Looking for help and advice? Contact our friendly Care Advice Line. Freephone 0800 023 2033 or for more info. Find out more

We understand that Christmas can be a difficult time for care experienced young people. That's why we've created this page containing key information and support you can turn to during this period.

At Become, we’re here for you.

Up to 5pm on 24 December, our Care Advice Line will be running as usual, Monday-Friday between 10am-5pm, on 0800 023 2033

 

Christmas Care Advice Line opening times

  • 24 December - Open 10-5
  • 25 December - Closed
  • 26 December - Closed
  • 27 December - Closed
  • 28 December - Closed
  • 29 December - Open 10-5
  • 30 December - Open 10-5
  • 31 December - Open 10-5
  • 1 January - Closed
  • 2 January - Closed
  • 3 January - Closed
  • 4 January onwards - Open 10-5

   

Christmas Link-Ups

At Become, we run Tuesday link ups (every Tuesday, 5.30pm-7.30pm). We recognise that the Christmas period might be a lonely or tough time of year for some care-experienced young people and with this in mind we will be continuing our Link Ups over the holidays, with a Link Up on the 30th December from 5.30-7pm.

If you are a care-experienced young person and are interested in joining our Link-Ups, please email rebecca.williams@becomecharity.org.uk. 

To find out about services on offer over the Christmas period in your local area, we encourage getting in touch with your Personal Advisor, or your Leaving Care or Children’s Looked After Team to find out what these might be. If you don’t know how to contact these services, give us a ring on 0800 023 2033 (before December 24) or check out the guidance below.

 

Preparing for the Christmas period 
 

Support over Christmas

You can find a list of Christmas dinners being provided all over the UK here: http://thechristmasdinners.org.uk/christmas-present/

Listening Works provides phone, text and web chat support every evening from 3pm-6pm.

Between the 24 December-2 January the listening works service will be open every day from 3pm- 6pm, providing a space to talk about what’s on your mind, and a friendly ear to listen.

This is a service for care leavers aged 18-27: https://www.family-action.org.uk/listening-works/

Phone line: 0808 802 0222. 

 

The Mix is a helpline and Crisis messaging service for care leavers.

The helpline is open 3pm-Midnight every day, including Christmas day and New Years Day.

Call 0808 808 4994 or https://www.themix.org.uk/get-support

Childline will be running throughout Christmas and the New Year, offering online and phone services to all children and young people up to the age of 19.

Visit: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/home-families/seasonal-events/christmas/ for more information.

Mental health support

CALM- Mental Health Support for men, helpline open 365 days a year, 0800 58 58 58: https://www.thecalmzone.net/

Mind Info Line provides information and signposting advice on mental health issues. Helpline 0300 123 3393. Open Monday – Friday, excluding bank holidays (29th, 30th, 31st December, 2nd, 3rd Jan 2021).

For young people

The YoungMinds Crisis Messenger text service provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, you can text YM to 85258.

HopeLine is a mental health helpline for those under 35 who are not coping with life. Open 365 days a year their helpline is 0800 068 41 41 https://www.papyrus-uk.org/hopelineuk/

For all ages

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year by phone on 116 123 https://www.samaritans.org/

If there is an emergency and there is a risk to life (this can be your own or someone else’s) call the emergency services on 999.

Homelessness

Shelter – Helpline for those facing homelessness. 0808 800 4444. 8am-8pm weekdays, 9am – 5pm weekends.  https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_help

Centrepoint - 0808 800 0661 Helpline for young people (under 25) facing homelessness. Mon- Fri 9am-5pm. Open Christmas Day 11am-3pm. Not open boxing day or new years day.

StreetLink- Directory of national homelessness services - https://www.homeless.org.uk/search-homelessness-services

Advocacy services

Coram Voice Advocacy Helpline will be open until 6pm on Christmas eve, reopening on the 2nd January: https://coramvoice.org.uk/

Foodbanks

The openings of foodbanks vary depending on their location- you can find your local foodbank here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/

Or, call the Trussell Trust helpline on 0808 208 2138.

Weekly Link-Ups

We host regular Link-Ups for care-experienced young people. Our Link-Ups are a virtual hang out where young people can come together to chat, develop a sense of community and have fun together. We play lots of games, get competitive with quizzes, debate various topics and sometimes cook or craft together.