Press Release from Buckinghamshire Council
In the run up to Christmas Buckinghamshire Council wants to highlight where families and individuals can seek emergency help and support if they need it over the festive period.
We know this Christmas comes at the end of a tough year. While most of us are looking forward to a good Christmas, we know this time of year will also present extra challenge for those households who are also facing need.
We want people to know how they can seek help with food and emergency support if they need it over Christmas – and when support services like foodbanks are open.
- If you need emergency support or help with food and/or energy, please contact the council’s Helping Hand service using the online form or by calling 01296 531 151. The service is available during usual office hours and is closed at weekends and on the public holiday days over Christmas
- If you or someone you know is in significant and immediate need of food and cannot wait until the next working day when the Helping Hand service is open, and has no other avenue to help, please contact the Emergency Social Work Team on 0800 999 77767. Please note they will not be able to provide food on Christmas Day when the shops are closed but otherwise can provide immediate help and advice in an emergency.
- You can find out more information about the service and other support available at our cost of living webpages:www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/cost-of-living
- Many foodbanks will be operating different opening days and times over the Christmas period – residents who need to access a foodbank will need a referral from the council’s Helping Hand service or another similar support service so please contact the Helping Hand service in the first instance if you need to use a foodbank.
- Citizens Advice Bucks will be closed from 1pm Friday 23 December and will reopen on Tuesday 3 January but 24/7 advice is available on the Citizens Advice Bucks website and the national advice-line is operating between Wednesday 28 December and 1pm Friday 30 December – via 0800 144 8848 if you need immediate advice
- If you are feeling low, finding this time of year challenging or lonely or are experiencing difficulty with your mental health you are not alone and please reach out for support. You can find out the best ways to seek help and advice at the Healthy Minds Bucks website: www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/healthyminds
Councillor Steve Bowles is Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities. He said:
“We know that while most of us are excited about Christmas, for some Buckinghamshire households it is a challenging time of year, and some people may need to access some extra help or support over the festive period. We wanted to make sure everyone knows that the help doesn’t stop over Christmas, and how to access it if you need to.
Please can I ask that you pass on this information to friends and neighbours and within local networks too, if it helps to reach just one person or family in need over this time that is incredibly valuable.
I wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas and please do reach out if you do feel you need some extra help this Christmas.”