Nottingham has been named as one of the top 15 cities in the UK for the best student nightlife. The Night Owls add to this reputation by keeping students safe on busy nights.

A recent survey of thousands of undergraduates by the Independent newspaper,  placed Nottingham Trent as the 11th best university city for students to enjoy a night out.

The Night Owls project was first started in September 2015 by Maddy Ellis, a student from the University of Nottingham.  It aims to help vulnerable students get home and avoid falling victim to crime or injury.

Graph Showing the crimes committed against students aged 18-24 between 8pm and 5am
Graph Showing the crimes committed against students aged 18-24 between 8pm and 5am. Statistics from Nottinghamshire Police.

Having fully trained 315 volunteers in self defence, first aid and risk assessment since the start of the project, and currently with over 150 active members, the Night Owls currently run shifts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Since September of 2015 when the scheme began, they have added 2135 hours of community service to the streets of Nottingham.

“I didn’t know a single student who didn’t have a disaster story from a night out”. Maddy Ellis

Apart from small grants from the university, the Night Owls project is mainly funded by donations. Ocean nightclub Owner Andy Hoe is a big fan of the projects intentions, and in the past has helped the Night Owls host fundraisers.

The project currently only accepts University of Nottingham volunteers but that is something that Maddy wants to change in the future.


“I’d like shifts everyday of the week and in every city in the country!”.     Maddy Ellis

With an increasing amount of volunteers becoming a part of the Night Owls, and a fundraising event in Nottingham bar ‘The Lacehouse’ tonight (28th March), the project is going from strength to strength.

To find out more about joining the Night Owls, you can visit their Facebook page.