Holiday Closure Signposting Support – Support and Advice

Thank you for working with Action for Refugees in Lewisham this year. The AFRIL office will be closed from Friday 22nd December 2023 – Monday 8th January 2024 and we look forward to supporting you in the new year.

Please see below a list of services and organisations who are able to offer support or advice over the holiday period.

If you are an existing client and have urgent casework or advice needs such as street homelessness, AFRIL may be able to support you between Wednesday 27th December and Friday 29th December. In this case please email your named caseworker and you will receive an automated reply with the name of the caseworker to contact.

If you are facing immediate homelessness you can contact your Local Authority Housing Team who maintain a reduced service over the holiday period.

  • Lewisham Council Homelessness Team  0808 178 0939.
  • Lewisham Council Customer Service Centre 020 8314 6000.
  • Greenwich Council Housing Inclusion Team Team 020 8921 2863.
  • Greenwich Council Customer Service Center 020 8854 8888
  • Southwark Homeless Persons Unit 0207 525 5000 and choose option 3
  • Bromley Council Emergency Homeless Service 0300 303 8671.
  • Bromley Council Customer Service Number 020 8464 3333

If you are an asylum seeker and you are homeless, or if you are experiencing issues with Asylum Support Accommodation you can contact Migrant Help on 0808 8010 503 27/7, 365 days per year (including the festive period).

If you are homeless and are not able to access statutory housing you can contact Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 for support with accessing local homeless shelters.

You could also contact Crisis, for access to the Crisis at Christmas provision on 02070364511 or london@crisis.org.uk .

If you are facing homelessness but do not have Recourse to Public Funds and have children, please contact the Local Authority Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub.

  • Lewisham 020 8314 6660
  • Greenwich 020 8921 3172
  • Southwark 020 7525 5000
  • Bromley 030 0303 8671

Asylum Accommodation Discontinuation
The Home Office have confirmed that Asylum Support Discontinuations will be paused from Friday 22nd December to Tuesday 2nd  January. If you receive a letter asking you to leave your Asylum Hotel or Dispersal Accommodation, you do not need to leave until Wednesday 3rd January.

Please see here a list of organisations across Lewisham who provide foodbank support and/or free and low cost meals: https://www.goodfoodlewisham.org/_files/ugd/7db68e_c5b789cc630e4929aee927e87451bf11.pdf

Please also see a list of Christmas Meals on, or before the 25th December 2023 in Lewisham:


Mental Health
The following organisations will remain open as usual over the holiday period to provide wellbeing and mental health support

  • Crisis Mental Health Line (South London and Maudsley 24 hour mental health support line) 0800 731 2864 – open every day.
  • Silver Line Helpline offers conversation and is open 365 days a year 24 hours  – 0800 470 8090
  • Samaritans Call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org– open 24/7

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or are having thoughts of harming yourself or others please call 999 or present at your local A&E department. Hospitals remain open over the holiday period and you can locate your closest A&E here: https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/other-services/Accident%20and%20emergency%20services/LocationSearch/428

Safeguarding and Social Services
Children’s Social Services remain open during the festive period and should you have concerns about your family or another child you can contact Local Authority Children’s Services at:

  • Lewisham 020 8314 6660
  • Greenwich 020 8921 3172
  • Southwark 020 7525 5000
  • Bromley 030 0303 8671

Adult Services can also provide safeguarding and social care support for vulnerable adults regardless of recourse to public funds:

  • Lewisham: 0208 314 7777
  • Greenwich: 020 8921 2304
  • Southwark: 020 7525 5000
  • Bromley 020 8464 4848

For information about free activities for children over winter 2023, please click here.

All AFRIL Staff and Volunteers would like to wish you a restful and safe holiday period, and look forward to working with you in 2024.