About Bath Nightline: The Student-Run Listening Service

Posted in: Postgraduate, Students' Union, Volunteering

Hi, my name’s Meg and I’m studying Msc Applied Clinical Psychology. I also completed my undergraduate degree at Bath, so I truly never leave!

I won’t lie though, most of my time as a student hasn’t been spent studying (oops). Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time getting involved with all the amazing groups in the Students’ Union, including Bath Nightline.

A photo of little first year me with Howie, Bath Nightline’s mascot (I’m the one on the left).

So what is Bath Nightline?
Bath Nightline is a branch of the Nightline Association. We’re essentially a confidential, student listening service. Think Samaritans – but with a massive blue owl as a mascot (pictured below).

Our service runs from 8pm to 8am every night of the semester. Currently, we’re only running our instant message service and our email service, but outside of global pandemics, we also have a phone service. Any University of Bath student can contact us completely anonymously and confidentially and talk to us about anything – no problem is too big or too small. Honestly, the contacts we get range from students in a mental health crisis to those wanting a friendly chat while they’re on a walk – anything goes.

Who runs Bath Nightline?
Nightline is run by students for students. The service is run entirely by a group of AMAZING volunteers with a shared desire to help students with difficulties they face. All our volunteers are anonymous, which breaks my heart a little bit because they all deserve a huge amount of credit for the work they do. But this anonymity is important to help students feel more comfortable contacting the service when they need to. We won Best Overall Student Group in the Students’ Union last year (flex) which is something all our volunteers can be very proud of. We also have a committee (including ME) - we aren’t anonymous, as we get involved with publicity and represent Bath Nightline.

Our volunteers are just incredibly kind people - you have to be to spend your nights talking to students in a time of need. I think many volunteers join Nightline having experienced difficulties in student life before, with a genuine desire to help other students who may be experiencing similar problems. What that means is that we have a volunteer base of good-hearted students, who really know just how tough student life can be.

My involvement in Bath Nightline
So I joined Nightline in my first year of my undergraduate degree and instantly fell in love with the community of genuinely lovely people. I spent two years as Rota Manager, ensuring our service stayed open, and am currently Co-Chair, overseeing the service as a whole. So it’s been a good four years, and over those four years I’ve been through a lot, and taken comfort in the fact that another student will have contacted Nightline with a similar issue. Basically, what I’m saying is, whatever you’re experiencing, I can guarantee you someone else has been through something similar - you’re not alone so please reach out for support.

How to contact us

Nightline is a particularly important service at the moment, given COVID restrictions. We're all studying, sleeping, and living from our own bedrooms, and it can be incredibly lonely - so there's never been a more crucial time for listening services, such as ours. There is a huge amount of value in talking to someone, about anything, and often you don't realise how much you needed it until afterwards.

So, if you’re ever in need of someone to talk to, please instant message or email us – all contact information can be found on our website: https://bath.nightline.ac.uk/index.php/contact-us-2/

While we’re open 8pm to 8am, we are aware that students sometimes have difficulties during the daylight hours. So please do contact student services as an alternative: https://www.bath.ac.uk/professional-services/student-services/

How to get involved
If you’d like to volunteer for us, we take applications in September and January generally. Email training@bath.nightline.ac.uk to register your interest – we’d love to have you!

Student life is tough and student life in a pandemic is even tougher. Be patient with yourself, make yourself a priority, and please reach out for support.

Posted in: Postgraduate, Students' Union, Volunteering


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