Information Now

12 November 2020 news


New helpline and web chat service from Barnardo’s
Spirit of Christmas appeal
North East Virtual Christmas Market


HIV testing awareness
Talk Money Week
Housing LIN live webinars


Domestic Abuse Bill


Added recently or updated
Money and Pensions Service
Dementia UK
FoodCyle Byker
FoodCycle Monkchester
FoodCycle Westgate
St Vincent’s Support Centre
Citizen’s Advice Newcastle
Food banks and free emergency food
Free meals and cheap food

New helpline and web chat service from Barnardo’s

Barnardo’s is a children’s charity that run over 1,000 services in local communities and support around 300,000 children, young people and families every year.

Barnardo’s has  launched a new free telephone helpline and web chat facility for children, young people and families from black asian and minority ethnic communities who are suffering the long lasting and wide ranging impact of Covid-19. It is called Boloh which means speak. Barnardo’s specialist advisors who speak English, Urdu or Hindi, aim to provide ongoing support on a complex range of issues including: mental health, bereavement, family breakdown, neglect, back to school, parenting advice, counselling, family stress, discrimination and barriers to accessing and using services.

Spirit of Christmas appeal

Connected Voice has partnered with Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council to raise money from local businesses and residents through the Spirit of Christmas appeal.

Donations to the appeal will give vital support for community groups and charities across Newcastle and Gateshead as we head towards Christmas. The money raised will be distributed to Newcastle and Gateshead community organisations to provide Christmas activities, events, food and gifts for vulnerable residents across the city and borough.

The funds raised through the Spirit of Christmas appeal will assist local community organisations in their work supporting those people and families most in need – at a time when those needs have never been greater.

Donations to the Newcastle and Gateshead Spirit of Christmas appeal can be made at the Virgin Money Donate page.

North East Virtual Christmas Market launched to support local business

A new virtual Christmas gift market has been launched to support independent shops, hotels, attractions, cultural venues, artisans, breweries and restaurants in the region.  The aim is to to offer people an alternative shopping experience during the lockdown period and support our North East distinctive businesses. Shoppers can find gift vouchers from more than 50 local businesses for friends and family to enjoy when it is safe to do. Gifts available include hotel and restaurant vouchers, visitor attraction memberships and even naming a seat at Tyne Theatre and Opera House.  This is a NewcastleGateshead initiative.

HIV testing awareness

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Health England (PHE) has postponed HIV testing awareness week to  Monday 1 February 2021. However, we thought it was important to keep this issue raised during Covid 19.  While new HIV diagnoses have fallen for a third consecutive year, the latest data from PHE reports 43% of all diagnoses were late. PHE has once again repeated its warning that people diagnosed late face a ten-fold increased risk of short term mortality.

Population groups with particularly high late diagnoses rates include:

  • heterosexual men (60%)
  • black african adults (52%)
  • those aged 50 and older (59%)

Whilst HIV cannot be cured, someone who is HIV positive can be treated to manage the condition, allowing them to live with the condition without it affecting their health and suppressing the amount of virus in their body to such a low level that they cannot pass it on. People diagnosed late are more likely to experience an AIDS-defining illness at the time of their diagnosis: this was true of 225 people in 2018, a similar number to 2017.

Need a test?  It can be posted out to you.  Contact: MESMAC

Read our InformationNOW page and the Newcastle City Council sexual health in lockdown page.

Talk Money Week, 9 – 13 November 2020

New research from the Money and Pensions Service survey on financial behaviours shows that UK adults have kept at least 21 million financial products secret from their loved ones. The study which achieved over 5,200 returns across the UK, has been launched in Talk Money Week.  Items included in the report:

  • 40% of people are keeping secrets from loved ones about credit cards, loans and savings
  • millennials (25-34 year-olds) are a secretive generation with three in five (59%) hiding money products
  • Of those who have kept financial products a secret, the most common were hidden credit cards (37%), undisclosed personal loans (23%) and secret savings accounts (21%).


For guidance on kick-starting conversations about money, see the Money Advice Service guides.  Research shows that people who talk about money:

  • make better and less risky financial decisions
  • have stronger personal relationships
  • help their children form good lifetime money habits
  • feel less stressed and more in control

Talking to your partner about money (includes a link to a pdf guide which can be downloaded)

Take the Money Health Check

Need online advice?  take part in a web chat or What’s app call – find on the same link.

Keeping your money secure when you shop and bank online

All UK banks are required to add extra security checks when you’re shopping online or logging in to your Internet Banking. Check that your bank has the right phone numbers for you, so they can text a passcode to your mobile or call your landline to make sure it’s really you. It’s easy to update them – just log in, visit a branch or call your bank. If you don’t already, you can use the Mobile Banking apps available on Google Play or the App Store.

InformationNOW has a range of articles on the Money category ranging from pensions to benefits to wills.

 Housing LIN live webinars, week c 7 December 2020

The Housing LIN is running a series of webinars on what’s best in housing for an ageing population, sharing the key learning and improvement points and celebrating the benefits of HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation) with you.  Free to book.

Key speakers include:

  • Anne-Marie Nicholson at PRP architects on HAPPI design
  • Louise Drew and Shakespeare Martinau and their later living survey findings on perceptions of retirement housing (being launched that week)
  • Margaret Edwards on the CollaborAGE programme – community led approaches (directory of practice also being launched that week)
  • Stephen Burke founder of United for All Ages on intergenerational living
  • Ed Warner at MotionSpot (Government champion for accessible design) on contemporary adaptations and interior design

Listen to the LLARC series on #HousingMatters on housing and planning for the future; speakers include Professor of Ageing, Rose Gilroy and Sue Adams of Care & Repair England.


Visiting arrangements for care homes
The Government has announced new guidance on enabling family and friends to visit their loved ones during the coronavirus.

Guidance for those at clinical risk from Covid 19.
Some people are at higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19 and are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV). If you need help contact CityLIfe line.

Domestic Abuse bill

The Government has published the fourth annual progress report on ratifying the Istanbul Convention, signed in 2012.  The main relevant legislation is the Domestic Abuse Bill, which is expected to receive Royal Assent by spring 2021.  The report highlights that the Government is working on options for a new refreshed Tackling Violence against Women and Girls Strategy to be published in 2021 and that Government has committed to launch a £1.5 million support fund for migrant victims.  Read the full report here

Added or updated:

Create your own poem
Spirit of Christmas Appeal
Getting tech to support people

It’s a wonderful life on Christmas Eve
Festive Sing along with the Singing Hinnies

Step up Newcastle Couch to Christmas join your community team and add your steps using an app or entering manually on the website

Help Newcastle Cathedral

Common Ground in Sacred Space wants to know which are the most engaging historic characters and events connected with the Cathedral to tell visitors about. Survey closes 17 November 2020.

Listen to the Young Women’s Film Academy on their films  exploring what loneliness means to different generations of women in Newcastle upon Tyne


Last updated: January 21, 2021

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