Christmas can be a wonderful time for many, but for some, it can be a time of immense struggle.
|Lots of support is available to help people with everything from financial problems to homelessness and mental health.
Councillor Margaret Cracknell, portfolio holder for health, wellbeing and adult social care at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “This time of year can be an incredibly difficult time for many of our residents.
“Support is available to help people get through the tough times. Lots of local and national organisations offer professional, confidential advice and support.
“I would encourage anyone struggling at this time of the year to seek out support.”
Physical health and wellbeing
If you’re feeling under the weather over the festive period, it’s important that you seek help.
You might not need to go to the hospital, instead using over the counter medication or seeking advice from a pharmacist or GP depending on how bad your symptoms are.
To find out how you can choose the most appropriate NHS service for you, visit www.northeastlincolnshireccg.nhs.uk/choosewell.
Thinking about making a lifestyle change? The Live Well Wellbeing Service are a team of wellbeing workers and practitioners who offer one-to-one and group support. We are available in your community and will work with you to identify your needs and support you in setting wellbeing goals in your life.
The team can help you with things like healthy eating, stopping smoking, improving relationships and managing weight.
For support, visit https://livewell.nelincs.gov.uk/wellbeing-service.
Chathealth is a free text service that offers support from Health Visitors to parents of children up to the age of 5. For advice on anything affecting your child, text 07507 329910.
Mental and emotional health, bereavement and loneliness
Our mental and emotional wellbeing is constantly challenged through everyday activity.
NAViGO, offer 24/7 support for anyone going through a difficult time with their mental health.
You can call NAViGO on 01472 256256, option 3 for 24/7 mental health support in North East Lincolnshire.
Shout 24/7 text support – in partnership with NAViGO. Text ORANGE to 85258.
You can also drop into the Safespace, crisis café in Brighowgate, Grimsby. Safespace is open between 5.30pm and 10pm on 25, 26 and 31 December and 1 January. For more information and normal opening times visit https://navigocare.co.uk/what-we-do/services-z/safespace.
The Silver Line is a nationwide confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers telephone friendship for older people. Call 0800 4 70 80 90.
Qwell is a free online mental health and emotional wellbeing support service for men aged 18 and over, living in our area. They offer access to one-on-one online sessions with qualified counsellors, receive and provide peer-to-peer support through moderated online forums, and read and contribute to articles. To register, visit: www.qwell.io/hcv/urgent-support.
Counsellors are available to chat via the website on:
Monday to Friday from 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Weekends from 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Kooth are an online mental wellbeing community that offer free, safe and anonymous support for young people. To access support, including discussion boards, a daily journal, and to chat with the team, visit Kooth.com. Counsellors are available Monday – Friday 12pm – 10pm and 6pm – 10pm on weekends.
Young Minds Matter offer support with mental and emotional health for young people in North East Lincolnshire. For support, visit www.lpft.nhs.uk or call 01472 252570 to speak to someone between 9am – 5pm, if you need support outside of these hours please contact the 24/7 helpline on 01472 256256, option 3.
Compass Go Mental Health Support Teams provide support, help and advice for pupils, students and schools for issues related to emotional and mental health wellbeing.
The service will be open over the festive period, Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 17.00 and on Fridays from 09.00 to 16.30 (except bank holidays). The duty officer is available for advice, support, information or to discuss requests for support for children and young people who may be struggling with mental health or emotional wellbeing. To get in touch with the service, call 01472 494250.
Childline give support, information and advice for children on any topic they want to talk about, from bullying and education to drugs, alcohol and sexual abuse or anything else that’s worrying them. To get in touch, call 0800 1111.
NEL Bereavement Support Service is a partnership between the region’s providers, St Andrew’s Hospice, Care Plus Group and CRUSE Bereavement Care. The partnership provides a ranger of free confidential support services for adults and children. To get support call, 01472 250623.
The National Bereavement Partnership provides a support helpline, counselling referral and befriending service for all those suffering from anxiety, grief or mental health issues as a direct or indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To get support, call 0800 448 0800 or email [email protected].
Financial resilience and debt
Christmas can become an especially difficult time for managing money. Support is available to help people with budgeting and debt-management.
Sector Support North East Lincolnshire Partnership have created a fact sheet with contact details for local support services. Anyone can use the information to get support or make a referral for someone that needs help.
You can view the fact sheet at: https://www.sectorsupportnel.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Household-Financial-Support-Factsheet.-v6.-14.12.2021.pdf
You can phone Citizen’s Advice on 0800 144 8848 or get online advice by visiting www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/north-east-lincolnshire/.
If you’re struggling with debt, you have a right to legal protections from your creditors through the Debt Respite (breathing space) Scheme.
There are two types of breathing space scheme: The standard breathing space is available to anyone with problem debt, and gives you legal protections from creditor action for up to 60 days. This means a pause to most enforcement action and contact from creditors and freezing most interest and charges on your debts.
The mental health breathing space is only available to someone who is receiving mental health crisis treatment. This has some stronger protections, lasting as long as the person’s mental health crisis treatment, plus a further 30 days.
To find out more about the Debt Respite (breathing space) Scheme, visit GOV.UK.
The Samaritans are here to help. We’re here, day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure.
Samaritans are not only for the moment of crisis, we’re taking action to prevent the crisis. We encourage, promote and celebrate those moments of connection between people that can save lives.
We offer to listen and support people and communities in times of need. We offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. We won’t judge you or tell you what to do, we’ll listen to you. You can contact us free from both landlines and mobiles, including pay-as-you-go mobiles. You do not need to have any credit or call allowance on your plan to call 116 123.
You can also contact the Samaritans by emailing [email protected].
Step Change are a national charity with over 25 years of helping people to deal with their debt problems. They provide free debt advice, budget management support, finding appropriate solutions to your debt and offering ongoing support for as long as it’s needed. To get in touch with Step Change, visit www.stepchange.org.
Support with addiction/substance misuse
We Are With You are a charity that offer free, confidential support with drugs, alcohol or mental health.
To get in touch with the local team, call 01472 806890 or visit the website at: www.wearewithyou.org.uk.
The Comeback is always stronger than the setback. Home to the Addiction Recovery Community in Grimsby, The Comeback is a drop-in centre, community space and much more.
For more information, visit: Our Workspaces – The Comeback (creativestartcic.org)
Food and essentials
If you’re struggling to feed yourself or your family, help is available.
The Rock Foundation offer free food parcels to those who receive means-tested benefits and to households with children who are in poverty. To get in touch, call 01472 488026.
The Rock Foundation are open on Friday 24 December and Friday 31 December from 1pm to 3:30pm at Holme Hill, Wellington Street, Grimsby.
We Are ONE are a walk-through hot food kitchen providing hot meals for collection and take-away. To register, complete the form at www.weareonefoundation.co.uk or drop-in to one of the sessions, with some proof of financial hardship, for example a letter from DWP showing entitlement to a means-tested benefit, bank statement or current bank balance.
We Are ONE are based at St Andrew’s Church Hall, 2B Albion Street, Grimsby, and are open on Tuesday 28 December and Tuesday 4 January from 4pm to 6pm.
Grimsby Food Kitchen offer free hot meals to those in genuine need of free hot meals. They are based at 18 Cleethorpe Road, Grimsby.
Their opening times over Christmas are:
12 December from 1pm to 4pm
19 December from 11:30am to 1pm
25 December from 12pm to 1:30pm
6 January from 9am to 11am
Echo can provide free hot and cold food to those in need. Food parcels can be ordered over the Christmas period.
To find out more, call 01507 824342 or 07577 568 740.
This time of year can be difficult if you’re made redundant or find yourself out of work. There are places you can go to find work. Below is a list of places you can call, visit, or check out online:
Citizen’s advice – 03444 111 444;
Centre4advice – 01472 236675
Era Employment Agency – Text 07403 760096 or call 01472 236688.
Job Centre Plus – Victoria Street, Grimsby, www.gov.uk/find-a-job
Lincs2 for daily jobs – www.lincs2.co.uk
Domestic violence and abuse
Nobody should suffer being a victim of domestic violence or abuse. Our local domestic abuse support services are still offering a full range of support during the holiday season.
If you, or someone you know, is affected by domestic abuse, contact:
Women’s Aid NEL (who support individuals of all genders, abilities and sexual identities) by calling their 24-hour helpline on 01472 575757, or via email at [email protected]. Alternatively visit www.womensaidnel.org for more information and support if it is safe to do so.
If you are concerned for your safety or the safety of someone else, please 999 and ask for the Police. If you can’t speak, dial 999 and, when the operator is on the line, press 55 on your telephone keypad to still get help.
Alternatively, you can report non-emergency incidents to Humberside Police on 101.
Housing and homelessness
People can find themselves homeless for a number of reasons. It’s important that you seek support as soon as you find out that you are likely to be made homeless.
You can contact the Council’s homelessness prevention team via www.nelincs.gov.uk/homes-and-property. Alternatively, you can call the team on 01472 326296 (options 1).
Harbour Place provide support to rough sleepers and people who find themselves homeless in North East Lincolnshire. You can report a rough sleeper to Harbour Place on 01472 355 234/353234.
Got an issue but not sure where to go for support? Call the Council on 01472 313131 for advice and signposting to services that can help.
Sector Support North East Lincolnshire Partnership have put together some fact sheets with details of organisations in our area that can offer support for people in different circumstances. For more information, visit https://www.sectorsupportnel.org.uk.