Simple Signposting to Better Health and Wellbeing
Do you think you would benefit from some further support to reduce your drinking to 'lower risk' levels?
- Speak to your GP, a loved one or call Drinkline 0300 1231110 (Mon-Fri 9am - 8pm, weekends 11am - 4pm). The Drinkline service provides free, confidential, accurate and consistent information and advice to callers who are concerned about their own or someone else`s drinking regardless of the caller`s age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or spirituality.
- The 'One You' drinks tracker app makes it easy to keep an eye on the booze and take control with daily tips and feedback.
- NHS Better Health have a 'Drink Free Days' app and tips on how to reduce alcohol consumption.
- Mutual Aid services including twelve step programmes and Smart Recovery are available to anyone who wants support to address their drug or alcohol use. You can find a meeting here:
Further tips on cutting down
Make a plan
Before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you're going to drink.
Set a budget
Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol.
Let them know
If you let your friends and family know you're cutting down and it's important to you, you could get support from them.
Take it a day at a time
Cut back a little each day. That way, every day you do is a success.
Make it a smaller one
You can still enjoy a drink, but go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer instead of pints, or a small glass of wine instead of a large one.
Have a lower-strength drink
Cut down the alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength (ABV in %). You'll find this information on the bottle.
Have a glass of water before you have alcohol and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or a soft drink.
Take a break
Have several drink-free days each week.
CGL Waltham Forest
CGL Waltham Forest provide drug and alcohol treatment and support services for children and adults who want to recover or change. CGL works at all levels, from prevention and early engagement, through to recovery. They support clients who may also be dealing with other issues and offer a range of 'wrap around' services.
Monday: 9.30am – 5.00pm
Tuesday: 9.30am – 8.00pm
Wednesday: 1pm – 5.00pm
Thursday: 9.30am – 8.00pm
Friday: 9.30am – 5.00pm
Monday: 10am - 4pm
Friday: 10am - 4pm
CGL have an anonymous webchat service that young people, parents, concerned others and professionals can access Monday to Friday 1-4pm, via the CGL YP website: https://www.changegrowlive.org/young-peoples-drug-alcohol-service-waltham-forest/info#opening
Telephone: 0203 826 9600
Address: 1 Beulah Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 9LG.
Drinkcoach Waltham Forest
DrinkCoach Waltham Forest provide a quick and easy quiz for residents to understand their alcohol consumption and associated risk, and offer personalised online advice based on the results. A limited number of video support sessions with an alcohol specialist are also available (while sessions last) for Waltham Forest residents scoring as increasing or higher risk. Use the code WFPROMO on the booking page (available to adults over 18 only)
You can also download a free app to set goals and receive tips and regular motivation to help you cut down your drinking.
National Support Services
The Money Helper Service was set up by the Government and offers free impartial advice including
- Advice and guides to help improve your finances
- Tools and calculators to help keep track and plan ahead
- Support over the phone and online
0800 1387777 (free phone)
Webchat opening hours:
- Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
- Saturday, 8am to 3pm
- Sunday and Bank Holidays, closed.
WhatsApp: Need help sorting out your debts, have credit questions or want pensions guidance? You can talk to the team live on WhatsApp.
- Add +44 77 0134 2744 to your WhatsApp and send a message.
Citizens Advice Service
The Citizens Advice Service can help you to make the right choices, including help to deal with your debt problems, how to avoid losing your home and how to get your finances back into shape. Citizens Advice also offer advice on Benefits and Tax credits as it's important to make sure that you get all the help that you're entitled to.
03444 111 444
National Debtline has helped millions of people with their debts. They'll talk you through options and give clear advice on how to take back control.
The Debt Advice Foundation is a national debt advice and education charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about debt.
0800 622 61 51
Credit unions can help those who can't get access to ordinary bank products.
Rising cost of Energy
If you are struggling to pay for energy or think you may get into difficulty, contact your supplier.
The energy regulator rules mean suppliers must offer payment plans you can afford and you can ask for ‘emergency credit’ if you use a prepay meter and can’t top up.
Save money off your Gas Bill
Turning down a single setting will make your boiler work more efficiently, saving around £129 a year for the average household. It only takes a few minutes to lower your flow temperature, and it can be changed back instantly. There’s nothing to lose by trying it. Advice from Nesta, the UK's innovation agency for social good.
Mayor of London - Borough Support
This Hub contains information about benefits, grants and discounts you can get if you are in financial difficulty, from the Mayor of London, the government, your local council, charities and advice centres.
The NHS Better Health website has a range of resources, tips and apps available to help with weight management and encourage a nutritious diet.
NHS Digital Weight Management Programme
A GP or pharmacist can refer a person to the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme if the individual comes into the following category:
- They are aged 18 or over.
- They have a BMI greater than 30. (The BMI threshold will be lowered to 27.5 for people from black, Asian, and ethnic minority backgrounds, as we know people from these ethnic backgrounds are at an increased risk of conditions such as Type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI.)
- They have diabetes, high blood pressure, or both.
- They have a smartphone, tablet, or computer with internet access.
NHS Digital weight management
A 12-week online behavioural and lifestyle programme. People can access it via a smartphone or computer with internet access. This programme offers digital weight management support via a 12 week intervention at 3 intensity levels:
• Level 1: Digital support only
• Level 2: Digital support + human coaching
• Level 3: Digital support + enhanced human coaching
The ‘Referral Hub’ triages patients to one of three levels of intervention based on demographic features associated with greater likelihood of non-completion of a weight management programme (based on evidence from the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme). Service users will have a choice of provider for a 12-week digital weight management service.
- Over the age of 18
- Has a BMI of 30+ (adjusted to ≥27.5 for people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds)
- Has a diagnosis of diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2) or hypertension or both.
- Currently pregnant
- Diagnosed eating disorder
- Significant unmanaged comorbidity
- Bariatric surgery within the past 2 years
- Moderate/severe frailty (as recorded on frailty register)
- For patients aged >80, further supporting information requested from GP to ensure suitability
Referrals by trained health care professional via GP surgery or via community pharmacies
NHS Low calorie diet programme (pilot)
A 12 month face to face programme (currently delivered online) to support weight loss, remission of type 2 diabetes and maintenance of a long term healthy lifestyle. The programme has three phases including 12 weeks low-calorie total diet replacement with shakes and soups, followed by food reintroduction and maintenance phases. The service includes:
- An initial one-to-one assessment
- 20 sessions with your Health & Wellbeing diabetes practitioner
- 26 online support modules
- Final one-to-one assessment
Xyla Health & Wellbeing, the LCD provider in NEL is accepting referrals until end of June 2022.
Criteria is based on DiRECT Trial.
• Age 18-65
• Type 2 diabetes diagnosed within the last 6 years
• BMI ≥27kg/m2 (≥25kg/m2 in patients with black, Asian and minority ethnic background)
• HbA1c within the last 12 months, with values as follows:
- if on oral agents, HbA1c 43-87 mmol/mol
- if diet-controlled, HbA1c 48-87 mmol/mol
- in all cases, HbA1c must be 87mmol/mol or lower
• Attended diabetes monitoring reviews when last offered, including retinal screening
• Commit to continue attending annual reviews, even if remission is achieved
Referrals by GP only
NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a 9-month tailored, personalised programme offering support to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes through structured education on healthy eating, weight management and lifestyle, including physical exercise component.
Patient information available in 16 languages.
- Aged 18 or over
• Registered with an NEL GP
• Able to take part in light/moderate physical activity
• HbA1c 42-47 mmol/mol (6.0-6.4%) or fasting plasma glucose 5.5-6.9 mmols/l within the last 24 months
• Women with a past diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and a normoglycaemic blood reading within the last 12 months
Does not accept referrals for women who are currently pregnant.
Referrals via GP or Patient self-referral (requires calculation of Diabetes UK risk score)
0333 577 3010
GLL Weight Management
(Until June 2023)
A 12 week programme including both educational and physical activity components to promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle. The programme utilises behaviour change techniques to support adults lose weight and gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Courses are aimed primarily at patients with a BMI>28, but are also available to those with a BMI>25 who have little knowledge of healthy eating and would benefit from guidance. In addition to those participants referred to PARS solely for weight loss/obesity, participants who have other medical conditions may also be signposted to the course as part of their health intervention.
- Residents 18+ years of age
- Overweight (BMI >25 - or >23.5 BAME*) with risk factors for Type 2 diabetes or CVD Or Obese (BMI >30 or >27.5 BAME*)
- Unstable angina.
- Resting BP +180/100.
- Significant drop in BP while exercising.
- Resting HR +100bpm.
- Ventricular or aortic aneurysm.
- Uncontrolled or acute heart failure.
- Uncontrolled arrhythmias.
- Temporary febrile illness.
- Unexplained dizziness or loss of consciousness
- Poorly controlled or severe diabetes.
- Uncontrolled respiratory conditions (asthma, COPD/Emphysema).
- Established symptomatic cerebra-vascular disease.
- Recent (- 6months) cardiac event
Referrals via GP.
For more information, visit better.org.uk/weight-loss, email email@example.com or speak to your GP today
NHS Weight Loss Plan app
Free 12-week diet and exercise plan available to all adults.
The plan, which has been downloaded more than 7 million times, is designed to help you lose weight safely – and keep it off.
Freely available on the App Store and Google Play.
BeeZee Bodies support families to improve their eating and lifestyle habits. They are a free service and offer support online and face-to-face.
Who is eligible?
Families with at least one child who is 5-15 years old, has a BMI > 91st centile and resides/goes to school/is registered with a GP in Waltham Forest. The whole family is encouraged to participate together.
Sign up here:
If you think the person you are concerned about is in immediate danger or needs urgent care, please call 999.
Whilst there are some amazing national services available, we recommend a local first approach. A list of local services can be found at the foot of this text.
Not sure which local authority area to choose? If you know a postcode you can check which local authority area here.
Street Link is a national service which can be used by members of the public if they see people sleeping rough. Referrals can be made online or via telephone (0300 500 0914).
Supporting access to primary care
Groundswell have produced and widely circulated small, plastic, credit card-style cards called ‘My Right to Healthcare’. These cards emphasise the person’s right to register and highlight that they may need assistance to complete forms and help with reading and understanding. The cards can be used to remind GP receptionists and other practice staff of the national patient registration guidance from NHS England. The cards are freely available and can be downloaded and printed locally.
In addition to the persons written or verbal consent, try to gather the following information to include on the duty to refer form.
- Person’s name
- Contact details – include a mobile phone number
- Address (if any)
- Household members / Next of Kin – if known
- Any other support needs, health issues or vulnerabilities
While someone can apply to any local authority, they should be made aware that the local authority might refer them to another local authority if they do not have a local connection to the area where they are applying for assistance. Local authorities should not refuse to accept a homeless application because a person does not have a local connection and must still provide emergency accommodation if the person is vulnerable or has significant health and social support needs.
Public Health System partners across London have been working together to produce a checklist resource for professionals conducting home visits to support those with concerns about damp and mould in their homes. The recommended actions vary depending on whether damp and mould is identified in the home concerned and whether there are known health vulnerabilities existing within the household.
A pilot of the checklist can be opened here.
Please follow the steps in the checklist and support the individual concerned by sending a letter to the appropriate authority where applicable. (Letter templates are included within the checklist resource).
Mayor of London - Borough Support
The Mayor of London is funding free local advice services for vulnerable Londoners and those on low incomes: Warmer Homes Advice Service in your borough
If a tenant is concerned about a private landlord, they can consider reporting them through the GLA’s rogue landlord process.
If someone needs help for a mental health crisis, emergency or breakdown, you should seek immediate expert advice and assessment. It's important to know that support is available, even if services seem busy at the moment because of coronavirus.
Scrolling down to the local listings below will provide you with a crisis line number to use in an emergency for each London borough.
However, if someone’s life is at risk – for example they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose and you do not feel that you can keep yourself or someone else safe you should call 999.
A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one. You will not be wasting anyone's time.
If you are not able to speak to your local NHS urgent mental health helpline and you need help urgently for a mental health issue, but it's not an emergency, you should call 111 who will tell you the right place to get help.
If you are worried that this person is at risk of suicide, please also see the section for Suicide Prevention.
You can also encourage them to ring:
Samaritans - (All age groups)
Tel: 116 123, open 24 hours a day.
Papyrus - (Young people)
Tel: 0800 068 41 41
Opening hours - Mon-Fri: 10am-10pm, weekends: 2pm-10pm & bank holidays: 2pm-5pm
Coping during a crisis
The mental health charity Mind has information on ways to help yourself cope during a crisis.
This includes calming exercises and a tool to get you through the next few hours.
Waltham Forest Access and Assessment and Brief Intervention Service
The Access and Assessment and Brief Intervention Service also provide a single telephone number for anyone enquiring about urgent mental health assessment where needed and management of referrals to other specialist mental health services.
The team is made up of psychiatrists, community mental health nurses, mental health social workers, support time and recovery workers and occupational therapists.
Referrals will be accepted from GPs or other health professional. Self-referrals or from family, carers or friends and via walk-in centres.
Telephone: 0300 555 1242
North East London NHS Foundation Trust 0300 555 1000 (24 hour freephone)
Address: Waltham Forest Access and Assessment and Brief Intervention Service
Thorpe Coombe Hospital
714 Forest Road
Opening times: 9am - 8pm, Monday to Friday and Saturdays 9am- 1pm.
The following resources are available to support people who are experiencing mental health challenges, however if they are in crisis and need urgent access to support, please go to the URGENT MENTAL HEALTH section of MECC Link where you can find local support services for mental health emergencies.
For non-urgent mental health support, encourage the person to contact their GP. Always give reassurances that there are lots of sources for support, however they wish to access and use them.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see listings of local support services in their borough.
Self Care Resources
- Good Thinking provides digital mental wellbeing support for Londoners. This includes free NHS-approved apps to help you deal with stress, anxiety, low mood and poor sleep.
- Every Mind Matters is an NHS-approved digital hub full of expert advice and practical tips to achieve good mental health.
- The NHS have other self-help tools available, including 5 steps to mental wellbeing.
- Mind 'The charity for better mental health' has an extensive range of self help resources available.
- For Men -CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer accredited, confidential and free support to men anywhere in the UK through a helpline and web and webchat service.
Adults can self-refer to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services. IAPT is a national NHS programme, which offers evidence based psychological therapies or interventions approved by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). IAPT is primarily for treating people with mild to moderate mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
IAPT treatments are delivered via a stepped care model where patients are initially offered low intensity therapies, such as computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) and guided self-help. If these treatments are unsuccessful, or not appropriate for individuals, higher intensity therapies are utilised and include one to one cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT). Please see local support and contact details for further information.
Children and Young People
The Mix is a leading support service that can help young people to take on challenges they are facing - from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs.
0808 0808 4994 (Freephone)
YoungMinds run a free, confidential parents helpline, which parents/careers can call if they are worried about how a child or young person is feeling or behaving. They also run a group called Parents Say, for parents whose children are accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
The PANDAS Foundation supports and advises parents who is experiencing a perinatal mental illness. They also inform and guide family members, carers, friends and employers as to how they can support someone who is suffering.
0843 2898401 (0900 - 2000 hrs, 7 days per week)
The Carers Trust contains helpful guides for carers on relationship management and information on self-care and respite care.
Refugees and asylum seekers
Thrive LDN have produced a number of resources designed to support new arrivals to the UK, including:
- Guidance for supporting the mental health and wellbeing of displaced Ukrainians
- Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of Afghan refugees
- Wellbeing guidance in 36 languages
Good Thinking’s 'Coping with Trauma' workbook outlines seven techniques to help people who have experienced trauma.
Veterans Combat Stress is the UK's leading mental health charity for veterans. They offer free, confidential 24-hour support to Service and ex-Service personnel who are experiencing mental health issues, including feeling suicidal.
0800 138 1619
Waltham Forest Talking Therapies - Adults
This service is available to anyone aged 18 or over registered with a GP in the borough. They can help people with a range of problems including depression, stress, anxiety, stress at work, phobias, difficulty sleeping, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, shyness and social anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Phone lines open 9-5, Monday to Friday.
Telephone: 0300 300 1554
Kooth - Young People
Kooth offer online counselling service for young people, aged 13-24, as well as articles around emotional wellbeing. The service is open 7 days per week, 365 days a year (noon until 10pm weekdays, 6pm until 10pm on Saturday and Sundays).
- The Couch to 5K phone app has been designed to help get people off the couch and running in just 9 weeks.
- The Active 10 phone app show you how how much brisk walking you do and helps to show you how you can fit a ten minute brisk walk into your day. It breaks this brisk walking down into manageable chunks of ten minutes and encourages at least one session every day (which equates to 70 minutes a week). Users can set their own goals and the app encourages people to progress up to 30 brisk minutes of walking per day, to meet the 150 minutes recommended by the Chief Medical Officer
- Why not join a Parkrun in your local area? Did you know that one of the best things about Parkrun and Junior Park run is that you can run, or jog or walk entirely at your own pace. This makes it accessible for those who never could envisage running 2k or 5k and creates an environment where people feel welcome.
Active Travel Toolkit
The Greater London Authority have produced a toolkit to support healthcare professionals to social prescribe active travel.
GoodGym - Adults
GoodGym offers opportunities to keep fit and doing good in your community. Members combine a weekly run with physical tasks such as gardening, painting, cleaning and helping isolated people aged 60+. All sessions are free to attend and open to runners of all abilities. GoodGym meet every Wednesday evening, 6.45pm, at Mirth, Marvel and Maud on Hoe Street, Walthamstow.
Telephone: 0203 432 3920
Waltham Forest Parks - Adults and Young People
Our parks offer various activities every day for free in Waltham Forest, such as Dance Fit, Pilates, Social Sport, Yoga and more. Classes are for all ages and abilities (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult).
Enjoy Waltham Forest - Adults and Young People
The service run various walks, cycling, football events and other free physical activities for families and individuals and for all age groups throughout the year.
Reassure them that sexual health services are confidential, and free of charge in most cases.
The Sexual Health Helpline provides advice and information on all aspects of sexual health, call free on 0300 123 7123 (open from 9am-8pm, Monday-Friday and Saturday-Sunday 11am to 4pm). Calls will be treated with sensitivity and in strict confidence.
Contraception Choices is designed to help people decide which method of contraception might suit them best and provides honest information on the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
Emergency hormonal contraception is effective up to five days after sex and is available from most community pharmacies. Some pharmacies may charge for this service, so it is advised to call ahead to check what they offer.
If registered with a GP, routine contraception and, in some cases, Long-Acting Reversible methods (such as an Interuterine Device/’coil’ or a contraceptive injection or implant) can be provided. Suggest contacting local practice directly to find out what they can offer.
Support for victims of sexual assault
The Havens provide specialist centres across London for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. For urgent advice and an initial assessment call 020 3299 6900.
Other local services
Go to the local support section for information on what is available in each borough.
Anyone aged over 16 can register with Sexual Health London for this free, confidential, and discrete sexual health service. Once registered, the service can issue an STI testing kit for people with mild or no symptoms, they can be posted to their home or collected from a clinic. Users take their own samples and post the kit back to the laboratory. Test results are available a few days later and telephone support is provided.
This service requires registering online and is best accessed via a mobile phone for confidentiality, so do encourage the person you are talking with to register.
Specialist Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinics
People who are aged under 16 years and people with serious symptoms that could indicate a sexually transmitted infection are advised to contact a face-to-face clinic. These clinics can also provide a wide range of contraception including Long-Acting Reversible Methods e.g. coils and implants.
HIV prevention and outreach
Do It London provides highly effective treatment and prevention strategies for HIV. The London HIV Prevention Programme hosts information and resources about U=U, PrEP, condoms and a range of HIV testing services across London.
Free condoms for young people
The Come Correct (or C-Card) scheme provides access to free condoms in a variety of locations (called Outlets) across London. Once registered you can collect condoms or get advice from any outlet displaying the Come Correct logo.
Support for victims of sexual assault
The Havens provide specialist centres across London for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. For urgent advice and an initial assessment call 020 3299 6900.
- Call the free Smokefree National Helpline to speak to a trained, expert adviser on 0300 123 1044. All lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm*.
- Smokefree has lots of free support this includes a smartphone app, email programme or text messages that will keep you focused wherever you are.
- You can also speak to your doctor, pharmacy team or local Stop Smoking Service for expert advice on stop smoking medicines.
- Download the NHS Smokefree app from itunes or google play
- Get further information from the National Health Service www.nhs.uk/quit
- Consider using e-cigarettes to stop smoking
- Millions have used Smokefree support to help them stop smoking. Choose from an app, email, SMS and face-to-face guidance.
Emphasise that quitting will the best thing they will ever do and the NHS Smokefree service can provide the friendly and helpful support they need to quit for good
The availability of cheap, illegal tobacco can seriously undermine attempts to stop smoking. Did you know that you can report any sales of illegal tobacco in your community by contacting Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline anonymously on 0808 223 1133, or report it online at http://www.londontradingstandards.org.uk/report-consumer-crime/. Click on our regional resources tab to see more information about how organisations in London are working together on the Stamp It Out campaign and how you can help.
Quit Right Waltham Forest
Quit Right is a free, confidential stop smoking service available to adult smokers as well as children and young people over the age of 12.
The service offers information and advice as well as an intensive 12-week stop smoking programme including behavioural support and stop smoking aids.
Clients can make appointments directly or be referred by a health professional
Telephone: 020 7882 8230 / 0800 169 1943
Booking an appointment
For those wishing to find out whether they are eligible for a vaccination and how to book an appointment, go back to the Assist section and guide them through.
Local information and support
Specific borough information for local vaccination and support services can be found below.
Telephone: 020 8496 3000 (7am to 7pm)
Online form: https://portal.walthamforest.gov.uk/AchieveForms/?mode=fill&consentMessage=yes&form_uri=sandbox-publish://AF-Process-f9897ced-5193-44a6-b0a3-303125253e60/AF-Stage-e27ba03f-4cc4-49a5-a44f-f55233d47b3c/definition.json&process=1&process_uri=sandbox-processes://AF-Process-f9897ced-5193-44a6-b0a3-303125253e60&process_id=AF-Process-f9897ced-5193-44a6-b0a3-303125253e60