A service which provides a lifeline for young people in need of help and advice is gearing up to cope with demand over the festive period.
Talkzone offers guidance, support and information for young people by phone, email, text, Facebook, Twitter and webtalk. It’s for young people between the ages of 12 and 19; and up to the age of 25 for young people with special educational needs or a disability.
Talkzone is provided by Lancashire County Council’s Children and Family Wellbeing Service. It is available between 2pm and 10pm, every day of the year, including Christmas Day.
Susie Charles, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: “I’m glad we have Talkzone, because Christmas and New Year aren’t always happy for everyone.
“This time of year can be as stressful and challenging for young people as it can be for adults. They can feel as if all their friends are having a good time, while they might be at home with their worries.
“The good news is that you’re not alone. Talkzone is staffed by sympathetic workers who are experienced in dealing with a wide range of issues affecting young people. They’ve probably dealt with every problem and question under the sun at some stage.
“If you’re a young person and need to discuss anything, you can ring, text or email and one of our advisers will be there to help.”
Since it was set up 24 years ago, Talkzone advisors have responded to thousands of enquiries from young people on a huge range of issues.
Gaja Gannon, the manager of Talkzone, added: “We have qualified and experienced staff on hand who are used to dealing with anything and everything that young people call about. They really can talk about any worries, and at this time of year that is often about coping with family and relationship pressures.
“As well as relationship issues, Talkzone also helps young people who find themselves homeless at Christmas, need contraceptive, drugs and alcohol advice; or who need information about finding a job. No matter how big or small the issue is, Talkzone is available to help all young people in Lancashire.”
The service will be open from 2pm to 10pm throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Young people are welcome to ring on 0800 511111, text on 07786 511111, email email@example.com make contact via facebook.com/LancashireYZ to talk about any issue that concerns them.
More information about Talkzone and other information for young people is available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/youthzone.
Talkzone will also remind young people of the support that is available to them from Lancashire County Council and other organisations.