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Getting help over Christmas & New Year

19 December 2017

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 Forum

Forum graphic home page

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. We ask for a donation to support our work, but if you're not able to, that's absolutely fine – we're here for all carers who need us. Once you've joined details of how to log into the Carers UK Forum will be automatically emailed to you.

Carers UK Adviceline

The Carers UK Adviceline is our expert telephone and email advice and support service. For a limited time, while we undergo staff changes, Carers UK's Adviceline is open two days a week – Mondays and Tuesdays from 10am – 4pm.

For opening hours over Christmas see below.

0808 808 7777
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Carers UK Adviceline will be closed from Tuesday 19 December – Tuesday 2 January 2018, but will be open an extra day on Wednesday 3 January.

Christmas Opening Hours

Tuesday 19 December 2017: 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 2 January 2018: 10am-4pm
Wednesday 3 January 2018: 10am-4pm

*Normal opening hours resume from week commencing 8 January (Mon-Tues, 10am-4pm).

Adviceline email service: as usual we aim to respond to respond to emails sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. within five working days.

 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 will be closed from noon on Friday 22 December 2017 and will open again on Tuesday 2 January 2018

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 search online is to use 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:

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