Nightline was founded on six principles which we still adhere to today.
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.
All of our volunteers are anonymous. Six 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.