London Nightline is an independent registered charity with the vision that every student in London feels fulfilled by being fully supported. We achieve this aim by offering a peer-led student support service and working to make students aware of the service.
Our core function is our confidential listening support and information service for students in London. Open between 6pm-8am during term time, Nightline is accessible throughout the night when normal counselling and welfare services are often unavailable. Furthermore, Nightline volunteers are all current students themselves, which means that callers will be speaking to someone who understands the stresses and pressures of university life.
Our service is staffed by student volunteers, who receive extensive training. They get a lot of support themselves, make great friends, and learn useful skills.
Thousands of students contact London Nightline every year from all over the capital, and from distance learning students around the world. Our callers can talk to us in complete confidence about whatever they want, for as long as they want, and students can now get in touch with us in four different ways: by phone, email, Skype and instant messaging. There are two elements to our service: listening and information.
Sometimes people just need the opportunity to talk things through and come to their own conclusions, to work out how they feel and what they really want, and at Nightline we aim to help our callers do just that. We provide an impartial, non-judgemental and empathetic ear for students to talk about whatever is on their minds.
We can help our callers to talk through the issues they are facing, but what we don’t do at Nightline is give advice. We don’t believe it is our right to tell students how to run their lives or what course of action to take because often we don’t know the whole story, and what is right for one person may not be right for another.
Moving to a city like London for the first time can be a daunting experience, which is why we hope our information service will make the process a little easier.
Whether it’s bus timetables, contact details for the student finance office at university, or directions to the nearest pub, Nightline can be invaluable to those new to London. Students can also contact us for information about life in London ranging from details of STI clinics to the location of the nearest takeaway after a night out.
Even for those students who know their way around, being able to call Nightline for a taxi number at 2am when you’ve missed the last tube could prove very useful too!
As part of our aim get students thriving with optimal support, we have specialised training in student support. We offer all our volunteers extensive training in listening skills, mental health awareness, policies, and procedures. Our training meets Nightline Association and Helplines Parthership standards.
We also offer our volunteers ongoing training in special issues, if they start coming up frequently on the lines. We invite guest speakers from a wide range of charities, including Samaritans, Papyrus, London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard and Beat, to talk about specific issues with our volunteers.
Our coordinator is also happy to give talks at affiliated universities to increase awareness of the service and share information about student mental health.
If you would like to speak at one of our training events or would like to recommend someone, please do get in contact with us.
We have also adapted our volunteer training to suit staff at affiliated universities, which we deliver to our affiliates free of charge subject to availability.
This training is called “How to be a Mental Health First Aider” and can be accessed online on our members area. It contains guidance on core listening skills, awareness and basic support knowledge for common mental health issues, and how to seek help in a crisis.
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As a university-based service, there is a high turn over of our callers and volunteers. Every year there is a new cohort of freshers and graduates. We are constantly promoting our charity to make new students aware of our service and volunteering opportunities.
We have a team of publicity and fundraising volunteers who work hard to promote our service. They design all our materials, run our social media, plan our events and more. This is a very flexible opportunity, and you can read more about it here.
We aim to attend one event each term at all our affiliated universities to engage with students across London. At events, we give out flyers and free nightline-branded stationary for you to remember us by.
We can’t be everywhere at once, but we can be online! We have Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts to promote our service. On our Twitter and Facebook pages, you will find the latest updates about Nightlinne, interesting links relevant to student life, and information about mental health. Our YouTube channel has a couple promotional videos about Nightline, which we are hoping to expand!
We have run various campaigns, such as #studentconfessions. This campaign is inspired by Post Secret, where we ask students at events to write an anonymous confession, and share the confession for other students to relate to. This increases awareness of mental health in the student community, and reminds us students that we’re not alone!
Another campaign of ours is the Bear Hugs campaign. Our mascot, Neville, offers hugs to students. You can get your picture with Neville, which will be posted to facebook. You can vote for the best Bear Hug picture, and winners can get small prizes!
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have an idea about how you can help publicise our service. We’re always keen to collaberate!