Winter can be difficult for many. Healthwatch Lancashire is here to do what they do best; signposting and offering support to the local community. Whether you are looking for advice on how to stay healthy this winter, or you are looking for support for your mental health or cost of living. This page has a range of support which you may benefit from.

The below information includes support information along with top tips on how to stay well this winter.

Top tips to stay well:

  • The NHS winter flu and Covid-19 vaccination programme provides vital protection to those most vulnerable. If you are eligible, you will receive an invite to receive your vaccinations and it is really important to come forward to keep yourself protected.
  • If you feel unwell and are concerned about your symptoms but it is not life-threatening, contact NHS 111 before heading straight to A&E. But remember, 999 is still available for life-threatening emergencies.
  • Over the festive period, pharmacy opening hours may not be the same. Remember to order and collect any medication before the pharmacy or GP closes for Christmas.
  • Look out for vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours.

Healthwatch England have further advice on staying well this winter. Find out more here.

North West Ambulance Service have developed a Winter Information booklet. Read here.

NHS have developed an information booklet for parents. Read more here.

Mental health 

Are you struggling with your mental health but not sure where you can get support? Visit our mental health support page which is packed with local support here

Cost of living

This winter might feel especially difficult due to the current cost of living. Visit our cost of living support page here for a range of support you could benefit from here.

Local support:

Lancaster City Council have support for energy bills and staying warm

West Lancashire Borough Council have support for over the festive period.

Helplines over the festive period:

Age UK (England)  – Information and support for older people.

0800 678 1602

Age UK’s English helpline is open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.

Beat – Offers information and advice on eating disorders, and runs a supportive online community

0808 801 0677 (England)
0808 801 0433 (Wales)

Beat’s answers to five questions you may have about Christmas with an eating disorder.

Beat’s helplines are open 365 days a year from 1pm to 9pm during the week, and 5pm to 9pm on weekends and bank holidays.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – Provides listening services, information and support for anyone who needs to talk, including a web chat.

0800 58 58 58

CALM’s advice on coping with feeling anxious at Christmas.

CALM’s helpline and webchat are open from 5pm to midnight, every day of the year.

Combat Stress – Treatment and support for armed forces veterans who have mental health problems.

0800 1381 619

Combat Stress’s tips on coping with Christmas.

Combat Stress’s helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The Compassionate Friends – Provides support to bereaved families after the death of a child.

0345 123 2304

The Compassionate Friends’ tips for coping with Christmas.

The Compassionate Friends helpline is open from 10am to 4pm, and 7pm to 10pm, every day of the year.

Cruse Bereavement Support – Information and support after a bereavement.

0808 808 1677
Cruse’s information on coping with grief at Christmas

The Cruse helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 9:30am. The closing time varies per day, from 5pm to 8pm. You can check Cruse’s helplines page for more information about their opening hours.

LGBT Foundation – Advice, support and information for people identifying as LGBTQ+.

0345 3 30 30 30

The LGBT Foundation helpline is open on weekdays 9am to 9pm and weekends 10am to 5:30pm.

Men’s Advice Line – Confidential advice and support for men who have experienced domestic violence and abuse by a current or ex-partner or family member.

0808 801 0327

The Men’s Advice Line is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm.

MoneyHelper – Provides free and impartial money advice.

0800 138 7777 (English)
0800 138 0555 (Welsh)
18001 0800 915 4622 (text relay)

Money Helper’s information on money, saving and Christmas.

The MoneyHelper helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. The helpline is closed on bank holidays. 

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) – Supports adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse. Offers a helpline, email support and local services.

0808 801 0331

NAPAC’s advice on surviving Christmas as a survivor.

The NAPAC helpline is open 10am to 9pm, Monday to Thursday. And 10am to 6pm on Fridays.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline – Free 24-hour helpline for women who have experienced domestic abuse and violence, with all female advisors. Also offers a live chat and can help to find refuge accommodation. Run by the domestic violence charity Refuge.

0808 2000 247

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They also have a BSL helpline available Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm. And a live webchat open Monday to Friday, 3pm to 10pm.

NHS 111 (England) – Non-emergency medical help and advice for people in England.

18001 111 (text relay)
NHS 111 BSL service

Samaritans – Samaritans are open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk. 

116 123 (freephone)

Samaritans’ Christmas coping information

You can visit some Samaritans branches in person. Samaritans also have a Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm–11pm every day). Samaritans’ helplines are open every day of the year.

Shout – Confidential 24/7 text service offering support if you’re in crisis and need immediate help.

85258 (text SHOUT)

Shout’s tips on feeling less alone over the festive season

Shout are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The Silver Line – Provides support, information, friendship and advice for anyone aged over 55 who may feel lonely or isolated.

0800 4 70 80 90

The Silver Line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Stand Alone – Charity supporting adults who are estranged (not in contact) from their family.
Stand Alone’s festive guide to the Christmas period.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) – Emotional and practical support and local groups for anyone bereaved or affected by suicide.

Switchboard – Listening services, information and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

0800 0119 100

Switchboard’s helpline is open 10am to 10pm, every day of the year.

Tommy’s – Information and support for people affected by stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth.
Tommy’s advice on coping with Christmas when you’ve suffered the loss of a baby

The Trussell Trust – Emergency food and support for people in need. Includes a searchable list of local foodbanks.

0808 208 2138 (Help through Hardship helpline)

The Help through Hardship line is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. The helpline is closed on public holidays.

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