Lancaster Nightline

Confidential listening and information service

COVID-19 Changes

Unfortunately, to ensure the safety of our volunteers, we are no longer taking phone calls for the foreseeable future. However, our IM and E-mail service are still available during term time!

Image is not available
Image is not available
Image is not available
Image is not available

We'll listen, not lecture

Lancaster Nightline IM is open most nights of term from 10pm to 1am

Image is not available

Call us

Instant message us

Email us

About us

We’ll Listen, Not Lecture

Usually, we are open 10pm-8am every night of term. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, only our e-mail and IM services are running at the moment. Our IM service is open most nights of term from 10pm until 1am.

Lancaster Nightline is a confidential listening and information service run by students, for students at Lancaster University. We aim to provide a night-time contact point offering a wealth of free information and a non-judgemental listening ear. All calls made to us are confidential, and remain completely anonymous. You can contact us by telephone, email, instant messaging or Skype.

No matter if you’re stressed about workload, having family or friendship problems, need help getting back from The Sugarhouse or simply want a chat, Lancaster Nightline is here to listen.

Nightline has no political or religious beliefs and no affiliations of any other nature which may impair the neutrality and impartiality of the service. Nightline is a confidential service, the only exception to this being that Nightline as an organisation has a legal responsibility to report information which may lead to the arrest of terrorists or information that suggests, or directly informs, that children are or have been at risk either physically, emotionally or sexually.

If you use our email listening service please be aware that your email address is not anonymous, but these calls are still treated with the same confidential approach as any other call.

So… where did it all begin?

National Nightline

Nightline is national movement, providing listening services and information during the night, when most other university services are closed. The first Nightline was formed in May 1970 at Essex University due to worries about the increasingly high suicide rate amongst students. Set up by a previous director of the Samaritans, the service trained students to provide their peers with someone to talk to confidentially. There are now 40 Nightline services in the UK and more in America, Canada, and Europe.

Lancaster Nightline

A year after Essex started the trend, in October 1971, Lancaster Nightline first opened its lines to callers. Over 40 years later the Essex service is still going, and the movement it started has spread across the UK. Originally referred to as the ‘Friendly Night Owls’, Lancaster Nightline has continued to exist, surviving both strengths and hardship, to where we are today. We currently take calls, email contact, instant messages and skype calls. Still run for students by students, Lancaster Nightline is open 10pm to 8am during term time to provide students with an access point for information, and a listening ear. No matter what the topic, Lancaster Nightline volunteers will listen and provide information requested.

Our Principles

Lancaster Nightline aims to follow 6 principles:

  • CONFIDENTIALITY– At Lancaster Nightline, we want every caller to feel that they can talk about anything safely. Confidentiality is one of our core principles, and we will not disclose anything our callers say to anyone outside our organisation. However, in certain circumstances, information needs to be disclosed. This is our confidentiality framework, detailing exactly under which circumstances we would break this policy. Confidentiality Framework 2
  • ANONYMITY– We won’t make any attempt to find out who you are- we won’t ask for your name.  Nightline volunteers are anonymous themselves.
  • NON-JUDGEMENTALISM– We have no political, religious, ethnic or moral views.  We respect the views of any caller and do not judge you for anything you’ve done.
  • NON-DIRECTIVISM– We won’t try to force you towards any course of action, or get you to think about the situation in any particular way.
  • EMPATHY–  Each call is about YOU as an individual- your thoughts and your feelings.  Our volunteers are trained in  empathetic listening to make sure we see things from your perspective.
  • DEDICATION- All of our volunteers are passionate about helping our callers, and are always here to listen.

All of our volunteers follow these principles when taking calls.  All these principles protect both you as a caller, and us as volunteers. The Nightline Association’s catchphrase is, ‘we’ll listen, not lecture’.

If you use our email listening service please be aware that your email address is not anonymous, but these calls are still treated with the same confidential approach as any other call.

Contact us

You can now contact Nightline in four ways

  • PHONE – Sorry, our phone line is shut at the moment, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • SKYPE (FREE) – Our Skype service is also closed for the moment.
  • INSTANT MESSAGING (FREE) – You can talk with us on Instant messaging right here on our website. Just click here. This service is open most nights of term between 10pm and 1am.
  • EMAIL (FREE) – You can also send us an email to [email protected] we aim to respond to emails within 48 hours.
  • ADMIN EMAIL – If you would like to contact our executive committee about our service, technical issues or anything else, please send us an email on [email protected]



Please contact us with any feedback you have regarding our service. We aim to respond within 2 weeks.