Samaritans' column: Talking is the first hurdle to overcome

University can be a lot of fun, but sometimes things just don't go right and even though you may feel surrounded be people, it can be one of the loneliest experiences.

Nightline is designed to make sure the entire community of students never feels alone. Simply by knowing Nightline is there and open every night during term time, we aim to provide not only a listening service, but simply a reassuring safety net for students. If ever they need it, Nightline is there to offer support.

Nightline is a listening service run by students for students at almost every university in the country. Open 8pm-8am, Nightline is behind you every night, offering a 100 per cent confidential and anonymous service.
 During term time we offer a phone listening service as well as instant messenger and email, and out of term time we still run our e-listening service and we aim to reply to everyone within 48 hours. We hear about everything, from home sickness to mental illness, and as all our volunteers are fully trained for every eventuality, no problem is too big or too small for our volunteers.

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As an organisation, we have no political, religious or moral beliefs and therefore offer total impartiality and neutrality when offering support. We are completely non-advisory, not only because we are not specifically trained to offer advice, but also because we whole-heartedly believe in the power of a kind ear. Often, one of the first struggles of overcoming problems is being able to talk about them.

As well as a listening service, Nightline can provide an information service to all students at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam. We carry information from both universities ranging from exam timetables and room allocations to accommodation and department details. We also have details for a number of helplines and services specialising in a range of issues, and even have a directory of contact information for shops, takeaways, medical care and taxi services.

We at Nightline believe our service is an integral part of support offered to students. Whether listening or providing information for our community, we are always happy to help in any way we can. If any current student is interested in joining the Nightline community, we offer volunteering positions in both our street team and our call-takers. We will begin recruiting for the new intake around the end of January, so keep an eye on your emails or don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.