Nottingham Nightline – Support Service By Students For Students

“Student life is not always the party people might think it is. I can’t think of a service that does so much for so little [….]”
Stephen Fry (long term supporter)

University can be stressful for anybody – whether you’re settling in during the first few weeks, having difficulties keeping up with academic demands or worrying about tensions among your house mates, student life is unique with what it can throw at you, and it can be difficult not to buckle under the pressure. So, where can a student turn if they feel they need somebody to talk to?

Nightline is a service run BY students FOR students at their university, providing a confidential listening, emotional, support and information service.  The service exists to improve student mental health and wellbeing, and, crucially, operates at night when other university welfare services are not available.

Patch – Nottingham Nightline’s Mascot

University life is unique in its experiences and pressures, and Nightline is invaluable in that it provides support from peers with the same experience – someone who understands what you are going through at your university.

Nightlines across the country are supported by the Nightline association, an umbrella charity which exists to support, develop, promote and grow the service. The Nightline association – which the above quote is about – has a mission to raise the quality, profile and number of Nightline services so that every student is aware of, and has access to, confidential emotional peer support.

And that is exactly what is happening!

The Nightline service at the University of Nottingham is expanding to include Nottingham Trent University (Now, I know we don’t always get on, but this time I think we can make an exception…) and Platform wanted to check how much the Trent Army know about it. Pens at the ready…

The first Nightline was set up in May 1970 at Essex University after the ex-director of Colchester Samaritans noticed a high suicide rate among local students. It was decided to train up a group of fellow students to give their peers someone to talk to. A telephone was installed in an empty campus bedroom and the students ran a helpline during the night. Thus, the first ever Nightline began.

The idea quickly caught on, with a Nightline established at Imperial College London just a few months later in 1971. As the years have progressed, more and more services have been established, and Nightline now operates in more than 40 locations across the UK, covering 124 local colleges and universities, and providing support for more than 1.3 million students in Higher Education.

All Nightline services offer a telephone helpline. Nottingham Nightliners are on duty 7pm – 8am during term time to listen to any problem you may have, or if you just want to chat, and can easily be reached on 0115 9514985. Or if you’d rather, there are also email and online instant messaging services -all of which are provided by highly trained student volunteers. Nightliners don’t judge, and they don’t tell you what to do. They offer confidential and anonymous support and are trained to actively listen to help students come to their own solution or resolution. And if all you want to do is get something off your chest and out of your mind, without talking to somebody – good news, you can even do this through the PostSecret feature on their website.

“Feel free to request any information and we will do our best to find it for you!”

Crucially, Nightline is also an information service, and no problem is too big or too small – just ask Patch!

Nottingham Nightline can help you with University information, such as exam timetables, library opening times and hall information. They can provide information about Nottingham, such as club and bars, restaurants, cinema listings and bus timetables, health centre numbers, taxi numbers, takeaway numbers and even locksmith numbers!

So Trent Army, there’s no excuse now for not dazzling everybody with your knowledge about Nottingham Nightline. Information about this and everything else about Nottingham Nightline can be found on their website And if you happen to see Patch visiting NTU at any point, be sure to say hi!

Joanne Dernie