Frequently Asked Questions
The most frequently asked questions:
Yes. All of our volunteers are students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, of Aberystwyth University. As students ourselves, we can better relate with the difficulties students face on a day-to-day basis.
Anyone who is a student of Aberystwyth University.
Nightline is such an essential service for people simply because they care. There are a variety of reasons why students may want to contact us. Being worried about a friend or family member, academic or personal problems, mental health issues or simply just wanting to chat. Students can contact us about literally anything. We also offer our information service, and if we do not have the information you are looking for to hand, we’ll try to find it for you.
Absolutely. Two of our core principles are the importance of confidentiality and anonymity. All correspondence with Nightline is completely confidential. Both the caller and the volunteer remain anonymous at all times.
There are only three exceptions where we are obliged to break our confidentiality principle. Please see below.
We're not able to give out our phone number online*, but there are places you can find our number:
- On the back of your Aberystwyth University Student Card
- On bilingual posters throughout Aberystwyth University campuses and the Students' Union building
- The Students' Union website (requires you to login with your Aber account)
- The Student Wellness Centre on Penglais campus
Calls are absolutely not recorded and are charged at your standard network rate for calls to UK landlines.* Due to Nightline being a service to be used by students, the number for Nightline cannot be provided to the wider public.
You'll be talking to another Aberystwyth University student - a fully trained member of Nightline. All of our volunteers are extensively trained and provide similar levels of service - providing a listening ear and empathy to anyone who reaches out to us.
As a confidential listening service, anything said stays between you and the listening volunteer. If you're worried that you're talking to someone whom you recognise, you can always ask to speak to another volunteer. Alternatively, you're welcome to get in touch via our online instant messaging service.
We believe that giving advice to a caller is difficult. We're neither trained health professionals or counsellors, nor are we aware of the entire context of someone's situation.
We give listeners a safe space to explore their own ideas and emotions so that they may come to their own conclusions, without judgements or assumptions.
If this isn't for you, we can always signpost you to a service that is better able to advise you.
As of present, we are logistically unable to offer a service in Welsh. Nevertheless, we do everything we can to ensure information, materials and publicity campaigns are bilingual and in accordance with relevant university / Students' Union bilingual policies.
We unfortunately do not have any plans to provide a service in any other language.
There are no typical types of caller. Students of all walks of life contact Nightline to talk about a very wide range of topics. For example:
- Someone who is lonely and just needs someone to talk to.
- Someone who is trying to get home and needs a taxi number.
- Those suffering with homesickness, exam stress, bereavement, etc.
- People looking to vent after an argument with their housemates / family members, etc.
No matter what the caller wishes to talk about, we're here to listen.
As our system is designed so we cannot see numbers or the source of an instant message or email, therefore we are not able to make return calls or accept reverse charge calls. We are completely confidential.
Our phone number is charged the same as a standard landline call in the UK. The cost of course will depend on your phone provider, and whether you are calling from a landline or a mobile.
Our online services are free to use to those with an Internet connection - but beware of your provider's data costs if you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network such as eduroam.
Closures of Service
We try everything we can to ensure the Nightline service is available term-time, Tuesday to Sunday, 8pm to 8am.
Unfortunately, we are student-run. As the self-preservation of our volunteers is important, and that they have lives outside of their volunteering work, sometimes there are shifts that cannot open due to lack of human resources. This is notable around exam periods.
Think you can help us stay afloat? We'd love to hear from you.
Confidentiality is absolutely paramount to Nightline, but there are three unlikely events where we would be obliged to break this principle:
- When any information in regards to terrorism is received. This must be reported to the police.
- When Nightline receives a court order, any very limited information we have might need to be handed to law enforcement.
- If a suicidal caller appears to have the intention of taking their life, or has taken steps to do so - the Nightline volunteer can offer to call the emergency services on their behalf. If this accepted, information such as location and condition would be required.