Supporting information

Child on a zip wire in the woods with the words Holiday food and fun

Please find below information on a range of services to help you and your family stay safe, happy and healthy. There are lots of different ways you can get help if you are worried about yourself or your family and we have included information on the most common issues. You can also find a lot of information, resources and other places you can get help and support on the Open for Parents website. It offers information and signposting service on all aspects of family life for parents of children and young people aged 0 to 19.

Supporting families to thrive

It’s important to make sure you get all the help that you’re entitled to. Housing and finance issues can arise and therefore you need to know your rights and responsibilities.

  • Guidance from the government on financial support if you're looking for work.
  • For a financial health check or help with another benefits issue, contact the East Sussex welfare benefits helpline.
  • Free and impartial money advice from Money Helper.
  • Citizens Advice offer confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person for free.
  • Housing services around the county are provided through your local district or borough council housing support.
  • The East Sussex Warm Home Check service offers anyone struggling to keep warm at home advice and help to access the support available. You can refer yourself to the service at Keep Warm and Well, text WARM to 81400 or call 03444 111 444. 
  • For help and advice with a benefits issue, or for a free, confidential financial health check, contact the Welfare benefits helpline on 0333 344 0681, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or email the Welfare benefits team.
  • Food banks – if you are struggling to afford food then food banks could help in the short term. Community hubs, voluntary and community sector organisations and local authorities can refer people to food banks. You can find out about local services by searching ‘food banks’ on East Sussex 1space.

Local council support information

Website: Lewes and Eastbourne Councils - Cost of Living Crisis
Phone: 01323 679722

Website: Hastings Borough Council - Financial support available to residents
Phone: 01424 451019

Website: Lewes and Eastbourne Councils - Cost of Living Crisis
Phone: 01273 099956

Website: Rother District Council
Phone: 01424 787000

Website: Wealden District Council
Phone: 01323 443322

Living happy and healthy lives

It’s important to take care of your mind as well as your body. Our minds and bodies are closely linked, so our physical health can impact our mental health and our mental health can impact our physical health. It’s important to look after both.  We all need good mental health and wellbeing.  

  • Better Health NHS - Healthy changes start with little changes.
  • Every Mind Matters - expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.
  • When you're living with a mental health problem, having access to the right information is vital. Mind can offer help and support.
  • Find local support at Star Drugs and Alcohol Service East Sussex.
  • Mental health i-Rock service for young people (14 to 25) – the service is offering sessions via telephone, email or virtual clinic (like FaceTime). Open 5 days a week from 11am to 6pm and can support young people with their wellbeing, housing, education, employment, mental health and relationships. Young people can email them to arrange a chat. Watch live on Instagram (I_rock_eastsussex) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4.30pm. They can also watch a short video to find out more about i-Rock or check out their Facebook pages: i-Rock Hastings; i-Rock Eastbourne; and i-Rock Newhaven
  • Bags of Taste is a comprehensive programme that takes participants from eating unhealthy food, to enjoying better diets and healthier finances. See the website for upcoming classes.
  • Healthy habits is an 8-week after school club for children from reception to year 7 (and their grown-ups) covering healthy lifestyle topics – from healthy eating, physical activity, sleep and screen time. It’s a fun way to learn about staying healthy together
  • East Sussex School Health are a team of school nurses who work with children, young people and families in East Sussex. You do not have to be in school to use this service. The focus is on promoting the health and wellbeing of all school-aged children.
  • The Outdoor Kids Sun Safety Code was created by the Melanoma Fund to ensure that all children who love playing outdoors in organised activity are adequately sun protected. The Sun-Sorted Quiz helps children understand why sun protection is important. This year the charity has partnered with Holiday Food and Fun to offer free Sun-Sorted! sunscreen kits to participating clubs and groups. If you run an outdoor group, sign up now to become Sun Protection Accredited and receive a free downloadable toolkit.

Staying safe in the community

Communities which are confident that anti-social behaviour is being tackled effectively are stronger and more secure.  Several agencies including your local council, the police and social landlords all have a range of powers to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Happy and healthy relationships

  • Domestic violence – local support services about sexual abuse and domestic violence.
  • Refuge – you are not alone.
  • Relate Sussex – offering a range of services to help you with your couple and family relationships, whether you're young or old, straight, gay or bi, single or in a relationship.
  • Mediation – They facilitate positive, constructive discussions; enabling people to hear one another and to resolve their differences.
  • Click Relationships - Learn how to make your relationships work better.

Keeping children safe

Safeguarding is everyone’s business. Now more than ever it is important that we are watchful and alert towards the signs and indications of abuse and neglect.

If you are worried about a child or teenager that may be at risk of harm or in danger: In an emergency call 999. Otherwise contact the Single Point of Advice (SPOA) on 01323 464222, Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Open for Parents is a family-friendly source of information, advice and guidance to parents and carers in East Sussex. The content points to both local and nation information and resources and includes COVID-19 relevant content. Information has been sourced in collaboration with colleagues from SLES, SEND, CLASS, Early Help and Children’s Centres.