For most, Christmas is a time of joy, giving to others and spending time with loved-ones.
Unfortunately this isn’t the case for everyone and the festivities can bring added pressures to individuals and families.
This edition of the #SupportSeries will offer various forms of support over the Christmas holidays, this could include support for yourself, or provide you with information of how to support others.
What if i’m in need of support?
Christmas can be one of the most difficult times of the year for individuals. If you’re in need of support over the Christmas there is plenty of support available!
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Managing mental ill health can be difficult no matter what time of year.
Christmas can add to these pressures with the increase in social activities that can cause more anxieties, the cold and wet weather affecting motivation to get out and about, or guilt from overindulging in our favourite food or alcohol making you feel sluggish.
Getting professional support can help to manage mental health. Local support can be found by an NHS search.
Samaritans also provides support 24/7 365 days a year (even christmas day!) They can be contacted by calling 116 123 (UK & ROI).
Young people can also access support by contacting Young Minds. They provide a text messaging support service that can be accessed by texting ‘YM’ to 85258. Theres also a phone line available for concerned parents!
SUPPORT WITH FOOD
The Trussell Trust support a network of food banks all over the UK. Food banks can help to provide emergency food parcels for families.
You can find your local food bank by searching on their website here.
Crisis are the national charity offering support for homelessness. They provide support information for how to find a local hostel or shelter, getting advice from your local council & how to access specialist support services.
The Money Advice Service provide financial support and advice to various individuals. Students, homeowners and those in debt just to name a few.
They provide advice from budgeting and managing money, crucial for the festive period when bank balances are stretched.
SUPPORT WITH FEELING LONELY
Right now, a reported 2.5 million older people have nobody to turn to. With the festive break bringing people together, feelings of loneliness can become overwhelming.
Age UK have a dedicated phone line for older people to support them with issues such as loneliness and bereavement. The service is even open on Christmas Day during the hours of 8am to 7pm. All you need to do is call 0800 055 6112.
What if I want to help others?
Christmas is a time for giving and look no further! Here is a list of different ways you can provide support to others in need this Christmas.
DONATE, DONATE, DONATE
The demand for food banks is increasing with reports showing that families struggle to pay for basic living costs. 90% of food provided from The Trussell Trust is donated by the public, want to add to that statistic?
You can donate food to your local food bank to stop others go hungry this Christmas. Foods that can be donated include cereals, tinned fruit and vegetables, tea & coffee, biscuits. Food banks also accept toiletries too!
BECOME A GIFT GIVER
Many agencies call for gifts donations to children globally. Mission Christmas Cash For Kids are asking for donations of new and unused gifts for children that can be dontated at some local high street retailers including B&M, Wickes & Harveys.
Operation Christmas Child is also under way. They’re asking for people to fill shoe boxes with gifts for either boys or girls. In need of gift ideas? They have a list of plenty on their website!
Not only do you get to provide help to others, you also get to see the impact of your kind gesture too! Christmas can call for an increasing demand of various services such as homelessness shelters, food banks, even helping out with children events.
SEND A LETTER
Help someone feel less isolated by sending them a letter. Be Kindly are asking for letters to be sent before December 14th to ensure they make it through people’s post boxes for Christmas Day!
If you have any more suggestions of support networks available over the festive break please list them in the comments below!
I wish you a happy and healthy Christmas.