What to do in a crisis

If you feel your situation is at crisis point, and you need immediate help, please read the information below to find out which services may be able to help you.

In an EMERGENCY, call 999 to reach police, ambulance, fire brigade and rescue services.

This number should only be used when urgent attendance by the emergency services is required – for example someone is seriously ill or injured, or a crime is in progress.

Calls are free, and 999 can be dialled from a locked mobile phone.

Local council

For information about help with food, money or housing, your local council can inform you about local services available to you. Find your local council’s website by clicking here.


If you are struggling to buy food, your local food bank may be able to help. Click here to find a food bank near you.

For Trussell Trust : Speak to your GP, social worker, health visitor or Citizen Advice about obtaining a food voucher before going to your nearest Trussell Trust foodbank . A food voucher entitles you to a minimum of three days’ emergency food.  Before you set-off, remember to check their opening hours.
There may be other types of foodbanks locally which don’t require vouchers, for example churches or community organisations.

Domestic violence and abuse

It is important to reach out for help if you, or someone you know, are experiencing domestic violence or abuse. The NHS has a lot of useful information on its website, ranging from how to recognise the signs and where to get help. Click here to find out more.

Housing advice

Shelter can help you understand your rights and protect you against homelessness and other housing issues

  • England– Phone: 0808 800 4444 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and 9am to 5pm weekends and bank holidays)
  • Scotland– Phone: 0808 800 4444 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, closed bank holidays), see their website for Christmas and New Year opening times
  • Wales– Phone: 08000 495 495 (Monday to Friday 9am to 2:30pm)

Housing Advice NI

If you live in Northern Ireland, Housing Advice NI is an excellent place to get independent housing advice.

Phone: 028 9024 5640 (Open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4:30pm, closed on public holidays)
Textphone: 028 9026 9927

Have a problem to solve which has not been answered here?

Call GroceryAid’s free and confidential Helpline 08088 021 122 to speak to one of our trained specialists and receive guidance on money, debt, housing, family, benefits and more.

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