Congratulations on winning your society star award! Can you tell me how you use online platforms innovatively in your society?
Thank you so much, it’s truly an honour! Nowadays, when we all use our phones and computers so much, we think that it’s important to change with the times and reach out to people across platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. We have a very active Instagram account, where we share lots of information about Nightline.
We also make sure to keep it lighthearted, so sometimes we do fun challenges to get interaction from our followers. For this year’s Nightline Awareness Week, we challenged people to do different things, for example to go out and take a photo of the Parkinson Building when it was lit up blue to raise awareness for Nightline, or to share something that they’re proud of. We then shared these to our story. We also worked with a few small businesses to run giveaways, which were really successful.
Ultimately, it’s just about spreading the word of Nightline and making sure that people know that it is a service that they can use.
What is it like being a club or society in 2020-21?
It’s been different, but not necessarily in a bad way. Normally, at Nightline we are able to speak to people over the phone. Because of the coronavirus, we were unable to do this. We had to adapt how we operate and work out a way that we could still provide the service and maintain that same standard as normal whilst we volunteer from home. Alongside the listening line, we already ran an instant messaging service and with some great teamwork, we managed to be able to continue to run this service, including (for the first time) during the holidays as well as term time. Everything has gone very smoothly due to the hard work from all of our amazing volunteers.
Has your society adapted well?
Yes! It’s been pretty amazing actually. We never expected to be faced with such a challenge, but we’ve managed really well to keep operating. We thought it was important to keep a service like Nightline open in such a time of uncertainty, so we worked to do everything we could.