Finding Help over Christmas

Date last updated: 18 December 2020

Where can I get help over Christmas?

Gingerbread’s Single Parent Helpline will be closed for Christmas from 24th December 2020 and will reopen on 4th January 2021.

If you need advice or support during this time, there are many organisations that are available over the Christmas period. Read below and check out their website to find further information on their opening times.

Help in an emergency

  • If your call is an emergency, please call 999.
  • For emotional support, you can contact the Samaritans which are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 08457 90 90 90
  • For housing advice, call Shelter’s helpline on 0808 800 4444. It’s open 8am-8pm on weekdays and 8am-5pm on weekends, 365 days a year
  • The National Domestic Helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 0808 2000 247

If you are struggling for food you may be entitled to get help from a foodbank. You will need a recommendation from a professional such as your GP or children’s centre. Details are available on the Trussell Trust website.

If you are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, we recommend contacting Shelter or Crisis as soon as possible.


Cruse Bereavement Care

If you need support following bereavement, Cruse can provide bereavement counselling and support for both children and adults by telephone. Call 0844 477 9400 (charges apply).

Check out the holiday hours for their helpline.

Domestic Violence and Assault

National Domestic Violence Helpline

The National Domestic Violence Helpline runs in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge. It is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence or their friends and families. A translation service is available. Call 0808 2000 247.

Their helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Rape Crisis Helpline

The National Rape Crisis Helpline provides emotional support and local signposting information for anyone who has suffered sexual violence. Call 0808 802 9999.

Their helpline is normally open 12pm-2.30pm and 7pm-9pm every day of the year. However it will be closed on Friday 25th December to Friday 1st January.

Emotional Support and Health


Mind provide information and advice on all aspects of mental health as well as emotional support. Call 0800 123 3393 or text 86463.

Their helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am until 6pm.

The line will be closed between the 25th and 28th December, and on New Year’s Day.

NHS 111

NHS 111 provide general information about health and medical problems on 111.

Their helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.


SANEline provide emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness.

Call 0845 767 8000.

Their helpline is open 4.30pm to 10.30pm every day of the year.


The Samaritans provide emotional support for anyone experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Call them on  08457 90 90 90.

Their helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Switchboard (LGBT+ Helpline)

Switchboard provide an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans* people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity. Call 0300 330 0630.

The helpline is open 10am-10pm, every day of the year.



Shelter can provide information and advice for a range of housing issues. Call 0808 800 4444.

The helpline is open every day of the year:

  • 8am – 8pm on weekdays
  • 9am – 5pm on weekends
  • 9am – 5pm on 25 and 26 December and 1 January

Stonewall Housing

Stonewall Housing provide advice and information for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community in London on homelessness, housing options, harassment and finding accommodation. Call 020 7359 5767.

Their helpline is open every weekday from 10am until 1pm. Outside of those hours, you can complete an online referral form and they will call you back when they can.

Parenting and children

Family Lives

Family Lives provides information and support on all aspects of parenting, including bullying, eating, exams, truancy, toddlers, teenagers and more. Call 0808 800 2222.

Their helpline is normally open 9am – 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.

The line will be closed between the 25th and 28th December, and on New Year’s Day.

Family Rights Group

The Family Rights Group provide confidential advice for parents and other family members if social workers are involved in your child’s life, or you need extra support from Children’s Services. Call 0808 801 0366.

Their helpline is normally open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm.


The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) provides help if you’re worried about the safety of a child. They also provide information for parents and carers supporting children who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence. Call 0808 800 5000.

Their helpline is open 8am – 10pm on weekdays and 9am – 6pm at the weekend. You can contact them online  24 hours a day, every day of the year.

General advice

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provide information and advice on a wide range of issues including benefits, debt, housing and consumer rights.

For England, call 03444 111 444 

For Wales, call 03444 77 20 20

You can also contact them via their webchat service, which is usually available between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, although it will be closed on Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day.

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