Just a call away – Introducing Nottingham Nightline

Holly Philpott 

When I first came to the University of Nottingham three years ago now (2021, which somehow feels only yesterday), and I had no set plans on what kinds of groups I’d like to be involved with. However, the world of societies was one I’d already done vast amounts of research into as someone who was looking to put themselves out there, and there were so many to choose from that it felt like a labyrinth of tables all shouting ‘pick me!’ at the welcome fair. I must have come away from the David Ross sports hall with countless QR codes, sweets and laminated flyers, each one enticing and exciting. How I was going to choose what to do was beyond me… until I came across a page called ‘nottinghamnightline’ on Instagram. 

If you’re a new or returning student to UoN this year, allow me to introduce Nottingham Nightline to you – not just from a student group perspective, but what we do and why we want to do it- and, hopefully, inspire you to look more into our corner of the university’s wellbeing system.

Nottingham Nightline is a listening and information service – much like what call lines such as Samaritans offers – open every night of term, 7pm-8am. Volunteers, who are all UoN students and are fully trained, take calls from other students who may be struggling with something in their personal lives. From academic stress to relationships, mental health to needing information about another university service, Nightline volunteers are there to be on the phone as long as the person needs. 

Our catchphrase is ‘we’re here to listen, not lecture’, and that’s something we always stand by

We’re a non-directive and non-advisory service, so we let the caller talk about what they feel comfortable with, and we don’t offer advice on their situation. Sometimes, it can help to open up about something, knowing that you’re not going to receive judgement or words of ‘well, if I were you…’ afterwards. Our catchphrase is ‘we’re here to listen, not lecture’, and that’s something we always stand by.

If you ever find yourself in a place where you need to speak to someone, perhaps Nightline could be the place to start

Nightline is also completely confidential, meaning our volunteers and callers remain anonymous. If you ever find yourself in a place where you need to speak to someone, perhaps Nightline could be the place to start – having someone who’s detached from what you’re going through could be a way of support for you. If you don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone, we also have an Instant Messaging service open, as well as an email service. Our phone number is also on the back of your student card, if you need it to hand!

In a time where university students are facing increasing stressors, and our mental health is having to compensate for it, Nightline forms one part of UoN’s wellbeing umbrella which is available to over thirty thousand students. So, as part of raising awareness about Nightline, we’ll be at the Welcome Fairs and Wellbeing Fairs in September, talking more about what we do and how you can get involved as a potential volunteer!

If you’re looking to volunteer with something while being a student, Nightline offers two main kinds of volunteers: the publicity and fundraising volunteers, who help us to run our fundraising events through the year and boost awareness of Nightline; and the listening volunteers, the ones who take calls and IMs from others at the heart of the service. As a listening volunteer, you receive full training on how to take calls, the nature of the role and what it’s like to be a volunteer, as well as have support throughout your time as a volunteer. There are two training cycles every year – one in each semester- and applications for the autumn cycle are now open until the 1st October!

If you care about helping others, are passionate about mental health and wellbeing, or want to learn valuable skills that you can take into all aspects of your life, being a listening volunteer with Nightline could be for you. As this year’s marketing officer, I cannot express enough how much being a part of Nightline has meant to me, and other people I’ve met through it. It’s given me confidence, the chance to meet other students I wouldn’t otherwise have met, and most importantly helped to give support to people when they needed someone to speak to. Nightline brings together students from all types of degree, from medicine to languages, and is an amazing service to connect people, whether you’re using it as a caller or volunteering on the other end of the line. 

We’ll be posting content throughout the year about different events, all things mental wellbeing and how to get involved with Nightline over on our Instagram and Facebook pages. As our training cycle is now in its advertising stage, we’ll be promoting that and how you can apply – along with quotes from some of our anonymous volunteers about how training has benefited them in their university life. 

Nottingham Nightline’s now into its 50th year of being open

Nottingham Nightline’s now into its 50th year of being open and we can’t wait for you to have a look at how to be a part of our amazing group- and if you have any questions, we’ll always be there to listen!

If you would like to apply to be a listening volunteer for Nottingham Nightline, please click the following Google Form link! Applications close on 1st October: 

For more information and our social media, click on the following links:                            

Our website: 



For our service:

Phone (open 7pm-8am every night of term): 0115 951 4985

Instant Messaging (open 7pm-8am every night of term): can be found on 

Email (open all year): 

Holly Philpott 

Featured image courtesy of Brett Sayles via Pexels. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

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