We rely first and foremost on the commitment of our student volunteers to keep the service running. We are a student led organisation managed by a committee of volunteer officers chaired by a sabbatical officer from each Students’ Union (at GCU and Strathclyde). We are supported in our work by two members of Students’ Union staff (one from GCU, one from Strathclyde) and by the national Nightline Association.
Can anyone volunteer?
Any student at Strathclyde or Glasgow Caledonian Universities is eligible to apply to join Nightline so long as you are not in your final semester of study. Upon joining Nightline, we ask that volunteers are able to commit a minimum of two semesters with us. This is due to the period of in-depth training and probation involved in joining Nightline and the limited time available to complete the minimum required shifts for the year as a result.
What does the training involve?
Our new volunteer training runs every October and February and takes place over four sessions: two Monday evenings from 5.15pm-7.30pm and the full weekend in between (9am-5pm each day). The training is quite intense and interactive – you will get plenty of opportunity to get to know one another and learn about then practice valuable active listening skills. Is it essential that trainees attend all four of the training sessions in order to complete the training, as well as undertaking an assessed skills practice and end of training interview afterwards before they become a Nightline volunteer and start signing up for shifts.
What is it like being on shift?
This is a tricky one to answer as no two shifts are the same! There is no way of knowing how many calls you will get on a shift or what they will be about but don’t worry, your training will equip you to deal with any type of call. What we can tell you is that there are always 2 volunteers on shift (we don’t do lone working) so you’ll get the chance to know your shift partners well! The office is in the city centre and is fully equipped with a kitchen, toilets and showers as well as two computers, a TV/DVD player, stereo, board games and comfy sofas to rest between calls.
How many shifts would I need to do?
You commit as a trained volunteer to sign up for one overnight shift (7pm-7am) every two weeks. You choose when your shifts will be on our online rota so you can plan ahead and fit your shifts around your other commitments.
How do I apply?
If you are interested, please contact our staff leads Holly Shaw (email@example.com) if you are a Strathclyde student or Emma Nieminen (Emma.Nieminen@gcu.ac.uk) if you study at GCU who will be happy to provide answers!