Support for carers at Christmas
Christmas can be a stressful and challenging time, especially when you are caring for someone. Changes in the Government measures to control the pandemic mean many of us can’t celebrate in the way we had planned.
If you are worried about how to manage your caring role during the pandemic, please refer to our Coronavirus page, which will take you to the latest, local guidance. You can also read Public Health England’s article on staying safe over Christmas.
We’ve listed below useful sources of information or support during the festive period if you are finding it difficult.
If you need urgent help:
- Adult Social Care – contact Health and Social Care Connect to report abuse or neglect, for help with care and support, or urgent help as a carer. Phone: 0345 60 80 191, 8am to 8pm 7 days a week including Bank Holidays. Outside of its normal office hours, the Emergency Duty Service (on the same number) will respond to serious Adult Social Care issues that cannot wait until the next day
- Children’s services – call the Children and families team on 0345 608 0192 (10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday). Out of hours, call the Emergency Duty Service on 01273 335906 or 01273 335905 out of hours from 5pm to 8.30am (after 4.30pm on Fridays) and during the weekends and Bank Holidays if you have a serious concern about a child’s welfare that cannot wait until the following working day
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline – contact the 24-hour helpline on: 0808 2000 247
- Samaritans is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, call their free number from any phone: 116 123
- The Sussex Mental Healthline is available on: 0800 0309500. 24 hours.
- Childline – If you’re a young carer or a young adult carer and need support outside of office hours, call Childline on: 0800 1111
- Emergency medical help – In any emergency situation, call 999 or visit your local hospital’s A&E department. Please check with the hospital for any Coronavirus guidance.
Other support available:
- IMAGO’s East Sussex Young Carers service is there for young carers under 18. Its support line will be open 9am – 5pm over the Christmas period excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
- NHS 111 – If you or the person you care for has a health problem that is less serious, you can call the NHS on 111, free from any phone or go online.
- Avoid scams and shop safely with this helpful guide.
- Useful self-help guides on a variety of topics that carers may experience during Christmas and beyond.
Our Carers Hub is closed from 3pm on Thursday 24th December 2020 and will reopen on Monday 4th January 2021.
Try to take some time for yourself
It’s just as important to look after yourself, especially during busy times. Taking a regular break, even a short one, can make all the difference and can help you stay mentally and physically well. Try to plan in some time doing something that helps you feel good. Here are some ideas and resources:
- Carers UK’s ‘Me Time’ are wellbeing sessions that are available for carers throughout the holiday period. Organised by Carers Wales, these sessions are open to all carers during the festive period. Activities include bingo, Murder Mystery game and mindfulness sessions. Find out more here.
- There are some lovely outdoor walks in East Sussex, here’s a few walk ideas and locations from Your East Sussex.
- East Sussex Library Services have wellbeing online resources, information and support for East Sussex residents. Find out more.
- Why not make yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up and read our latest edition of CareLine magazine.
Connecting with other carers – online forums
There are also online forums and chats available if you would prefer to chat to other carers online or get online support.
Online forums for adult carers
Carers UK online forum Connect with other carers and discuss a range of topics online.
Gransnet’s Care and Carers forum Older carers can visit Gransnet’s forum to chat to like-minded people.
Scope’s online community for parents and carers If you need advice about caring for disabled children or adults, Scope’s online community can provide help and reassurance. Join one of its discussions on everything from childhood disability and development to home care, or start a new one to discuss your needs and concerns as a carer.
Sue Ryder online community If someone you care for is dying or has died, the Sue Ryder online community is a place to share experiences, ask questions and chat to people who understand.
Simplyhealth Care Community This is a peer-led social community where users can share experiences, tips and more, while caring.
Online forums for young and young adult carers
The Mix Young and young adult carers (aged 13-25) can access online support on The Mix’s online community. The Mix helps young people get to grips with any challenge they face – including mental health, money, homelessness, finding and many other topics
YACbook is an online community and resource centre for young adult carers across the UK. Developed by Carer Support Wiltshire, YACbook has up-to-date information on a range of subjects aimed at young adult carers such as mental health, education and work, and has regular blog posts and video interviews from young adult carers. You can also get involved and submit your own stories to the blog.
For your own online safety, before using any online forum, make sure you check out the advice on the forum on how to use it safely including community guidelines, controlling your privacy and looking after your safety.