Advice line open over festivities

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LANCASHIRE County Council is reminding young people who need information and advice during the festive period that its help line will be open over Christmas and the New Year.

The line’s guidance and support services are available to young people between the age of 13 and 19, and up to the age of 25 for those with a disability.

The line, which is open between 10am and 10pm every day, is run by the county council’s Young People’s Service. It opened in 1993 as a local help line to support youth workers and young people in Lancashire. Since then, it has grown to include email, text and webchat.

County Coun. Mark Perks, Cabinet member for young people, said: “We should remember that, while Christmas is a celebration for many people, that isn’t the case for everyone.

“Christmas and New Year can be stressful, but the good news for young people who aren’t having a great time, is that they’re not alone.

“The line’s staff are here to help. They are knowledgeable and sympathetic. They are ready and available to help. They must have dealt with every problem and query under the sun. I hope young people will ring, text or email if they need to.”

Tracy Scotland, who manages the line for the Young People’s Service, added: “The line is staffed by 10 young people’s workers who are qualified in information and advice work.

“The staff are used to dealing with anything and everything young people call about. Young people can talk about anything that concerns them and at Christmas that is often about coping with family and friendship pressures.

“As well as relationship issues, the line also helps young people who find themselves homeless at Christmas, are struggling to buy food and would like a food parcel, need contraceptive advice or who need transport information so they can get home safely.

“Once the festivities are over, any young people who are looking for advice and support with starting a new job or some other activity, can also give us a call. The service will be open from 10am to 10pm throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Young people are welcome to ring on 0800 511111 or text on 07786 511111. You can access the webtalk and email services at www.lancashire.gov.uk/yps.