Support available over the festive season

This period can be a difficult and stressful time for some Carers. Here are some organisations that can help. Check out Carers’ Support East Kent’s Christmas opening hours.

Carers UK

Our email helpline service is operating a reduced service from 21-23 December, and will be closed 24 December to 3 January. Our free telephone helpline will continue to operate over the festive period, and will be open Monday – Friday, from 9am – 6pm on 0808 808 7777, including Bank Holidays.

Our local offices contact numbers are closed from 5pm on 21st December and will open again on Tuesday 3 January 2022 (4 January – Carers Scotland).

Kent guide

To find out which services are open in Kent check out Social Enterprise Kent’s Winter and Christmas Support guide which also includes contact details and opening hours for all the food banks and meal delivery services.

Cruse Bereavement Care

The Cruse Bereavement Care helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. Call free 0808 808 1677.

Cruse helpline normal opening hours:

9.30am-5pm weekdays, with extended hours to 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and weekends 10am-2pm

Cruse helpline Christmas opening hours:

  • Saturday 24 December 10:00am-2pm
  • Sunday 25 December 10:00am-2pm
  • Monday 26 December 10:00am-2pm
  • Tuesday 27 December 10:00am-2pm
  • Wednesday 28 December 09:30am-8pm
  • Thursday 29 December 09:30am-8pm
  • Friday 30 December 09:30am-5pm
  • Saturday 31 December 10:00am-2pm
  • Monday 1 January 10:00am-2pm
  • Tuesday 2 January 10:00am-2pm

They can help you:

  • Talk about coping with bereavement
  • What to do after someone dies
  • How to support a bereaved person
  • Find a Cruse service, or similar service, near you
  • Provide you with information.


For mental health support, the charity Mind has a helpline on 0300 123 3393 (local rate from landlines, mobile phone costs vary but will cost no more than a national call, and should be included in your inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls).

You could also email, or text 86463.

Mind helpline normal opening hours:

9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

Mind helpline Christmas opening hours:

Monday- Friday 10-6, closed Christmas eve, Christmas day, boxing day. Open 28th-30th December 10-6 then closed , New Years Eve and New Years Day and 2nd Jan then re open 3rd Jan 10-6.

Mind also has an online community which you can use if you’re struggling generally, or feeling low, or isolated.

Mind’s helpline can help with information on:

  • types of mental health problems
  • where to get help
  • medication and alternative treatments.

Mind provides some tips for getting through the Christmas and New Year period.

The Silver Line

The Silver Line has a free, confidential helpline dedicated to helping older people, who may be feeling isolated, confused, or lonely. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 0800 4 70 80 90.

The Silver Line Helpline is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year including Christmas and New Year – so we will be here all over the festive period for older people who want a chat or a friendly ear.

The helpline team can help with:

  • Information, friendship and advice
  • Offering regular friendship calls
  • Linking callers to local groups and services.

The Samaritans

The Samaritans have a confidential helpline that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including Christmas and New Years, which is free to phone. Call 116 123.

There is no typical phone call, and they can help with big or small problems, but common reasons people contact the Samaritans are:

  • relationship and family problems
  • loss, including loss of a friend or a family member through bereavement
  • financial worries
  • job or study-related stress
  • loneliness and isolation
  • depression
  • painful and/or disabling physical illness
  • thoughts of suicide.

Age UK – 8am-7pm every day of the year

Age UK Advice is a free, confidential, national phone service for older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals. They have a team of expert advisers who will give you reliable information. Call 0800 678 1602.

The helpline can offer support and information on topics like:

  • Heating your home
  • Claiming benefits and retirement
  • Hospital stays and coping afterwards
  • Choosing a care home
  • General information and support for older people.