Need to talk? Sheffield Nightline

What is Nightline?

Sheffield Nightline is a telephone and e-mail listening service run by trained student volunteers. They have provided support to students at The University of Sheffield for over 40 years. They are anonymous, confidential, non-directive, non-judgemental, and always happy to listen. They're also a great source of information. Whether you want to know a taxi number, what to do if you’ve lost your U-card, or if you want more information on other support services, they can help.

Who runs Nightline?

Nightline is run entirely by student volunteers from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.  All volunteers are carefully selected and highly trained. They hold compulsory weekly training sessions. Nightline volunteers are anonymous. However, there are ‘Public Faces’ who represent Nightline on campus to maintain links with the University and students.

Who can call Nightline?

Any student from TUoS and Hallam! 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 can they help?

Phone lines are open from 8pm to 8am every night during term time, and they offer an Instant Messaging (IM) alongside this between 8pm and Midnight, subject to volunteer availability. Their e-listening (email) service is also open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They aim to answer all emails within 48 hours.

How about the holidays?
Unfortunately, their phone lines/IM are closed outside of University term time, but their e-listening service runs 24/7 throughout the year.

What kind of information do they offer?

All kinds! They keep up to date with information from both universities regarding most student related matters, including exams, accommodation and department details. They are aware of helplines and services specialising in a range of issues. Last but not least, they keep a useful 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. They are are also a member of the National Nightline Association. However, they are entirely self-run. They have no political, religious or moral beliefs, or any other affiliations of any kind that might impair the neutrality and impartiality of the service. They do not endorse any individual or organisation by promoting them on their website or social media channels.

How do I volunteer?

There are two different types of volunteers; calltakers and Friends of Nightline (FONs). For details on applying for both roles click here.

Is Nightline confidential?

Yes, 100% confidential. They do not retain any kind of identifying information on any callers, and nothing discussed in any call is ever spoken about outside of the organisation, except in these specific circumstances detailed below.

Will confidentiality ever be breached?

Nightline is a confidential organisation, but there are some situations in which their policy is to breach confidentiality. If they have reason to believe a caller is in the process of a suicide attempt, and they have given identifying information it is their policy to contact the emergency services. Also in the case of a bomb or terrorism threat, it is a legal requirement to breach confidentiality.

Are calls ever listened into?

Some of the calls may be listened to (in real-time) by other Nightline volunteers solely for training and quality purposes. They do not keep any recordings. If you would prefer that your call was not listened to in this way, please state this at the start of a call.

What if I’m not very confident with my English, is it still OK to call?

Nightline values every call no matter the level of English of the caller. Don't be afraid to take your time. If it makes you more comfortable, you can opt for the email and IM facility which offers the same service without verbal communication.

How do I get in touch?

Listening: 0114 222 8787

Info: 0114 222 8788
E-listening: nightline@shef.ac.uk

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