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Support at Christmas 

We know the festive period can be a very hard time for children in care and care-experienced young people. We're here for you.

Care Advice Line opening hours (over the Festive Season)

Up to Friday 22 December: 10am – 5pm

25 – 26 December: closed

27 – 29 December: 10am – 5pm

1 January: closed

2 January onwards: 10am – 5pm

Preparing for, and coping over, the holiday period

Christmas dinners for care leavers 

Find out more about Christmas dinners being offered for free across the UK

Mental health support

NHS Mental Health Helpline for Urgent Help

You can find your local NHS urgent mental health helpline here, most of these are open 24/7


CALM runs a mental health support helpline open 365 days a year. Call 0800 58 58 58.


Mind provides information and signposting advice on mental health issues. You can call their helpline on 0300 123 3393. Open Monday – Friday, excluding bank holidays (29th, 30th, 31st December and 2nd, 3rd Jan 2022).

Young Minds

Young Minds 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 at 85258.

Papyrus HopeLine

Papyrus provide free support to people under 30 struggling with suicidal feelings, and people supporting someone struggling with suicidal feelings, open 365 days a year from 9am- midnight. Call 0800 068 41 41.


The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year by phone on 116 123. 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.

The Stay Alive App

The Stay Alive App provides lots of national and local services to support mental health crises.


Free 24/7 mental health support by text can be accessed by texting SHOUT to 85258.

If you think you are going to harm yourself, please know the quickest way to get help is to attend A&E or call 999.  

Homelessness support 


Shelter runs an Emergency Helpline for those facing homelessness. You can call 0808 800 4444, 8am-8pm weekdays, 9am – 5pm weekends and bank holidays.


You can call Centrepoint’s helpline for young people (under 25) facing homelessness. Call 0808 800 0661, Monday- Friday, 9am-5pm.

Street Link

Street Link provides a directory of national homelessness services. 

Domestic abuse support


Refuge runs a free 24/7 domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid has a directory of support services around domestic abuse.

Drug and alcohol support services


DrinkAware has a directory of support services around alcohol use and recovery.


Frank has a directory of local and national services to support drug use and recovery.


The openings of foodbanks vary depending on their location- you can find your local food bank here, or by calling the Trussel Trust helpline on 0808 208 2138.  

Under 19? 

ChildLine provides 24/7 support in a wide range of areas. You can call them on 0800 1111 or visit their website.