The idea quickly caught on and in 1971 the concept was exported to Imperial College London. Since then many more Nightlines have been set up and that is where Canterbury Nightline fits in. Today over 2,100 specially trained student volunteers deliver an anonymous, confidential listening service at 36 affiliated Nightlines in the UK and Ireland. Now over 1.5 million higher education students have access to a Nightline service.
Forty years on, and Nightline’s remain committed to the core values of a confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, non-directional, and non-advisory listening service for students, delivered by students.
Due to its success in the UK, the Nightline model has also been adopted by some universities in America, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and Germany.
The founding concept behind Nightline is a simple one: students find it easier to talk to other students. University is a time of many changes and challenges and being able to talk to a peer – someone who understands what you’re going through at your university and can empathise – can and does make a difference.
In May 1970 Professor Geoffrey Hosking (a lecturer and member of the Colchester Samaritans branch) and Malcolm France (an Anglican Chaplain) noticed the high levels of stress, anxiety and suicide amongst local students at Essex University. They believed that the mental anguish of these students could be alleviated if only they had someone to talk to. They trained a group of students to deliver emotional support to their peers over the telephone, and the first ever Nightline began.
Canterbury Nightline History
December 2016 – Canterbury Nightline first proposed by a group of 4 students from Kent University and Canterbury Christ church University
April 2017 – Funding for the project approved
August 2017 – A member of Kent union staff appointed to oversee the project
December 2017 – First volunteers recruited
January 2018 – First training run
February 2018 – Service opens 2 nights a week
September 2018 – Service extends to 5 nights a week
Who we are
Hi I’m Kerry and I’m the Nightline Coordinator. My role is to ensure the service is running safely. This includes recruiting and training volunteers and then providing them with support and advice while they volunteer. I also write policies and procedures and ensure everything is running safely
I’m Becca and I’m the admin coordinator for Canterbury Nightline. I’m responsible for all service administration. This covers running the email accounts, recruiting volunteers, managing finance, ensuring all policies and guides are up to date and supporting the coordinator. I manage and support the admin team who are responsible for promotion, social media use and shift coordinating.