What To Expect

Contacting Nightline can be a daunting experience for many, and knowing what to expect may help to ease any worries, and allows us to give you the best possible service we can.

It is worth stating now that all details of calls are kept confidential. What happens in Nightline stays in Nightline. We do not hold any of your personal information and do not discuss any of our calls or contacts.


Phone Calls

Right from the start you may notice that our volunteers speak in a slow and quiet voice throughout the call. They do this to provide a soothing and neutral tone throughout the conversation, and to act as a calming influence for any distressed callers.

Nightline is not an advice line, so we will not provide you with advice, however we can provide you with information, if requested, such as taxi numbers, exam times, opening hours, and other (mental ) health services. If you request information we will keep you on the line while we search for your request. Very rarely, we may ask you to call back if it is taking our volunteers longer to locate a suitable resource. This is only because we wish only to give out the most relevant and best possible information for you.

Volunteers will never ask for personal details from you, and you do not need to give a name or any indications about your identity at any time if you do not wish to do so. Volunteers will also avoid giving out personal details about themselves, or other volunteers, and cannot answer whether a specific volunteer is available. That said, if you wish to speak to a male or female volunteer specifically this can be accommodated.

Some policies are in place to protect our volunteers but they will have no impact on callers using the service for its intended purpose.

There are no time limits on call duration, our volunteers will listen for as little or as long as you like.

That said, if a call remains silent for over 30 minutes, the volunteer taking the call will inform the caller that they will end the call in case of a fault in the line. If this happens by mistake, please do not hesitate to call back, we have this policy in case of technical faults affecting calls and potentially taking up time from other callers.

If a caller feels their life is at risk for any reason, they may request for our volunteer to call an ambulance on their behalf. This is the only situation where a call can be placed on behalf of a caller. In this situation the volunteer will need some identifying details from the caller to pass on to the ambulance staff, these details will not be passed on to any other individuals and will only be used for the purpose of dispatching an ambulance to an accurate location.

There are two volunteers present during a call; one will be receiving the call, speaking and listening to you, the other will be listening to the call via earpiece. The second (listening) volunteer will not be able to speak during your call. This allows us to provide quality control for our service and for callers and also enables us to support our volunteers; making sure we are delivering the best possible service to you and other students.


Online Chat

Online chats follow much the same principles as telephone calls. If there are no volunteers available, you will receive a message informing you of this. We encourage you to call back at a later time when volunteers may be available again.

If an online chat remains silent for 15 minutes, our volunteers will send a message informing you they are going to exit the chat incase there is a fault in the line. If you wish to call back, please do at any time.

Volunteers will not ask you for any personal details if you do not wish to disclose them, and will avoid giving out details about themselves. Volunteers cannot answer whether a specific volunteer is available.

The same policies are in place for our volunteers during online chats as in phone calls, and these will again not affect callers using our service for its intended purpose.

There are no time limits for online chats, we will listen for as little or as long as you like.

All responses are thought out and typed out by the volunteers taking the call. Two volunteers will work together when responding to an online chat. Having two volunteers ensures that the quality is high and consistent across the board, while providing the best possible support for yourselves and our volunteers.

We take every call individually which means that we cannot discuss the content of previous calls, even if they claim to be from the same caller. If a caller has called previously, they should not expect our volunteers to know what has already been discussed but should instead give a brief summary of relevant thoughts at the start of the call.


We endeavour to reach all our calls, however due to being a volunteer run service sometimes we do not have the capacity to reach all calls. We are always working on ways to improve this so please do not be disheartened if we do not answer your call the first time, we may be busy taking another call. We will never knowingly miss a call, or hang up. If we do abruptly hang up, this may be due to a very rare fault in the line or the network, please call back as soon as you can.