Instant messaging

Our IM service is open between 8pm and 12am seven days a week during term time. It will be closed over Winter and Summer Break, but you can still reach our volunteers by email.

Is instant messaging unavailable?

If you are looking for immediate support you can also try contacting the Samaritans, who offer a 24-hour listening service at 116 123; or, if you’re having a student welfare emergency and would like to speak to someone face-to-face, you can try the University Out of Hours service on 01334 47 61 61.

When will instant messaging be available?

Instant messaging will be open every night halls are open from 8pm until 12am BST.

Our phone services remain open every night that halls are open from 8pm until 7am and you can send us an email at any time.

Instant messaging and phone services are closed over the summer and winter break periods until halls open.

What can I message about?

Nightline’s listening and information service is available to discuss anything and everything, nothing is too big or too small – if it’s on your mind, Nightline is here to listen.

Who will respond to my messages?

Nightline has two anonymous listening volunteers of different gender identities on shift every night that halls of residence are open. Our listening volunteers undertake a rigorous training period as well as continuous training to ensure that they can provide the best service possible. If you wish to speak with a listening volunteer of a particular gender you can request that you be passed on to the respective volunteer on shift at any time.

Please be aware that both listening volunteers may be viewing your instant messaging conversation at various points through the chat.

All of our training practices are in accordance with Nightline Association’s Good Practice Guidelines.

What can I expect if I message the service?

While our response time is dependent on the number of people trying to contact us, our listening volunteers aim to respond to messages within a reasonable period of time. Our volunteers are trained in non-directive, non-judgmental active listening. This means that the service is available for you to discuss anything that’s on your mind, on your own terms.

We hope that providing a safe environment for students to talk will enable them to freely explore their thoughts and arrive at their own conclusions.

How soon can I expect a response?

Nightline will only ever engage with one phone call, email or instant message at a time to ensure that every contact is treated as an utmost priority. Our volunteers will aim to respond to instant messages as soon as they receive them.

If you would like to contact us but our IM or phone service is busy, feel free to email us at [email protected].

Learn more about our e-listening service.

Will my messages be kept private?

Nightline will always treat the information students choose to share with the utmost confidentiality. Details of contacts will not be passed on to the University, and students can be assured that we will uphold our confidentiality policy.

There are, however, certain cases under which we are legally obligated to disclose information, namely direct threats of harm to others or information regarding threats of terrorism, however, those are exceptions to our rule of complete confidentiality.

Will instant messaging be different from calling or emailing Nightline?

While instant messaging is a relatively new way of getting in touch with our service, our approach to confidential, non-judgmental, non-directive, empathetic listening will remain the same.

We hope that instant messaging will make our service more accessible and will improve our ability to reach even more of the student community.