The university has said that they will commit to the relocation of Nightline from the UEA Library to a space fit for purpose by the end of this academic year. The listening service are currently using a room in the Library where volunteers cannot eat or sleep, following being forced to move from their old office in Suffolk Terrace.
Nightline told Concrete in October that this move has rendered them unable to offer drop-in services owing to student confidentiality being compromised by Library Security.
The university has admitted that the space being used by the listening service “is not appropriate for the work they do, particularly the lack of sleeping provision.”
A spokesperson for the university said that they are “absolutely committed to finding a proper location for Nightline before the end of the year, and has agreed this plan with the team.”
Joanne Bridgland, External Coordinator of Norwich Nightline said that they have been “working closely” with Jon Sharp and are “incredibly grateful for his commitment to helping us find a space more appropriate for the needs of our organisation.”
Bridgland stated that the university’s public commitment “solidifies our trust that Nightline’s situation is soon to be improved.” She said the service’s proposed relocation was “exciting for the future of the support service we offer to the students of Norwich.”
The university has not offered any public details of when Nightline would be able to move from their inadequate office to somewhere better-suited, or given any indications of possible spaces for relocation. However, a spokesperson for the university said that they intend to “relocate the service as soon as possible.”
UEA SU non-portfolio Officer Chris Ball told Concrete that: “following the motion passed at a previous Union Council on supporting and defending Nightline, we’ve been attending a number of meetings with the new Student Support Service (SSS).”
“This includes working with them to help [Nightline] in the short term, but most importantly to locate and secure a long term space for the service by the end of the academic year.” He added that: “as well as recognising Nightline as a central component of its emergent mental health strategy, UEA SSS have also found a number of possible new locations for the service around campus that will allow Nightline to expand their services over the next few years.”
Responding to the university’s announcement, a Nightline volunteer told Concrete: “it’s amazing that they’ve committed to giving us a new space more appropriate for our services, so we are able to continue to properly provide a listening ear to UEA students.”