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Getting help over Christmas 2018 & New Year 2019

14 December 2018

Christmas can be a difficult time, especially if you’re caring for someone. Many carers tell us that they find Christmas harder than other times of the year, with limited services, tight budgets and family tensions being just a few of the stress-causing factors. Below are some websites and numbers that you may find useful if you need support at Christmas.

Carers UK ForumForum speech

The Carers UK Forum is our online community of carers and is available to Carers UK members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A few words from a fellow carer who understands what you’re going through can be a lifeline. So whether you need to share an experience, ask a question or simply let off some steam, log in and join the conversation.

If you're not a Carers UK member you can join now for free. Once you've joined details of how to log into the Carers UK Forum will be automatically emailed to you.

Carers UK Helpline

Our telephone helpline is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 10am – 4pm on 0808 808 7777, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Alternatively please email us for advice on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
It may take 5- 10 days to reply depending on the availability of specialist advisers over the Christmas period.

 Carers UK Upfront Upfront 2

Our Upfront guide to caring is a simple tool for carers who are new to the maze of benefits and entitlements. 

Fill in your details, spend a couple of minutes answering questions and we’ll guide you straight to the information you need.

Carers UK offices

Our general offices are closed from Friday 21 December, and will open again on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

 Other Support

Samaritans are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
T: 116 123
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 Social Services

If your normal office is closed and you need urgent help, then you need to find the "emergency duty team". Numbers are sometimes printed in local newspapers or in the telephone book. An easy way is to search online using google and type "emergency duty team" and the name of your local council.

In Northern Ireland emergency social work contacts can be found by going to and finding your own Trust website.

 Medical Help

If you have a medical emergency, a critical or life threatening problem call 999. Examples of an emergency include unconsciousness, difficulty in breathing, suspected heart attack or stroke, heavy blood loss, serious injury or severe burns.

If your health problem is less serious you can call the NHS on 111, free from any phone.

Find out more:  

Scotland – NHS 24
NHS 24 is a 24 hour telephone health advice and information service for people in Scotland.
T: 111

Wales – NHS Direct Wales
NHS Direct Wales (Galw Iechyd Cymru) is the NHS Direct service for people in Wales. It provides information in English and Welsh.
T: 0845 46 47

Northern Ireland
There is no equivalent service in Northern Ireland. You should ring your own doctors surgery, where you will find a message with contact details for the out of hours service to call. This website contains useful information about Health and Social care: 

 Benefits Help

If you haven’t received your Carers Allowance, please contact the Carers Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297 in England, Scotland and Wales and 0800 587 0912 in Northern Ireland.

For any other benefits, please contact the relevant office. You’ll find number on the letters you’ve received from them.

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