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With Christmas just around the corner and frequent changes in government advice and guidance, especially with the Omicron variant, we want to help ensure that you and your families feel supported and have the information you need to stay safe this Christmas and into the New Year.

We understand that Christmas looks different for every Carer and their family/friends; some of you may celebrate at this time and some may not - or you may even have your own traditions that you carry on year after year.

For some, it may be different for a number of reasons: increased caring
responsibilities, or sadly, from suffering a loss of a family member or friend in the past 12 months. No matter what you may be facing this year, we want you to know that we are here for you over the coming 12 months and beyond.

Please scroll down for key information, including our Christmas opening hours, advice on contingency planning and how to access your COVID-19 vaccinations and booster across the festive season.

We also give you a taste of the groups to expect in January, 2022. 

Please visit our website here which will provide you with information on how to access support services this festive season, some of our local partners' Christmas opening hours and latest government guidance. 

Also, please don't forget to join our friends at Sutton Mental Health Foundation on Christmas morning for a cup of coffee and a chat! Find further details below.
Our Christmas Opening Hours


With us near to the big day, we'd like to share with you our Christmas operating hours:
How to keep you and the people you care for safe and well this Christmas...
Please see below for an outline of information on how to access emergency food, reviewing contingency plans, mental health support, national helplines and chatrooms - also scroll down to find out more about your physical health including COVID-19 vaccines, the booster and flu jabs.

For urgent assistance regarding caring for someone, including safeguarding, PPE or covering care for an adult or child, please contact the Council, London Borough of Sutton on 020 8770 5000 (including the out-of-hours Duty Team).

During office hours, you also can call directly to:
  • Sutton’s Children’s First Contact Services (CFCS) on 020 8770 6001.
  • Sutton's Adult Social Services 'Referral Point' on 020 8770 6080

If you need NHS health advice, please dial 111, speak to your Pharmacist/GP, or call 999 in an emergency.

Do you need emergency access to food?

Please see below for an outline of the main three ways to access urgent food in the Borough across the festive season.

If you are unable to collect food but you are able to purchase it...

Supermarkets such as Morrisons can arrange a delivery direct your home for the next day. You can call them on 0345 611 6111 and select option 5 for doorstep deliveries. The service will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but will reopen as normal from the 27th onwards, 10am - 6pm (even on the Bank Holidays). Please note that there is a £2.50 delivery cost. More information can be found here.

If you are unable to buy food because of a financial emergency but are able to collect it...

If you need to access food on the 24th, 29th, 30th and 31st of December and you are unable to purchase it, but are able to collect it, then please complete an ALPS referral form, which can be found here. The team will then be able to issue you with a food voucher for Sutton Foodbank. Further information and opening times can be found here.
If you can neither afford nor collect food…
If you need to access food between Friday 24th December and 4th January, and you are unable to purchase or collect it, then please complete an ALPS referral form, which can be found here. Under the 'Other' option on the form, where it asks for the details of your enquiry, please put 'emergency xmas food' and underneath where it asks 'Who would you like to submit your query to?' please select Citizens Advice Sutton as the service.

If you need the Foodbank, but cannot access the internet on the day, please call the Council on 020 8770 5000 and they will arrange for the form to be filled in for you. 

Please note that the image is for illustrative purposes only.

Have you reviewed your contingency plans for 2022?

Earlier this year, the government advised Carers to create a contingency plan (emergency plan) in the case of them being unable to care for someone reliant upon them. These can be put into place when help from another person would be required to deliver care due to a change in your circumstances, such as e.g. illness, yourself.

We recommend that you review your plans for Christmas, and if you run into any difficulties and require emergency covering care, then please call the London Borough of Sutton 24-hour Duty team on 020 8770 5000. At Sutton Carers Centre we can advise you further - so why not make it a New Year's resolution to run through your plans with us?
 You can see further information and guidance about contingency plans on the Carers UK website here.


Looking after your Mental Health this Christmas

Christmas isn't always a joyful time for everyone, and especially for many Carers who may have increased caring responsibilities, be feeling a bit cut off, or have suffered loss in the past 12 months. We want to remind you that it is important to take care of your mental health over the holiday period and there are many services available that can provide you with the support, guidance and tips that you need to maintain your mental health.

Adult Carers and Young Adult Carers aged 18 and over:
  • If you need support and advice in a crisis - for yourself, or the person you care you care for, then you can contact the South West London & St George's Mental Health NHS Trust Mental Health Support Line on 0800 028 8000, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including Bank Holidays.

  • For mental health support for anyone over the age of 18, living in the London Borough of Sutton, you can contact our partners at Sutton Mental Health Foundation. They will continue to offer support by telephone over the Christmas period on 020 8770 0172, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10:30am - 2:30pm. Sutton Crisis Café will remain open over the holiday period, 6:30pm – 11pm (last admission 10:30pm) every day. For more information, please call 0800 012 9082.  

  • To get mental health support and signposting to other services, you can contact the Mind Infoline. The helpline will be open 29th, 30th and 31st December, 10am - 6pm on 0300 123 3393

  • To receive emotional support, contact Samaritans on 116 123. Their helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Young Carers and Young Adult Carers aged 11 to 25:
  • If you are aged 11 to 25 and need mental health support and/or counselling, please contact our partners at Off the Record who are operating a helpline from 24th December - 3rd January, 3-6pm (including Christmas Day) on 0800 980 7475

  • If you are 18 and under and you require urgent help and advice, then please contact Childline on 0800 111. Their helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

  • For those aged 25 and under, you can get essential information and support by contacting The Mix on 0808 808 4494. Their helpline is available every day, 3pm - 12am. 

  • If you are 25 and under and you need support in a mental health crisis, then contact the YoungMinds Textline. You can access support 24/7 by texting YM to 85258.

  • You also may find it useful to visit, or to let off steam, text 'SHOUT' to 85258, there for you 24/7.
For practical tips and ideas to help look after your mental health then you can visit the Every Mind Matters website here

If, sadly, you have been bereaved, then please contact Cruse Bereavement Care. They are a charity dedicated to helping people who are experiencing grief. You can contact them through their main helpline on 0808 808 1677. Please note that the helpline will be open every day across the Christmas period, with alternating opening hours that can be found here.

The NHS also has a guide you can view here to help support your wellbeing after experiencing a bereavement.    


Would you like to access general but Carer-specific support over Christmas?

Carers Trust have created a 'Coping at Christmas' page on their website here that is filled with tips and advice to support you throughout the holidays.

For dedicated support across the Christmas period, you can contact the Carers UK Helpline on 080 808 7777. The helpline is open Monday to Friday (including Christmas Eve, Bank Holiday Monday and New Year's Eve), 9am - 6pm. Their email advice service ( will be available with a reduced service from 22nd - 24th December and will be closed 25th December to 3rd January.

Carers UK can provide you with information and guidance, including the topics listed below:

  • Benefits and financial support
  • Your rights as a carer in the workplace
  • Carers' assessments and how to get support in your caring role
  • Services available to carers and the people you care for
  • How to complain effectively and challenge decisions
Why not connect with other Carers across the Christmas period by joining the Carers UK online Forum here? This is a great place to get support and share experiences together online. The Forum is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you need help with your caring role and want to talk to someone about what options are available to you, then please call the Carers Direct national helpline which is open all days except public holidays, 9am - 8pm Monday to Friday and 11am - 4pm at weekends on 0300 123 1053

 Need-to-know regarding COVID-19 and winter vaccinations

The NHS in South West London is working hard to deliver the national promise of offering every adult the chance to book a COVID-19 booster vaccine by the end of the year. These efforts will help to protect Sutton Carers and their families and friends, as well as other local residents.
Please scroll down to find out the latest information on how to access COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters and flu jabs across the Borough.

COVID-19 vaccinations and the COVID-19 booster:

If you are aged 18+ and you had your 2nd vaccination 3 months ago, then you are now eligible to book your booster vaccination.
  • The preferable way to access your booster vaccine is by booking a slot on the NHS website here.
  • An alternative option is to visit one of the local walk-in clinics - full list can be found here - but the closest one to the Centre is the St Nicholas Shopping Centre, Sutton. Please note that the queues can be long for the walk-in centres, so we advise that you always try to book in a slot via the NHS website first, if you can.
The COVID-19 booster vaccination helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine. It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Remember, that if you are a Young Adult Carer aged 16+ and you received your 2nd dose 3 months ago, you also can go to the St Nicholas Centre for your booster (where they have nurses who can give jabs to people under 18) - or if you encounter any issues, we can help you. Please contact us directly on 020 8296 5611 or if you need our help arranging an appointment for you.

If anything is getting in the way of you getting your jabs, such as finding covering care or arranging transport, then please let us know so that we can support you.


If you are still yet to receive your 1st and 2nd COVID-19 vaccines...

It is never too late to get your first or second dose. People aged 12 - 15 can now receive their first COVID-19 vaccination, and all people aged 16+ are eligible for both doses - Young Adult Carers a booster, too. If you are a Young Carer, Young Adult Carer or even an Adult Carer and you are yet to receive either your 1st or 2nd dose, then please see the below:
  • You can book your 1st or 2nd dose online via the NHS website here
  • You can visit the St Nicholas Shopping Centre, Sutton walk-in clinic, dates can be found below, or on the South West London Clinical Commissioning Group website here.
12-15 year olds Pfizer walk – in clinics:
  • 3.30pm to 5pm, Friday 24th December 2021
16+ 1st and 2nd doses and 18+ Booster walk–in clinics (16+ for Carers):
  • Pfizer, 8.30am to 7pm and 7pm to 10.45pm, Thursday 23rd December 2021
  • Pfizer, 8.30am to 3pm, Friday 24th December 2021
We want to hear from you!

If you want priority clinic access for yourself, and/or the people you care for, then please email to register your interest. If we hear from lots of you, then we could even look at setting up Carer-specific clinics for COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters, and flu jabs with local healthcare staff. A true one-stop-shop!

We would offer these clinics in partnership to make sure that you and your family are as safe as possible this winter.


And don't forget your flu jab!

The best form of protection against flu this winter is to have the flu jab. If you are the main Carer or e.g. receive Carer's Allowance for an older person or someone with a disability or an illness, then you are able to get a flu vaccination for free. Remember that these can be done at the same time as your COVID-19 booster, it will just be in your alternate arm. Free flu jabs are also available to anyone who is over 50 (including people who'll be 50 by 31 March 2022, have certain health conditions or are pregnant).

There are many ways in which you can get your flu jab within the Borough:
  • at your GP surgery
  • at a local pharmacy offering the service, such as our friends at Sg Barai Pharmacy, Sutton
  • at a hospital appointment

Unpaid Carers can still access free PPE until the end of March 2022

If you are an unpaid Carer providing personal care to someone you do not live with, then you are eligible to receive free PPE until the end of March 2022.

You can request PPE free of charge, by emailing To find out what PPE to use, please read the Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family. You will find a section called 'Recommended PPE for unpaid carers who do not live with the person or people they care for' which clearly outlines the type of PPE you should wear, depending on the type of care you provide. 
Once they have received your email, the PPE Team at the London Borough of Sutton will prepare your order and contact you to arrange a time for you to collect it from the Civic Offices in Sutton. From 4th Jan, the Carers Centre can again help with getting PPE to you if collection will be difficult. 

For any other queries or if you need to speak to someone immediately about PPE, please call the PPE team - Simon, Dale or Vanessa - on 020 8770 6041

Please note: This image does not represent the free PPE that may be supplied to you.
What are some other partners doing this Christmas?

Christmas coffee mornings with Sutton Mental Health Foundation

We understand that not everyone can be with their family and friends this Christmas, so why not join our colleague Ovie from Sutton Mental Health Foundation this Christmas morning (25th December) for a virtual coffee and chat, starting at 10:30am until 11:30am? This is a great opportunity to connect with others over the festive season.

They will now also be running Christmas coffee mornings on the 28th, 30th & 31st of December, 10:30am - 11:30am. If you or the person you care for would benefit from attending, then please book your places here, or call 020 8770 0172.


...and find out what else is taking place at Sutton Mental Health Foundation this Christmas

For all bookings, please visit their website here or call 020 8770 0172.

Local ALPS support available over Christmas: 

  • If you need urgent specialist advice over the Christmas holiday, you can submit a web form enquiry via our Advice Link Partnership Sutton (ALPS) website here, which will be monitored daily by our ALPS colleagues at Citizens Advice Sutton. They can support you with issues about welfare and benefits, housing, access to emergency food provision or care, for example, but will only be responding to urgent queries during this time; all other issues with be dealt with from 4th January.
  • Our ALPS partners at Age UK Sutton will be closing at 1pm on 24th of December, but will be open on the 29th, 30th and 31st of December. You can call them on 020 8078 0002, 9am – 5:30pm or contact them via their website here.
Share a 'cuppa' with Carers UK this Christmas-time 
Carers UK will be hosting a 'Care for a Cuppa' on Wednesday 29th December, 11am - 12 noon. This virtual session gives an opportunity for unpaid Carers to connect together, over a cup of tea - mince pies are optional! During this session, they will be discussing everyone's favourite festive traditions! Click here to book your space. You can also find out more information, and future dates on the Carers UK website here.


Our Christmas Raffle Winners!

Congratulations to all those who won a prize in our annual Christmas Raffle. We will shortly be announcing the lucky winners on our social media channels.

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets. All funds rasied will be put to good use to support our Adult and Young Carers in the New Year!

Thank you to our staff, Trustees and local supporters, including Yolanda from Poltsa Shop, for kindly donating the gifts for our Christmas Raffle.

Please note the picture of the hamper for illustrative purposes only!
Carers Trust Christmas Carol Concert

Did you manage to catch the Carers Trust Christmas Carol Concert earlier this month? If not, then don't worry because you can now watch it on their YouTube channel here, or click the video player below.

So, pour yourself a 'cuppa', delve into those Christmas chocolates and listen to some beautiful carols performed by The City of London Choir and soprano soloist, Margaret Keys. You will also hear some festive readings from some familiar faces such as Emma Thompson, Greg Wise, Claudia Winkleman and Gyles Brandreth.

Finally, a huge thank you to Carers Trust for enabling some of our Carers to attend this year's concert. We know that this evening offered a welcome and
much-needed break for those who attended.
What's going on in January at SCC?

Please find below the some of the free Support Groups running at SCC for Adult, Young and Young Adult Carers during January 2022.

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of those attending, as well as our staff and volunteers who facilitate the groups, we continue to follow COVID-19 prevention measures. We started to face-to-face again, then had to stop - and will be reviewing our face-to-face groups again in early January in alignment with the government guidance at that present time.

Please visit our website: for our weekly schedule of support groups.

As always, you also can call us on 020 8296 5611 or email or

Adult Carer Groups (age 18+)


Dementia Peer Support Group:
Morning Group:
Tuesdays 11:00am - 12:00pm (weekly)
Evening Group: Every 4th Tuesday 6:30pm - 7:30pm*

NEXT MEETINGS: 11th, 18th & 25th* January

Please contact for more information.
Our lead partner Age UK Sutton's Dementia Wellbeing Support Group for people living with Dementia and their family and friends will run every Thursday between 11:00am - 12:00pm. For further details, please contact Age UK Sutton on 020 8078 0002 or please give us a call. We will be in attendance at that group as well, for any Carer-specific queries and to help co-develop our services over time, with community voices and opinions at the centre of this work. 
Carers Relaxation Group: Monday 10:30am - 12:30pm (weekly)
NEXT MEETINGS: 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st January

Please contact for more information. 
Mental Health Carers Support Group: Wednesdays 2:00pm - 4:00pm (monthly)
NEXT MEETING: 19th January
Please contact for more information.

Complex Needs Carers Support Group: Tuesdays 6:00pm - 8:00pm (every 6 weeks)
NEXT MEETING: 26th January
Please contact for more information. 
Male Carers Group: Tuesdays 6:30pm - 8:00pm (monthly)
NEXT MEETING: 18th January (Tiempo Lounge, Sutton)

Please contact for more information.
'Carers Connect' Coffee Morning: Thursdays 11:00am - 12:00pm (fortnightly)
  • 6th January - 'Carers Connect' Special on prioritising, organisation & time management with Lily Firth, Carers Wellbeing Navigator
  • 20th January
Please contact for more information.     
Parent Carer Support Group: 
Thursdays 11:00am - 12:00pm (monthly) NEXT MEETING: 27th January
Tuesdays 7:00pm - 8:00pm (monthly) NEXT MEETING: 11th January 
Please contact for more information.

Moving On Group (for former Carers): Tuesdays 1:30pm - 3:30pm (monthly)
NEXT MEETING: 18th January
Please contact for more information.

Young and Young Adult Carers Groups (ages 8-25)


Young Carers 'Chill and Learn': Mondays 4:30pm - 5:30pm (weekly)
NEXT MEETINGS: 10th, 17th & 24th January

Please contact for more information.

Young Carers 12 - 14 Peer Support Group: Wednesdays 5:00pm - 6:00pm (fortnightly)
NEXT MEETING: 26th January

Please contact for more information.

Young Adult Carers 15 - 18 Peer Support Group: Wednesdays 5:00pm - 6:00pm (fortnightly)
NEXT MEETING: 12th January
Please contact for more information.

Young Adult Carers 18+ Peer Support Group: Mondays 5:00pm - 6:00pm (monthly)
NEXT MEETING: 19th January

Please contact for more information.

Sibling Young Carers Support Group: Tuesdays 4:00pm - 5:30pm (weekly)  
NEXT MEETINGS: 11th, 18th & 25th January

Please contact for more information.

For more information on one-off virtual groups and activities, training and workshops at Sutton Carers Centre, as well as confidential, 1-1 support available to Carers of all ages, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

We also hold information about Carer peer support groups run virtually by partner organisations such as 
Sutton Parent Carers Forum, the National Autistic Society and more.
Contact Sutton Carers Centre on 020 8296 5611, 10:00am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday, until 8:00pm on Tuesday evenings, and from 11:00am – 1:00pm on the second Saturday of each month, or email us on, or for Covid-related queries,

You also can get extensive information from the London Borough of Sutton website here,
 including information about COVID-19 tests, with or without symptoms, PPE and more. It also has information if you feel unsafe from domestic abuse or if you have concerns about the safety of a vulnerable adult or child. We also can give information and advice about all these issues.

Your NHS is still here for you, too - so, as always, if you have any concerns about your health, please contact your GP or Pharmacist, or in any emergency, please call 999.  

For copies of this newsletter, our 8 - 13 and 14+ Sutton Young Carers News, as well as previous editions, then please visit our website here.
Best wishes,
Chiara Borwick
Communications & Digital Involvement Coordinator | Sutton Carers Centre (Carers Trust Network Partner)
Core working hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am - 5:30pm

Tel: 020 8296 5611 | Fax: 020 8296 5616 | ALPS: 020 8254 2616
Address: Benhill House, 1st Floor | 12-14 Benhill Avenue | Sutton | Surrey | SM1 4DA
Email: | Web:
Sutton Carers' Centre is a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Status. Registered in England, Company Number 3353573 and Charity Number 1062302.

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Sutton Carers Centre · First Floor Benhill House · 12 - 14 Benhill Avenue · Sutton, Surrey SM1 4DA · United Kingdom