Nightline is one of the welfare associations that the University of Nottingham has to offer. It operates primarily after the sun has set, making it unique in its ability to reach out even during the early hours. It has helped countless students since 1973 and has a reputation for non-judgemental, anonymous and confidential support. Amelia Brookes recently interviewed Hannah Smith and Ira Noordemeer, Publicity Officers for the University of Nottingham’s Nightline, to learn more about the work that they do, the mindset behind the charity, and the ways that people could get involved!
Who are you as an organisation?
We are a listening service run by students for students at the University of Nottingham. Our volunteers are trained to provide a safe space for any student to talk through their feelings or thoughts and we can also provide students with information. All calls are anonymous, and our service is non-judgemental. We’re non-advisory, so we’ll listen to whatever is on your mind without telling you what to do or how to feel.
What do you do on campus?
Our volunteers take calls from students every night of term – our phone lines and instant messaging service are open 7pm-8am. The instant messaging service can be accessed via our website (www.nottinghamnightline.co.uk). In addition, we have an email which is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
We offer active listening training to student groups, committees, and societies, which can be requested through our website. We organise bake sales, movie nights, and sometimes take our mascot Patch to Ocean! We even have an annual sponsored fun run which will be coming up this term so keep your eyes peeled for that – follow our social media accounts to see what events we have coming up!
providing this service means there’s always someone to talk to
Why do you do it?
Our service helps to support the mental health of students, which is vitally important. We want to help people and volunteer our time to support our peers, especially as university can be a really turbulent time for everyone. Whether it’s academic stress, relationships, mental health, friendships, or something outside of uni life completely, providing this service means there’s always someone to talk to about these issues.
Why would you encourage someone to volunteer for Nightline?
The skills we teach in training are really useful in everyday life, and the experience of supporting other students through taking calls is incredibly rewarding. You’re also joining a whole group of friendly, approachable volunteers, who you can meet through volunteering or at our socials. We’ve both made some really great friends through volunteering, and it’s such a welcoming environment to volunteer in.
How would people get involved with volunteering for Nightline?
There’s the option of volunteering as either a listening volunteer, or a publicity volunteer. You can train as a publicity volunteer at any point throughout the academic year, and help with stalls, events, and campaigns that we run throughout the year. This role is slightly less commitment, with training completed in one short session.
To become a listening volunteer, we run two training cycles a year, with the next being in Spring. Applications will open around January time, and are followed by a short interview and comprehensive training to prepare you to support callers. You’ll train in a group of other trainees for two hours a week, for six weeks, and we run socials for everyone to help integrate you into Nightline. More information about this can be found on our website, or through our social media pages closer to the time!
no issue is too big or too small to call Nightline about – there will always be someone to listen
In a 2013 Youthsite study with a sample of more than 1000 university students, of those that were distressed, 72% reported being distressed at night. Of those of them that contacted Nightline, 87% reported improved wellbeing, 79% were more able to deal with the problem, and 75% felt calmer and more at ease. These results emphasise the effectiveness and importance of peer support in Nottingham, and show that Nightline really does make an impact!
University of Nottingham Nightline Contact Details:
Phone – 0115 951 4985
Facebook: Nottingham Nightline
Featured image courtesy of @nottinghamnightline via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
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