About Us

Nightline is a listening, emotional support and information service, run by students, for students.

The first Nightline was founded in 1970, aiming to address high levels of stress, anxiety and suicide amongst local students at Essex University. The idea quickly spread and, in 1973, Edinburgh Nightline was founded. Today there are 36 individual Nightlines in the UK and Ireland, made up of over 2000 specially trained student volunteers. Over 1.5 million higher education students now have access to a confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, non-directional and non-advisory listening service should they ever need it.

We are proud to have won Nightline of the Year 2012, Best Volunteer Training and Support 2015, Nightline Region of the Year (Scotland) 2016, and Best Volunteer Training 2020.

Today we operate a call service and an instant messenger service, open from 8pm till 8am every night of term. We aim to support students across Edinburgh, with backing from Edinburgh’s Higher and Further Education Institutions – the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh College, Heriot-Watt University, and West Lothian College. 

Meet the team 2023/24

The vast majority of our volunteers are anonymous, both for the benefit of our callers and for the welfare of our volunteers. So, who exactly are we? Edinburgh Nightline is made up of volunteers from Edinburgh’s higher and further education institutions. Our volunteers are from different disciplines in various years of both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as a small number of recent alumni volunteers to help keep the service running. 

Seven of our committee are what we call public faces. Due to the nature of their work with us they must be able to speak publicly as representatives of Edinburgh Nightline. During the volunteer’s time in this position they don’t take calls. The seven positions fall across four roles: the Coordinators, the Publicity Coordinators, the Training Coordinators, and the Inclusion Coordinator.

Coordinators

The Coordinator role involves overseeing the whole of the committee and society overall. Coordinators are responsible for chairing meetings, managing committee relations, maintaining communication with our stakeholders, liaising with the Nightline Association, and generally keeping up and working to improve the service that we provide. This role often involves individual projects that change depending on the current needs of Nightline and what the coordinators themselves feel would be a impactful step forward.

Image of 2023-2024 Coordinator, Karoliine

Karoliine

she/her

Karoliine is a 4th year Sociology and Psychology student. Most of her time is spent reading fiction or feminism, daydreaming, meeting up with friends or keeping up with Estonian politics.

Image of 2023-2024 Coordinator, Flora

Flora

she/her

Flora has recently completed her MSc in Film Studies. Other than over-romanticizing her life in Edinburgh, she enjoys watching (too many) films, looking after her (many) plants, and playing tennis (badly).

Publicity Coordinators

The Publicity Coordinators manage publicity for Edinburgh Nightline. Their aim is to make Nightline visible in their campuses through stalls, advertising and events. They publicise our amazing service across Edinburgh! This involves distributing publicity materials such as stickers, posters, flyers and postcards, reaching out to organisations and collaborating with different societies.

Image of 2023-2024 Publicity Coordinator, Danik

Danik

he/him

Danik is a fourth year Neuroscience student. When he is not overwhelmed with uni/life, he likes to go hiking with friends and go wild on the rock concerts.

Image of 2023-2024 Publicity Coordinator, Oscar

Oscar

he/they

Oscar is a masters student from Edinburgh studying international marketing and consumer psychology. When he’s got a spare half an hour he likes reading about history and politics, going to spin classes and playing video games that came out when he was still in school.

Training Coordinators

The Training Coordinators oversee training within Edinburgh Nightline.

Image of 2022-2023 Training Coordinator, Hazel

Hazel

she/they

Hazel is a fourth year medic who prefers a quiet night in to the hectic whims of Edinburgh’s nightlife. Most of their time is spent stuck in medical studies, but what’s left is usually spent in the company of good friends.

Image of 2022-2023 Training Coordinator, Zoë

Zoë

She/her

Zoë is a final year Neuroscience student. To procrastinate writing her dissertation, she likes to explore Spotify for new and obscure music, head out to gigs with friends (or alone!), or binge-watch a comfort TV show in bed

Inclusion Coordinator

The Inclusion Coordinator is our first port of call for all minorities issues, both internally and externally. Their role is to help us understand and adapt the way we do things to make sure we’re never excluding anybody. Our Inclusion Coordinator is here to represent minorities, but never to speak for everyone. They’ll be working closely with our entire committee, and our entire society, to make sure that everyone feels seen and heard.

Image of 2023-2024 Inclusion Coordinator, Nayah

Nayah

she/her

Nayah is a masters student studying Sociology who spends a lot of time pretending that this means she can code. She loves adding to her (low) munro tally and converting feet to metres while on walks.

Our Principles

Nightline adheres to six principles:

Confidentiality

Anything talked through with a caller remains completely private. Discussing calls would be both disrespectful and unprofessional and would undermine the service we aim to provide for our callers. You can find our Privacy and Confidentiality Policy here.

Anonymity

All of our volunteers are anonymous. Seven public faces represent our service publicly and no longer take calls, but these are the only exceptions to our strict anonymity policy. We do this to ensure that callers aren’t discouraged to call due to fear that someone they know may answer, but also to prevent stereotyping of our volunteers based on one person a caller may know.

Support

The concept of empathy guides everything we do. Empathy, unlike sympathy, is the capability to share and understand another’s feelings without diluting support with pity. We use empathy to listen, not judge or advise, in the hopes that a supportive, neutral ear can help callers sort through their emotions. We also endeavour to support our fellow volunteers, both while on shift and within the organisation generally.

Non-Judgementality

We strongly believe that the role of our listening volunteers is not to let their personal views or opinions influence how they take a call, even when these differ from the caller’s. We are here to listen, not to judge.

Additionally, non-judgementality involves not making any judgements about what callers’ situation are like or what callers should do.

Non-Directionality

Only the caller decides the direction of the call. As Nightliners, we can never know the full situation from one contact, and therefore any conclusions we draw may result from misunderstanding. Our volunteers are not qualified to give advice but can offer information and will listen and support for as long as this is needed. Non-directionality involves not giving the caller advice, opinions, discussing personal experiences, or directing the flow of the conversation.

Commitment

Nightline is a student-run organisation through and through. As such, we require a certain level of sustained involvement from our volunteers to continue running our service.