Support Services During the Easter Holiday Period

0 min read

29 March 2024

Easter image of eggs and flowers to promote support services available to students during the holiday

Keeping yourself, your friends and your family safe during the holidays is so important. Please remember that help is always available, no matter what you or your friends are facing, and nobody should feel embarrassed about asking for help or support – it may be the most important thing that you ever do.

The emergency services operate as normal over the Easter period, on 999 (or 101 for the PSNI). In addition, the organisations below are available to help you throughout the holidays. These include organisations offering counselling, housing support and foodbanks. 

They are, of course, also available to provide assistance at any time throughout the year.

Mental Health

Inspire Students - 0800 098 8816 -   Inspire Students is an independent source of support and counselling for all students at College. They can be contacted for free, confidential and immediate support on the above number which is available 24/7, all year. If necessary, they can call you back.  Inspire can also be contacted through the Inspire Student Support Hub, where there is lots of useful advice and guidance. Click here

Lifeline - 0808 808 8000 Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service. If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help. Calls to Lifeline are free and Lifeline counsellors are available 24/7 to listen and help in confidence.  Deaf and hard of hearing Textphone users can call Lifeline on 18001 0808 808 8000.  

Housing Support   

MACS provides a range of services for young people, including those experiencing homelessness issues. They can be contacted on 028 4461 6551 (Downpatrick) or 028 9264 6329 (Lisburn), or visit their website.

Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) provides information and advice on homelessness and can be contacted on 03448 920 90 (during office hours) or 03448 920 908 (Out of hours service Mon-Fri after 5.00pm and weekends).  In an emergency the Housing Executive can provide temporary emergency accommodation for young people at risk of exploitation or who are vulnerable in some way – contact them on 03448 920 908. For further information click here.

Simon Community NI is a homelessness charity, working to support people who have no home; they can help find emergency accommodation and can be contacted on 0800 1712222 -   you can find out more on their website.

Belfast Central Mission (BCM) housing support is for young people in the Ards and North Down area. BCM works  with young people who are homeless, leaving care, or having difficulties with tenancies.  They can offer support with accommodation, self-care and independent living skills and budgeting, and BCM will provide a dedicated support worker for each service user.  A range of their services can be found at this link.

Women’s Aid provide support and information in relation to domestic abuse. Full contact details can be found here.

Food Banks   

Local food banks have been making a real difference to their communities. If you need to contact one of the food banks in your area, please email them on the details below and they will be in touch:    Bangor: info@bangorni.foodbank.org.uk 

Ards: info@newtownards.foodbank.org.uk

Lisburn:  team@lisburnfoodbank.org     

Downpatrick: fountainfoodbank@gmail.com 

Here is a list of  more food banks operating throughout Northern Ireland.