Information Now

1 May 2020 Corona 6


New on InformationNOW
Latest scams and fraud
The impact of domestic violence on children
Coronavirus information
Zoom and streaming bombing – be aware
Care worker recruitment

Research & Reports

Active Lives adult fitness report (including Mental Health Awareness and British Lung Foundation)

Opportunities for Action

Sign up for free language online taster sessions
VE Day 75 Newcastle
Donate hardware and software for vulnerable people


Top tips for feeding your child on a low budget
Sexual health advice and support during lockdown
Free online support for families with young children
Music and dementia


New on InformationNOW

At this sad and difficult time, we have updated our article on bereavement and grief. Grief affects people in different ways. There’s no particular way you should be feeling, or time it will take for you to adapt to the death and feel more like yourself again. It’s important to let yourself grieve in your own way. This might include spending time on your own, but it’s also good to talk to others and draw on their support.  Our article covers grief and the organisations that can help you.

The following organisations have been created or updated on InformationNOW:
The Newcastle Meditation Centre
Skills for People – keeping connected service

People Plus Group taking over Direct Payments
North East Law Centre help includes benefit sanctions, sudden job loss, eviction .
Telecare Choice
West end refugee service – now includes remote befriending
Beyond words pictorial and visual information
St Oswald’s Hospice
Music Mirrors resources to make music tapes and memories
Newcastle U3A – online learning and recipe exchange

Food banks and deliveries and free meals and cheap food updated including Age UK pet walking, shopping and garden tidy.

You might also like to listen to our InformationNOW podcast on Facebook and share it with others.

Latest scams and fraud

Information from Northumbria Police

Please don’t buy pets over the internet. Always purchase from a reputable breeder and you should see the animal before you pay. Even during the coronavirus you shouldn’t make a down payment on an animal.  Most offers at the moment are scams and the pet will not be delivered to you.

Safe video conferencing

Only download software from reputable brands such as Apple or Google Play or from the official website of the provider:
Skype  at  or to download
Zoom at

  • Make sure your password cannot be matched with your other passwords for email and apps.
  • Set up 2 step authentication
  • Make sure you know how a meeting is recorded so you can spot the signs
  • Don’t post on social media – invite by email to keep the meetings private and avoid “bombing” (see below)
  • Keep your software and devices up to date to maximise security

YHN scam alert

We have been made aware that scammers have targeted a small number of YHN customers  asking them to make rent payments. All rent payments are passed to an automated system not an individual staff member on the telephone.  If in doubt, do not give any personal details out over the phone and contact the YHN finance team by emailing or calling 0191 278 7725.

Cyber Aware

The NCSC has launched a Cyber Aware campaign to help the public stay secure on the internet.  Read their top tips to tackle and protect you from the growing cyber threats. Included in this is a new suspicious email reporting servicehelping the public to fight back against phishing. To find out more about this new service and for tips on the 6 most essential protective behaviours, visit their website.

Keep up to date with scams and fraud during the coronavirus on InformationNOW.

If you need help, contact the CityLife line where the Council is working with the voluntary sector to keep you safe and deliver food and essentials at home.

Domestic violence and the impact on children

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner has written to the Chancellor to request more funding for support services, and a coalition of Domestic Abuse charities have called for increased funding and public awareness raising. The Children’s Commissioner wants to see a public campaign that makes clear what domestic abuse is (using the broad definition in the delayed Domestic Abuse Bill), and making it clear that it is never acceptable.

There is a call for additional funding for national and local helplines and to guarantee accommodation for those fleeing abuse. The Domestic Abuse bill would have introduced a requirement on councils to have sufficient accommodation for victims – it has been delayed just at the time when victims are likely to need that support most; Councils should also be funded to ensure the long term health of the domestic abuse charities and to support refuges that may have to close temporarily.

Refuge has released information about the increase in honour violence and other forms of domestic abuse known as harmful traditional practices that predominantly affect Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) women and children. 33% new calls were related to the Covid 19 situation.

Newcastle City Council has published a new page on preventing abuse or safeguarding someone and within that is a film to explain what to look for and what to do.

If you have a concern about an adult at risk, contact Community Health and Social Care Direct.

Coronavirus updates

Funerals to be streamed live

Mourners unable to attend funerals because of social distancing will be given the option by the family to watch services online.  Newcastle City Council will begin live web streaming funeral services conducted at the West Road Cemetery from Thursday 30 April.  The online service will be offered by a private link for mourners for free until the end of the year.  Families can book the service through funeral directors who are being informed of the new service.

Cameras have been installed at the rear of the east and west chapels. They will focus on the lectern and catafalque (where the coffin rests) and the first two rows. The whole service, including audio, is recorded and web streamed live.

Although this service has been introduced because the Council had to restrict the number of mourners attending a funeral because of social distancing, it will remain in place after lockdown whilst the coronavirus is brought under control.

Blood donation

NHS Blood and Transplant services has cancelled some blood donation appointments in Newcastle to free up appointments. This is to allow the service to begin to collect convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to support a national clinical trial. They would like to reassure you that blood stocks are good and there will be no impact on supplies.


Connected Voice Haref has released two more films with coronavirus information in Czech and Romani

Loneliness and isolation

Let’s Talk Loneliness: The Government’s plan to tackle loneliness during the coronavirus lockdown.

Rape Crisis Tyneside are offering mindfulness for survivors during lockdown

Inclusion North offer easy read, audio and video guides, daily coronavirus news

Look out for the Skills for People Geordie Voices and Stay connected zoom sessions

NHS Stay well at home isolation pack

Zoom and streaming bombing

There are numerous many examples of extremists seizing upon the Coronavirus pandemic as a vehicle to spread their hate, incitement and conspiracy theories.  They are “bombing” video meetings.

ZOOM safety checklist  for a host

Do not post the meeting on social media.  See Northumbria police’s recommendations for video conferencing above.

Before the meeting: disable auto saving chats; disable file transfer; disable screen sharing for non-hosts; disable remote control; disable annotations, use per-meeting ID, not personal ID, disable Join Before Host; assign at least two co-hosts; lock the meeting when all the guests are in and mute participants.

See our digital section on InformationNOW.

Care Worker recruitment

Care work is a rewarding career. There are a range of roles including domestic assistant, kitchen assistant and care worker. Interested?, Apply online.  Training will be provided.


Active Lives adult fitness 2018/19 report

The good news is that more people were active and fitter than ever before by November 2019.  In  this report, Sport England reveal there was an increase of just over 400,000 regularly active adults in England, taking us to a record high of 28.6 million taking part in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week During this period, there was also a drop in the number of inactive adults of 159,500. The  results also show the continued growth they were seeing in the numbers of regularly active adults with a disability or long term health condition, a further reduction in the gender gap, and the strong growth in participation for people aged 55 years.  Unfortunately, physical activity has remained  low for those in low income and food poverty situations.

The Coronavirus may have had a significant impact on what people are doing now to keep up their fitness levels. For some, that walk may be a new activity and for many, there is a change in our activity as we do more work outs from our living room or adapt games for the garden.  Whatever your situation, it is important to remember that your physical activity is linked to your mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) is fast approaching and the theme this year is kindness.    Sign up and raise money.

Their challenge is all about being kind to yourself, by taking 30 minutes out of every day in May to do something physical. You can be as creative as you like with this challenge – as long as you are moving! Some examples include:

  • exercise, such as, running, yoga, pilates
  • baking – get those arm muscles working
  • gardening – builds balance, strength and stamina and great for mental health
  • dancing around in your house/garden/kitchen to your favourite songs

Have you got a lung condition?  

Don’t rule out taking exercise during the coronavirus. Learn what you can do from the British Lung Foundation and speak to your health professional if you need advice or reassurance.

Apps to help with exercise

Nike training club  offers 185 free workouts at varying different skill levels. And, the workouts come in different categories to suit your exercise preferences and goals, such as strength, endurance and even mobility training.


Sustrans has created a map of cycles for key workers and British Cycling Let’s Ride has tips and routes for you to consider.

Make May your most active month during the lockdown. #WalkDonateNominate challenge this May is being set by Active Newcastle but social distancing must continue to be observed.

The donate element doesn’t necessarily have to be a financial donation, it could be as simple as donating a smile or helping to put your neighbour’s bin out. Financial donations can be made to Citylife Line, or any charity of your choice.


Sign up for free online language taster sessions

Want to try learning a foreign language? Newcastle City Learning is offering free taster sessions online during May using ZOOM technology. You can choose from Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese or French.

The two-hour sessions are happening during the week commencing Monday 11 May.

Please enrol in advance.

VE Day 75 Newcastle, 8 May 2020

Most of the planned activities for VE Day 75 have been postponed until later in the year, so the Council is creating a way to celebrate safe at home.  They have launched a Facebook group – VE Day 75 Newcastle – where staff and residents can share their photos, stories and memories.

More details will be released, but for now. there will be a virtual children’s story time every evening from 6 pm.  Each day a different storyteller will read a chapter of a popular children’s book from World War 2 with the final installation being broadcast on VE Day itself.

Councillor Karen Kilgour said “we’re asking residents to celebrate this historic anniversary by decorating their own homes with flags and bunting, joining in with online and virtual festivities and paying tribute to those who lost their lives during World War 2 by staying safe on this special day.  We can all take part in the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ from the safety of our own home at 3 pm on 8 May”.

Donate hardware and software for vulnerable people

Action Foundation are looking for the following fully-functioning items 

  •        Laptops – especially those with a DVD drive
  •        Portable DVD Players with in built screens
  •        Tablets and iPads
  •        DVDs of films and TV shows

Email or  Phone or WhatsApp: 07518 460 198


Newcastle City Council top tips for feeding your child on a low budget

Newcastle City Council has released tips on how to feed your child on a low income.
The tips include:

  • the kinds of foods you could include in your shopping basket
  • managing your food budget to make it stretch further
  • low-cost meals suggestions for breakfast and lunch
  • avoiding waste and using leftovers
  • cooking on a low budget
  • useful websites and apps to help you
  • local support for those self-isolating or shielding because of coronavirus (covid-19)

Find the information on the City Council’s website including videos  and written guidance to help.

There are some good family recipe ideas on Eat Well for Less and BBC Budget recipes but you can also take a look at Healthworks pages. Subscribe to their newsletter to get a recipe collection to your inbox.

Sexual health advice and support during the lockdown

A new page on the City Council website brings together all the local organisations that you can contact for sexual health advice and support, including access to free condoms, emergency contraception, testing and treatment of STIs and termination of pregnancy.

You can keep up to date by following:

Free online support for families with young children

Action for Children has a new service to help parents with young children during the lockdown period where behaviour and anxiety may be causing difficulties and conflict:

  • the service can offer general support to parents and families using an online messaging and instant chat service
  • particular areas of support will be under 5s, parental conflict and emotional wellbeing, but parents can seek support about any issues, including COVID 19
  • messaging is open 24 hours Mon to Fri and a phone call/email will be returned to the family.
  • people just need an email address to register – but where safeguarding concerns are identified, additional information will be gathered to refer to appropriate services.

Music and dementia

Music has huge benefits for people with dementia and those caring for them. It helps reduce agitation, depression and anxiety, alongside improving general health and well being.  During Covid 19 (and perhaps at any time), there are some things we can do to make life easier to manage.

Here are a few practical tips on how to bring music into their lives:

  • Create a playlist and share it online over Skype or FaceTime as part of a musical conversation
  • Listen to a radio show.  Try BBC Music Memories and Reminiscence radio on MixCloud
  • Watch live music events – TV programmes, apps, streaming video services, and websites
  • Watch a musical film – research has shown that films centred around music, interactivity and simple plot lines can be ideal for people living with dementia. Favourites include: Singing in the Rain, Laurel and Hardy, The Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Jungle Book, Grease and Mary Poppins.

During the coronavirus lock down perhaps you could make  Music Mirrors.  This is a brief life story in your own words, with sounds and music embedded to spark memories later.  You can save it on your own device or their website.  The words and music are easily portable to follow someone all through their journey. If they move from one care setting to another or go into hospital, it will help them connect with unfamiliar carers who might have few other clues for getting to know them.

In the future, look out for local musical events taking you back to the past or as therapy  – the Semitones and Nordoff Robbins therapy

Last updated: August 27, 2020

Send us a comment about this page

Recent Newsletters