Getting help over Christmas 2021 and New Year 2022

The Christmas period is likely to be a particularly challenging time for many carers. Many people 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. There are steps you can take to help with this, and to know where the right support is available if you need it.

Here are some tips that may help you:

  1. Take a few moments to plan the next few weeks. What do you really have to do? For example: – If possible, order as many presents online, taking the strain out of trudging around the shops.  Planning can make life easier for you and the person you look after – especially if the person you care for needs routine or finds it beneficial to be clear on what is happening.  Talk to family and friends about your plans. Raise any worries or concerns you have. Manage the expectations of family and friends, and be realistic about what is doable or desirable for you and the person you care for.
  2. Check Christmas opening times.  Opening times of your GP’s/Doctors’ surgery and pharmacy or any other services that you rely on. Some services may not be available during the normal hours during the Christmas period.  Make sure you’ve got all the medication you need to see you through to the New Year.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. As a carer it’s important you try and get a rest over Christmas too. If you’ve got friends and family who could help, even for a couple of hours, don’t be afraid to ask them.  Many people don’t realise the impact caring can have but may be able to offer support if you explain.
  4. Talk to other carers.  If it’s not possible for you to get a break, you may be able to get comfort and support by talking to other carers in the same situation. One way to do this over Christmas is online groups and forums.  We have provided a list of support services below that are hosting events, even on Christmas Day!
  5. Be kind to yourself, and have rest time for you.  Don’t try and do everything yourself. Share out some of the tasks or some of your caring duties.  We want to say yes to all things! But if you are a Carer, you only have so much time and energy.  This time of year can be particularly demanding and you may want support with your mental health, or you may want to access support for the person you care for. Support is available.

Who can I contact?

Wigan and Leigh Carers Carers Centre

Throughout the Christmas period, you can contact the Carers Centre by telephone, 01942 705959 or 01942 918424 by email: or by messaging over our social media channels.  Please note out festive opening times.  The Centre will close on Thursday 23rd December 2021 and will re-open as normal from Tuesday 4th January 2022.


Mobilise have a range of support available over the Christmas period. This includes:

Carers UK

The Carers UK Helpline will be available as normal on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm, including Christmas Eve, Bank Holiday Monday, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

You can also email Please note that the email advice service will be limited during the festive period, and you may get a faster response by calling the Helpline in the first instance.

Carers UK Forum – The Carers UK Forum is on online community of carers and is available to Carers UK members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Emergency contacts in case things aren’t okay.

It is okay to not be okay! But please seek help if you aren’t!


Monday to Sunday (24 hours): 01942 828300


Outside normal office hours in emergency situations only (i.e. 8pm to 8.45am, Monday to Friday, after 1pm on Saturdays, and all day on Sundays and bank holidays), contact the emergency out of hours social work services on: 01942 828777.


We have the contact details, opening times, phone numbers and emails for a list of food banks in the local area.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like a copy.  Email:


If you find yourself in crisis you can apply for welfare support online, which may qualify you for food parcels, gas and electric vouchers and furniture packages
You can call 01942 705221, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.


Find mental health support where you live

Free text and online support


With this 24/7 crisis text messaging service you can send a text message any time of day or night wherever you are – every conversation is with a real person. Just text SHOUT to 85258 All these apps have been tested and approved

Free online wellbeing programmes

SilverCloud – aged 16 years+ Online programmes to help ease your levels of stress, sleep better or to build resilience. You can choose to use any of the programmes. They are self-help, confidential and secure. Instant access to self-help support:

Crisis Lines in Wigan: 0800 051 3253 (freephone)

If there’s an immediate risk of danger to life, you should ring 999

Shining a Light on Suicide

Whether you’re feeling suicidal, worried someone else is, or have lost someone to suicide, you’re not alone. Whatever you’re going through, we’ll help you get the advice and support you need:


Greater Manchester Bereavement Service can help to find support for anyone in Greater Manchester that has been bereaved or affected by a death.

Call on 0161 983 0902 for help in finding the right support for you. Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (except bank holidays)

If you need to speak with someone at a weekend about a bereavement, please call NHS Bereavement Helpline on 0800 2600 400, available 8am to 8pm every day.

Good Grief Trust Help and hope in one place.


As well as the above, you can also contact:

Police: 0161 872 5050 or 999 in an emergency

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.

111 Service Call the NHS 111 service if you are feeling unwell and need a telephone health assessment – just dial 111.

Leigh NHS Walk In Centre (General Health Advice and minor injuries) – Tel: 483453

GP and Dental Services GP evening and weekend appointment service – Tel: 01942 482848.

Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care – Tel: 0333 332 3800

The Samaritans (Free from any phone)

If you need somebody to talk to or a listening ear, Samaritans are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Telephone: 116 123 or you can email

Childline 0800 1111 (Free from any phone)
Support for 18yrs & under and their relatives.  Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Silverline 0800 470 8090 (Free from any phone)
Support for the over 50’s.  Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.