Christmas can be the happiest time of year, but for some, it brings along added pressure.
There is lots of support available, helping people with everything from financial worries to mental health and homelessness.
Councillor Stan Shreeve, 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.”
Food and household essentials
If you’re struggling to feed yourself or your family, help is available. Find information and opening times of food provisions over Christmas on ConnectNEL.
The Help for Households fund can support people with costs for things like energy, food and emergency household expenses through vouchers, goods, and grants. For more information visit helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk.
Financial worries and debt
It can be especially difficult over Christmas to cope with your bills and finances. Support is available to help with debt management and budgeting.
Visit ConnectNEL for a list of financial and debt support services.
For free, impartial advice call:
- Citizen’s advice on 03444 111 444
- Centre4advice on 01472 236675
- For older people, Age UK on 01472 344976
If you are struggling with debt, you have the right to legal protection through the Debt Respite Scheme (breathing space). There are two types of breathing space:
The standard breathing space is available to anyone with debt and offers protection for up to 60 days. This includes a pause to most enforcement action, contact from creditors, and rising interest charges.
Mental health crisis breathing space is available to those receiving mental health treatment. This offers stronger protection lasting as long as the treatment, plus an additional 30 days.
Visit GOV.UK for more information.
The cold weather often leaves us feeling under the weather. Seek help if you start to feel unwell.
For help choosing the most appropriate NHS service in North East Lincolnshire, visit www.northeastlincolnshireccg.nhs.uk/choosewell.
Keeping active, staying hydrated and eating well are just some lifestyle changes you can make to improve your physical health.
The LiveWell Wellbeing Service offers both one-to-one and group support to reach your wellbeing goals. 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.
Mental health, bereavement, and loneliness
It’s important to remember you are not alone, and there is support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – even over Christmas.
Navigo offers a range of mental health services across North East Lincolnshire. Call 01472 256256 (option 3) for support or text ORANGE to 85258.
Young Minds Matter supports young people with mental and emotional health. Call 01472 252570, 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. For out-of-hours support, contact Navigo.
NEL Bereavement Support Service offers free one-to-one or group support, for anyone suffering from grief. Call the team on 01472 250623 to arrange the most appropriate support.
Support with addiction
We Are With You are a charity that offers free, confidential support with drugs, alcohol, or mental health. To get in touch with the local team, call 01472 806890 or visit www.wearewithyou.org.uk.
As the weather gets colder, the risk to rough sleepers increases. It’s important you seek support as soon as you know you could become homeless. You can contact the Council’s homelessness prevention team on 01472 326296 (option 1).
If you are sleeping rough, or if you see someone else who is sleeping rough, ring Harbour Place on 01472 355234 for support. Alternatively, you can report rough sleepers on the StreetLink app. StreetLink offers an easy way for the public to let the council know about rough sleepers, by asking for information about the individual and where you saw them.
The app can be downloaded on your usual app store. Find more information at https://thestreetlink.org.uk/.
Domestic violence and abuse
The local domestic abuse services continue to offer support over Christmas and New Year.
If you are concerned about the safety of yourself or someone else, please ring 999 and ask for the police. If you are unable to speak, press 55 on the keypad when the operator is on the line. For non-emergency incidents, contact Humberside Police on 101. Alternatively, you can find local services and report an incident online at www.humberside.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/.
Got an issue but not sure where to go for support? Call the Council on 01472 313131 for signposting to services that can help. For more advice and support this winter, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/keep-warm-and-well-this-winter/.