Where to get support over Christmas

Christmas is a special time, but for some, it can be lonely and isolating, or a time filled with worry and anxiety.

Do remember to order your repeat prescription but if you haven’t, or you feel unsure who to contact for medical advice or help in an emergency, support is available over the festive season.

Whether you’re struggling with your mental health, looking for advice on minor illnesses such as coughs, colds and tummy troubles or need medical help in an emergency – there are local services that can help.

It’s also important to look out for others at this time of year. Whether that’s checking in on a friend, having a chat with a neighbour or picking up some essentials for a family member. These small actions can make a big difference to someone who’s struggling at the moment.

Tips to help you stay well:

  • Remember to order your prescription for any medication you need
  • Stock up on things like paracetamol and cough and cold remedies
  • Heat your home to a comfortable temperature, recommended to be at least 18 degrees
  • Seek help if you feel unwell

Below you will find information on different services in the city who can support you this Christmas. If you’re not sure where to go, call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk


Pharmacists can help you and your family with minor health concerns. They can offer expert advice and over-the-counter medication to help treat conditions such as colds, coughs, headaches, aches and pains or an upset stomach.

Many pharmacies will be open over the festive season, but they may have different opening hours. You can find the opening times of local pharmacies online. If you’re not sure where your local pharmacy is, use the NHS pharmacy finder. Please note that the times are subject to change, and you are advised to contact the pharmacy before attending to ensure they are open and have the medication you need.

To help you stay well this winter, remember you can access the COVID-19 booster and flu vaccinations via pharmacies. You can search on the NHS website for pharmacies offering the COVID-19 vaccine  and pharmacies offering the NHS flu jab.

GP practices 

GPs will continue to provide advice and support over the festive period. Most practices are closed on Bank Holidays, which this year is Monday 25 December (Christmas Day), Tuesday 26 December (Boxing Day), and Monday 1 January (New Year’s Day). GP opening hours at some locations may be different from usual on other days over this period. We recommend you check your practice website, and check if your practice has emailed you its Christmas opening hours.

If you need advice whilst your practice is closed, visit your local pharmacy, find help online at 111.nhs.net or call 111. In an emergency, dial 999.

Help support primary care to help you this winter:

  • Know the best way to contact your GP practice – this is usually over the phone or by e-consult and you can find details of Portsmouth practices here. Please don’t queue at the practice if you don’t need to.
  • If you’ve contacted your GP practice online and are awaiting a reply, please wait for an answer before chasing it up again (unless it’s urgent)
  • Be kind. Everyone is working exceptionally hard to support you during a very difficult and busy time – please continue to treat staff with kindness.

Mental health 

Although opening hours may differ from usual over the festive season, there’s always someone to talk to if you’re struggling.

Portsmouth Mental Health Hub

The Hub is a phoneline that offers support to anyone aged 16+ who’s struggling with their mental health and not sure where to go.

You can call the Hub for you, a loved one or someone you work with.

📞 0300 123 6621

🖥️ www.mentalhealthinportsmouth.co.uk

Opening times:

  • Open Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm
  • Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day


PositiveMinds offer informal support for anyone who feels low, worried or hopeless in Portsmouth.

You can get support from PositiveMinds if you’re aged 18 or over, live in Portsmouth and are registered with a GP practice in the city.

You can book an appointment, pop in for a chat or contact the team by phone or email.

📞 023 9282 4795

📧 positiveminds@solentmind.org.uk

🖥️ www.solentmind.org.uk/support-for-you/our-services/positiveminds/ 

Opening times:

  • 25 December (Christmas Day) – closed
  • 26 December (Boxing Day) – closed
  • 27 December – 10:30am-4:30pm. Peer drop in 11am-1pm
  • 28 December – 10:30-4:30pm. Peer Art group at Positive Minds 11am-1pm
  • 29 December – 10:30am – 4:30pm. Peer Drop in 11am

NHS Talking Therapies Portsmouth (was Talking Change)

NHS Talking Therapies Portsmouth can help with common mental health problems, such as anxiety or low mood. They can also help if you’re struggling with a physical condition such as chronic pain or fatigue.

You can get support from Talking Therapies if you’re aged 16 or over, live in Portsmouth and are registered with a GP practice in the city.

You can contact the team by phone or fill out an online form.

📞 0300 123 3934

🖥️ www.talkingchange.nhs.uk

Opening times:

  • 23 & 24 & 25 & 26 December – closed
  • 27 & 28 & 29 December – open
  • 30 & 31 December – closed
  • 1 January – closed


Kooth offer anonymous mental health support online.

You can get support from Kooth if you’re aged between 11 and 25 and live in Portsmouth, Hampshire or the Isle of Wight.

🖥️ www.kooth.com

The website is available at any time, as is the Kooth app, and you can also access counselling through live chat at the following times:

  • 24th December (Christmas Eve) – 4pm – 8pm
  • 25th December (Christmas Day) – 4pm – 8pm
  • 26th December (Boxing Day) – 4pm – 8pm
  • 31st December (New Years Eve) – 4pm – 8pm
  • 1st January (New Years Day) – 4pm – 8pm

NHS 111

NHS 111 has a dedicated team who can provide mental health support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The team will chat to you and offer advice on the best support for your needs.

NHS 111 offer support to people of all ages.

📞 111

🖥️ 111.nhs.uk


Shout offer anonymous mental health support by text. Trained volunteers can help with anything you’re struggling with, including anxiety, stress, loneliness or depression.

The service is available at any time, to people of all ages. It won’t show up on your phone bill.

📞 Text HANTS to 85258


HIVE Portsmouth

If you’re feeling lonely and want to learn more about different ways to get involved in our community, we recommend reaching out to HIVE Portsmouth. The team has lots of information on different community groups, activities and organisations to help you meet new people and get involved.

📞 023 9400 7124

📧 info@hiveportsmouth.org.uk

🖥️ www.hiveportsmouth.org.uk/hive-directory

Opening times:

Friday 22 December – 9.30am – 3pm
Saturday 23 December – closed
Sunday 24 December – closed
Monday 25 December – closed
Tuesday 26 December – closed
Wednesday 27 – 9.30am – 4pm
Thursday 28 – 9.30am – 4pm
Friday 29 – 9.30am – 3pm
Saturday 30 – closed
Sunday 31 – closed
Monday 1 January – closed
Tuesday 2 January – 9.30am – 4pm

The Silver Line helpline

The Silver Line helpline, run by Age UK, is a free service just for older people. They provide friendship, conversation and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Anyone aged 55 or over can use the service.

📞 0800 4 70 80 90

🖥️ www.thesilverline.org.uk

Social activities and groups for adults

Are you looking for a new group or activity to take part in, in your local area? Portsmouth City Council run a variety of activities and social groups for adults that take place across the city. There’s something for everyone – including cookery sessions, gardening, reading, walking, and cross-cultural groups.

As well as taking part, there are opportunities to volunteer and help run the sessions.

📞 023 9284 1762

📧 iwt@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

🖥️ www.portsmouth.gov.uk/services/health-and-care/adult-social-care/support-to-be-independent/social-activities-and-groups-for-adults/

Community Connectors

If you would like to get out and about and make friends, but lack the confidence to do so, Community Connectors could help.

They provide short term support, usually about six-eight sessions, to help you take the first steps to getting out and about in your local community. A Community Connector will meet with you and talk about what you would like to achieve – this could be taking up old interests, visiting a friend, attending a social group or activity class, or using public transport – the list is endless, and really does depend on what is important to you.

📞023 9284 1762

📧 communityconnectors@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Foodbanks, pantries and community meals

Portsmouth City Council’s Cost of Living Hub has a list of opening and closing times for food banks, pantries and larders in Portsmouth over the Christmas period. You will also find places where you can get a community meal over Christmas.

🖥️ Christmas opening times for foodbanks, pantries and community meals – Portsmouth City Council

Urgent and emergency care

111 can help you to get an appointment at an Urgent Treatment Centre or the Emergency Department. Trained staff can offer advice on your symptoms and direct you to the right service. Call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk.

For minor injuries, go to an Urgent Treatment Centre

Urgent Treatment Centres offer treatment for a range of minor illnesses and injuries – including cuts and grazes, minor head and eye wounds, sprains and strains, bites and stings, and breaks to arms, lower legs and feet.

UTCs are open every day, including bank holidays.

Our local UTCs are:

  • St Mary’s Health Campus, Portsmouth (PO3 6DW), open 8am-8pm
  • Petersfield Hospital (GU32 3LB), open 8am-8pm
  • Gosport War Memorial Hospital (PO12 3PW), open 8am-10pm

Emergency Department

Our nearest Emergency Department is at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

It should only be used for life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, persistent or severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

If you are in a life-threatening situation, call 999 immediately.