex 50 years ago in a small bedroom in halls with sleeping bags and a single phone.

Today, students can message and email, as well as call, about anything they are struggling with.

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Patch is Nightline’s mascot.

Why is Nightline so important?

Beth and Will feel as though Nightline is important because it is able to reach people. For all the people stuck in their rooms, it’s there. For those who feel trapped with no one to talk or go to, it’s there.

Will stressed how Nightline can be used by anyone and everyone to let their feelings out. It is not limited to any specific group of people. He added how he felt it was most important for those people you don’t expect, such as those with a “brave face”.

Nightline is an impartial service and listeners have no prior expectation of callers as a person.

Things Beth and Will thought students should know about contacting Nightline:

They said your problem doesn’t need to be massive to call them; nothing is too small nor too big. Nightline will listen while you walk home (even when you’re drunk and on your way home from the club); Nightline will listen to you worry about academic stress or family problems. Long story short, if you want to speak to someone, Nightline is here and will listen.

Beth said a lot of people are sceptical about the service, but she urged students not to knock it until they’ve tried it. Plenty of people become more positive about what Nightline offers once having used it, she added.

Beth and Will also reassured that the service is indeed anonymous and confidential. This is a common question among many callers, apparently.

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Nightline’s stand at Welcome Week 2019.

What is life as a Nightliner like and can I become one?

Every volunteer has a different experience as a Nightliner. However, Beth mentioned that the society has many socials. And all Nightliners are there for the same reason: they want to listen to people. This common ground means Nightliners often become friends quickly while on shift.

Furthermore, Will added, Nightliners all face one uncertainty; they have no idea what situation they will be met with every time they pick up the phone.

The most frequent types of calls vary by season. At the beginning of the year, homesickness is often the main feature. Towards the end of the year, fears over future employment. Largely, Beth and Will said, what you’d expect. Academic anxiety and depression are also calls which Nightliners often encounter, but the variety of topics is huge.

Also, Nightliners do get to sleep. They are not up all night.

Nightline recruits new listening volunteers twice a year, in the spring and autumn. They regularly post about when they are recruiting listening volunteers on their Facebook and Twitter. Students have to apply through a form.

Publicity volunteers are wanted and accepted all year round.

How and when can I get in contact with Nightline? 

Nightline is open every night from 7PM to 8AM. During exam season, it is open 24 hours.

Nightline is not limited to calls. Students can also instant message (IM) or send emails.

For full contact details or for more information about how to get involved, check out Nottingham Nightline’s website.

Alternatively, Nightline’s number is also on the back of every student ID.