What is Nightline?

Nightline is a student-run, confidential and anonymous non-advisory listening and information service. We have been providing support to students of University of Sheffield for over 40 years and expanded into Sheffield Hallam University around 5 years ago; we now provide support to nearly 60,000 students.

Who runs Nightline?

Although Nightline Association supports and promotes Nightline services across the country, individual Nightline organisations are run entirely by student volunteers, both from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.  All of our volunteers are carefully selected and highly trained; we hold compulsory, weekly training sessions to maintain our high standards and keep our volunteers informed and up-to-date. Nightline volunteers are anonymous, but we do have ‘Public Faces’ who can break anonymity and represent Nightline on campus, as well as maintaining links with the Universities and students.

What kind of person calls Nightline?

Anyone! There is no ‘type’ of person who calls Nightline, you do not have to be feeling down or upset to call us. Whether it be to talk through a concern around your relationships, health, studies or anything else that is bothering you, or you simply wish to have a chat, we are always here to listen. No problem is too big or small. We also have a phone line specifically for information, so if you need the number for a taxi service, library opening times or contact details for a specialist helpline, do get in touch.

When are you open?

Our phone lines and Skype service are open from 8pm to 8am every night during term time, and we run Instant Messaging (IM) between 8pm and midnight, subject to volunteer availability. Our e-listening (email) service is also open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We aim to answer all emails within 48 hours.

Are you open during the holidays?

Unfortunately our phone lines/IM/Skype service are closed outside of University term time, but our e-listening service runs 24/7 throughout the year.

What kind of information do you offer?

All kinds! We carry information from both universities regarding things such as exams, accommodation, and department details. We also have details for a number of helplines and services specialising in a range of issues. In addition, we have a directory of contact information for shops, takeaways, medical care, and taxi services.

Is Nightline independent?

Nightline is affiliated with both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University and their respective Student Unions’. We are also a member of the National Nightline Association; however, we are entirely self-run. We have no political, religious, or moral beliefs, or any other affiliations or biases of any kind that might impair the neutrality and impartiality of the service. We do not endorse any individual or organisation whose links or material we post either on this website or on our social media.

Is Nightline confidential?

Nightline is 100% confidential. We do not retain any kind of identifying information on any of our callers, and nothing discussed in any calls or messages is ever spoken about outside of the organisation (except in the specific circumstances detailed below).

Are there occasions where you’ll break confidentiality?

Nightline is a confidential organisation but there are some situations in which it is our policy to break our confidentiality. These situations include:

  • If we have reason to believe a caller is in the process of a suicide attempt, and they have given identifying information, it is our policy to contact the emergency services.
  • In the case of a bomb or terrorism threat – this is a legal requirement.
  • If we believe there is a strong possibility of harm to others, or a child protection issue.

Does anybody ever listen in to the calls?

We do not keep any recordings of calls, but some of our calls may be listened to (in real-time) by other Nightline volunteers solely for training and quality purposes. If you would prefer that your call was not listened to in this way, please do tell us.  Similarly, if you contact us through IM or e-listening, there may be more than one Nightline volunteer working to reply to you.

I’m not very confident with my English – is it still okay to call?

Nightline takes and values every call, no matter the level of English of the caller. If it makes you more comfortable, we also offer an email and an instant messaging service, which offer the same service without the need for spoken communication.