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Relationships

We are all in a big network of relationships; with family, friends, acquaintances, teachers, partners and all sorts of other people. 

When they are healthy, these relationships help us to thrive. As well as helping us enjoy the good times, they see us through the bad times too, holding us like a safety net when we’re at risk of falling.

What all good relationships have in common is that they are based on respect, trust, and communication. That’s true whether it’s your relationship with your best friend, your teacher or your partner.

Sometimes relationships go really well and other times unfortunately people can hurt and make each other unhappy. Are you are worried about yourself or a friend and not sure if you/ they are in an unhealthy relationship?

All relationships are different. This section has information and advice about relationship issues. You will find links to local services and to national websites and helplines.

Good relationships help emotional wellbeing

There is strong evidence to support having good relationships matters. Relationships can impact our mental and physical health. Positive and supportive relationships will help us to feel healthier, happier, and more satisfied with our lives.

Making friends isn't always easy. If you find it difficult, Childline provides some tips to help.

Liggy Webb a specialist in the field of modern life skills provides 8 tips to help you to develop more positive and healthy relationships in all areas of your life. Liggy Webb's quick tips for a healthy relationship:

  • Ensure that the relationship you have with yourself is a positive one.
  • Accept and celebrate the fact that we are all different.
  • Actively listen to hear what other people have to say.
  • Give people time and “be present” when you are with them.
  • Develop and work on your communication skills.
  • Manage mobile technology and be aware of its pitfalls.
  • Learn to give and take constructive feedback.
  • Open your heart and find the courage to trust.
  • Learn to be more understanding and empathetic.
  • Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself

As important as your relationship with people are, you also need to consider your relationship with exercise and being active, eating healthy, drugs, alchohol and smoking and your mental and emotional wellbeing . If these relationships are unhealthy, all other relationships may suffer. Keep the relationship you have with your health and wellbeing by choosing to care for your health through good food, self-care, positive self-talk, and healthy living. All other relationships can then flourish.

 

When your relationship is making you unhappy

If you choose to be in a relationship with someone, it should be a positive experience. It won't be perfect every day - all relationships go through ups and downs -but it should be fun and help you feel good about yourself.

A relationship should never feel like a burden; in fact, it should just feel like an extension of the relationship you have with yourself. If you maintain a good relationship with you, then the person who reflects you should simply add to your life, not subtract from it.

When your relationship is making you unhappy, you might want to consider seeking help.

Family Lives works around the clock, transforming the lives of families, supporting parents and making happier relationships, happier families and a stronger society. Contact a Family is a national charity for families with disabled children provide information, advice and support. Contact a Family bring families together so they can support each other.

Relate is the UK's largest provider of relationship support, and every year they  help over a million people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations to strengthen their relationships. Relate offer a range of services to help you with your couple and family relationships, parenting, separation and divorce, help for children, young people, young adults and self help tools. 

Mediation is a way of resolving disputes and improving relationships between people who come into regular contact with each other such as neighbours, family members, students, work colleagues, business customers, and businesses. Thames Valley Family Mediation has been consistently delivering excellence in family mediation for more than 30 years. Mediation Buckinghamshire is a well established provider of mediation services operating in Buckinghamshire and adjacent counties. Destiny Support has developed an independent Mediation Service to help families or any member of the community in dispute seek solutions without taking matters to court including parents with special needs children. When there have been arguments at home between young people and family members, Room to Talk mediators can help by giving all those involved a safe space to talk and listen to each other and plan for the future.

You might want to talk about your worries and problems and get support. Slough Young Carers is for 8-19 year olds in Slough. The sessions offer advice, support and a break for young people. Number 22 in Maidenhead and Youth Talk in Windsor offer free and confidential counselling primarily to young people aged 12-25 and those who care for them through an appointment-based service for as long as they need it. Youthline provide a free, confidential counselling service for young people attending secondary school, and young adults up to the age of 25.   Kooth is a free online service that offers emotional and mental health support for children and young people. Kooth is suitable for children and young people aged 11 to 19 (25 in some areas). Talking Therapies is a friendly and approachable service that help adults aged 17+ living in Berkshire to overcome life’s difficulties and problems and manage them better. Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk  anytime you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting  to you.

Befriending makes a real difference to people's lives, often at a time of change, people need support of another person to help them through a difficult time. If you or someone that you know are feeling lonely or isolated and would benefit from personalised support, Befriending - Thames Valley Housing and Slough Multilingual Telephone Befriending Service offer support.

Whatever your worry or problem, there is support and help. If you feel you need further support, please contact the Family Information Service on 01753 476589 or email FIS@slough.gov.uk for help and signposting to local and national services.

Are you being bullied? Are you feeling worried or unsafe?

Bullying is repeated behaviour with the intention to hurt someone either emotionally or physically, and is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability.

Bullying can take many forms including physical, verbal, sexual, homophobic and cyber bullying (bullying through a mobile phone or online (eg by email, instant messenger or on social network sites).

Bullying can happen anywhere: at school, travelling to and from school, in sporting teams, between neighbours or in the workplace.

The impact bullying has on children and young people can be drastic, but there are many things you can do to support your child and protect them from harm.

Bullying UK provides  practical tips to help you deal with bullying and its associated issues such as online safety, schooling, raising self-esteem and encouraging positive behavior. Kidscape offer support and advice to children, parents, schools and those in professional contact with young people to enable them to gain knowledge and develop the confidence and skills to challenge abuse and bullying in all its forms. Childline provides support with bullying,  tips to cope with bullying and tips to build your confidence.

Are you are worried about yourself or a friend and not sure if they are being abused by their partner?

Sometimes relationships go really well and other times unfortunately people can hurt and make each other unhappy. Are you are worried about yourself or a friend and not sure if they are being abused by their partner?

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.

This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Family members are: mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister & grandparents, directly-related, in-laws or step-family.

A recent change in UK law recognises stalking and coercive control (a pattern of behaviour which seeks to take away the victim's liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self) as domestic abuse and is liable to prosecution.

There are no cultural or religious reasons for anyone to suffer domestic abuse and help is available through a wide range of local and national groups.

What you can do

If you feel any of the above applies to your situation please contact the Family Information Service on 01753 476589 or email FIS@slough.gov.uk for help and signposting to local and national services.

If you are not in immediate danger but would like support for domestic abuse you can call the police on 101 or contact the council’s Housing Team on 01753 475111 or, your GP, your local children’s centre, your health visitor, your pastoral lead at your school, district nurse, housing officer or any other key worker who will assess your situation and help you plan your next steps. It is important that you tell somebody you trust who can help get the support you need.

In addition the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Free phone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 also offers telephone translation services for callers whose first language is not English and BT Type talk for callers with hearing difficulties. This helpline provides support and the opportunity to access refuge services.

If you require free, fast injunction service please call the National Centre for Domestic Violence on 0800 970 2070 or visit their website for further details

Children affected by domestic abuse may suffer long term psychological effects and may require specialist support. If you suspect a child is suffering with domestic abuse this should be immediately reported to Slough Children’s Trust or 01753 875362.

Further information can be found on the NSPCC website including tools and guidance for parents and families.

Who can help me?

The Slough Family Information Service website provides information on various support services and signposts to related services. Visit the sections of the website for information, advice and links to various services. A list of services that might be of help is available below. 

If you feel threatened or in danger at any time call 999 immediately.

To contact police in an non emergency -  0800 0283550

Report a child at risk through the Slough Children's Services Trust - 01753 875362

Report suspected adult abuse through Slough Adult Social Care Services 01753 475111 (option 1)

National Domestic Abuse helpline – 0808 2000247

Advice & Support:

Specialist domestic abuse service:

  • Hestia - provide practical and emotional support to women, men and children who are victims of domestic violence.
  • Hestia - Freedom Programme - psycho-educational programme for those needing awareness around Domestic Abuse, may still be in relationship with perpetrator.
  • Bright Sky is a free to download mobile app provided by Hestia providing support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.
  • Sewak housing – Freedom Programme - is a rolling 10-week programme in Asian Languages (Urdu, Punjabi), you are welcome to join at any time.
  • Galop, the LGBT+ anti-violence charity – support lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people
  • National Centre for Domestic Violence - provides a free, fast emergency injunction service to survivors of domestic violence
  • Slough Adult Social Care Services - report suspected adult abuse
  • Men's Advice Line - Help and support for male victims of domestic violence
  • Survivors UK - for male survivors of domestic abuse
  • Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse - is dedicated to the safety of adults and children at risk of domestic abuse. 
  • Chances for children - Anchor Project - provides funding for items and activities to help a child who might be experiencing a range of emotional or educational difficulties including behavioural problems, low self confidence, isolation and poor school performance.
  • Flag DV offer a 30 minute free legal advice appointment for victims of domestic abuse.  The service is for those aged over 18 years who need advice about family law.  Clients will be offered a telephone consultation or face to face appointment and the service is free and available across Thames Valley.

Rape & sexual assault:

Female Genital Mutilation

Victims of Crime:

  • Victims First -  is dedicated to making sure that all victims of crime receive the support they need to cope and recover from the impact of their crime.
  • Victim Support – supports victims of crime
  • SAFE - Support for Young People Affected by Crime

Stalking:

Honour Based violence and forced marriage:

If you have hurt loved ones:

  • Respect Phoneline is a confidential helpline, email and webchat service for perpetrators of domestic violence looking for help to stop.

Useful Resources:

If you have hurt loved ones

http://www.refuge.org.uk/ provides the following information:

It takes strength to admit that you are hurting / abusing your partner. If you really want to change, you can.Violence is learned behaviour. You can unlearn it – but you will only be successful if you can:

  • Accept responsibility for the abuse. You cannot blame your actions on your partner, or on drink, drugs, stress or work
  • Accept that the abuse comes from your desire to control your partner. Understand the ways you control her and why you behave like this
  • Realise that you have a choice. You choose to be violent or abusive, and you can choose not to be
  • Accept that your partner has a right to live her own life without being dominated and controlled
  • Stop using anger, violence, and other abusive behaviours to control your partner
  • Seek help from professionals. Start by talking to your GP, who can refer you to a perpetrator programme

Respect Phoneline is a confidential helpline, email and webchat service for perpetrators of domestic violence looking for help to stop.

Are you thinking of breaking up or divorcing?

Relationships sometimes end up in breaking up / separating or divorcing and is rarely easy.  Even if it’s your decision, you’ll probably feel some sadness and miss things about your ex. If you’ve just broken up with someone, it’s normal to feel a whole range of emotions including sadness, anger, regret, anxiety, relief. You may not believe it right now but however awful you feel at this moment, you won’t continue to feel this bad forever.

http://www.brook.org.uk/ provides tips for under 25s to help you cope with the aftermath of a breakup.

You can discuss your current situation with a trained counsellor at Relate. If you have children, it’s vital that your break-up goes as smoothly as possible to minimize the impact on them.  Family Lives provides information on how divorce affects your children and ways you can help them through the process. Coram Child Law Advice Line provides free legal advice and information on all aspects family, child and education law affecting children and families. For more information  visit the Child Law Advice Service website at www.childlawadvice.org.uk  CAFCASS provides information on child arrangements after divorce and separation. Slough Children's Centres family services officers offer advice and information about a range of issues including debt, relationship breakdown, mental and physical health, housing and employment, Home Safety checks. They can put you in touch with a range of other services, apply for grants if you are in a crisis and offer practical help and support.

Divorce and separation are difficult to explain to children. Most often children feel they are to blame for the situation. Children's books such as 'Standing on My Own Two Feet: A Child's Affirmation of Love in the Midst of Divorce' by Tamara Schmitz, 'Was it the Chocolate Pudding?: A Story for Little Kids About Divorce' by Sandra Levins, 'What in the World Do You Do When Your Parents Divorce?: A Survival Guide for Kids'  by Kent Winchester, help to address these issues and reassure the child.

When relationships break down it is often difficult to talk to each other. Thames Valley Mediation and Mediation Bucks provide help on reaching an agreement on financial and on parenting issues.

Any relationship break down can affect other areas of your life. Gingerbread the charity for single parent families provide expert advice and practical support on childcare, child contact, benefits, housing for single mums and dads. Slough Advice Centre (SPACE) provides advice on benefits, debt, employment, housing and other matters. Citizen Advice Bureau provides advice on marriage and civil partnership, child maintenance, benefits, housing, work, debt and money. 

When a loved one has a terminal illness or dies

When a loved one develops a serious illness or dies, you go through a multitude of emotions. You feel sorrow, anxiety, anger, acceptance, depression, denial.

Helpguide.org.uk provides information on coping with the terminal illness of a loved one, support with saying goodbye and the grief and loss of a loved one.

Citizen Advice Bureau offers information on what you need to do after someone has died, including who to inform and how to arrange the funeral. You can also find help with what to do about the person’s financial affairs and their will.