“Nightline has been the best thing that I’ve done since coming to university.”
Volunteering for London Nightline is a very worthwhile and challenging experience, a chance to give something back to the student community and to learn invaluable skills that will be of benefit to you throughout your life. Volunteering for Nightline is a lot of fun too, and we have a wide variety of social activities including a subsidised retreat weekend and a big end of year party. Furthermore, as London Nightline is partly run by its volunteers there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in all aspects of the organisation’s work from publicity and fund raising to training and organising social events; all of which look good on your CV!
Find out more about our volunteer roles and how to register here.
Volunteer Survey 2014
This year we introduced a volunteer satisfaction survey, asking about volunteers’ experience with training, support, supplies and more. We collected 23 responses from our total of 73 volunteers. 12 respondents were volunteers that had started in October 2013 and 11 had started in prior years, which is reflective of the volunteer body. All of the respondents were hotline volunteers, 47% of them had participated in publicity or fundraising volunteering and 30% on committee. This indicates that the respondents were a representative cross-section of our current hotline volunteers.
All the volunteers responded that they found volunteering at least ‘moderately’ rewarding, with 87% responding that they found volunteering ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ rewarding.
“Not only are the other volunteers lovely people, but they are always there for you if you need to talk which I think holds the organisation together perfectly.”
Fostering close relationships within Nightline is crucial for the welfare of the volunteers, especially when they support each other while on shifts. When asked about seeking immediate support, 95% expressed that they felt that they had someone they felt comfortable seeking support somewhere within Nightline, be it their Nightline friends (68%), the on-call Support Officer (45%), on-call Co-ordinator (23%), or whoever they happen to be on shift with (50%).
In another effort to retain more volunteers, our support system for the volunteers has been enhanced. We have now introduced a family system, inspired by Sheffield Nightline. Overall, it seems the volunteers have taken to the family system very well. Some families have hosted events such as roast dinners or film nights. New volunteers found it very comforting to be in a first shift with one of their “parents”.
“Training was and continues to be comprehensive meaning I felt confident that I could deal with any situation that came up, and if not would know who to contact.”
All the volunteers responded that they found volunteer training at least ‘moderately’ useful with 84% responding that they found volunteering ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ useful. Over half (63%) said they felt ‘very prepared’ for their first shift, while the rest said they felt moderately prepared. One volunteer commented, “I felt moderately prepared – but that was mainly nerves. I think in reality I was actually more prepared than I realised.” This is a common experience among volunteers.
Still not convinced? Why not see what all the quotes from the open-ended section of our survey at the end of last year:
“I have absolutely loved volunteering for Nightline – I have met some incredible people, and felt part of a really supportive and lovely community. The calls have been difficult at times, but I hope that the time I have given has helped some callers think about difficult situations a little more clearly. I am sad to be leaving at the end of this year!”
“Volunteering for Nightline has been the best thing that I’ve done since coming to university. The actual volunteering is very rewarding, even though it can be tough at times, but the greatest part of volunteering is the chance to be part of such a wonderful group of people. I don’t think I ever have or will meet a nicer bunch.”
“I love the supportive and fun environment at Nightline that accommodates all quirks we may have. Volunteering on the phones has of course taught me new skills and enlightened me on some of the difficulties students and hotlines face. It’s been insightful, and it’s been a place where I know I am giving back.”
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience. I have made some of my very best friends from working here and have had valuable calls.”
“Volunteering with Nightline I have always felt incredibly well supported not only by the Co-ordinator and welfare officer but also by the other volunteers, the training was and continues to be comprehensive meaning I felt confident that I could deal with any situation that came up, and if not would know who to contact.”
“I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work for such a worthwhile charity and meet so many new people.”
“It has been like entering into a family. Particularly in my second year as a volunteer, getting more involved with training, publicity and other aspects of the organisation, has meant I feel more confident on the lines, as well as hugely supported by the group of volunteers I’m working with. I feel like the work done by Nightline is very worthwhile, as many of the volunteers feel they may have used the service themselves, or have friends or family members who have dealt with some of the issues people talk to us about, and it’s rewarding to think that by being there to talk to someone, no matter what time of night, we might have helped someone’s situation in some way.”
“Volunteering at Nightline was one of the best things I’ve done at University. I feel like I’ve learnt so much about myself and other students, and have met a wonderful group of friends outside of my course and university.”
“It’s been amazing! I’ve made some lifelong friends here!”
“It’s been an extremely positive experience. The training we receive is so rigorous that I felt comfortable taking calls from the first day. The support system has been fantastic too. Not only are the other volunteers lovely people, but they are always there for you if you need to talk which I think holds the organisation together perfectly.”
“Volunteering for Nightline has given me some of the best experiences, the best skills, and the best friends anyone could ever hope for. Sadly, only two of those three can be taken away from volunteering at the charity but at least, though my experiences have been things to remember for the rest of my life, my skills and my friends will be things to keep.”
Want to volunteer? Email firstname.lastname@example.org