Information Now

15 Dec 2017 Info NOW News


  • Information NOW
  • No one should have no one campaign
  • The future of Newcastle’s parks decided
  • Preparations to stay well over Christmas
  • How does the NHS in England work?

Research & Reports

  • Care Homes market study
  • Older women bearing the burden of a lifetime of lower pay and unequal working conditions
  • Keeping older people safe and independent in their own homes

Opportunities for Action

  • Local charities day, 15 December
  • Dry January
  • Healthwatch CHC survey
  • Resources
  • Healthwatch Newcastle app
  • IT classes project
  • Go Digital in Newcastle


  • Healthwatch Newcastle app
  • IT classes project
  • Go Digital in Newcastle

New on InformationNOW this week!

This week’s events & activities at a glance

Please see our events and activities pages
Christmas activities
BalletLORENT Rumplelstiltskin

Updated articles & organisations

Meals at home
Minibus Services
Introduction to Complementary Therapies
Newcastle Support Group
Oakhouse Foods
Wiltshire Farm Foods
Community Transport Ltd



Information NOW

When the weather is cold and treacherous it can be really handy to shop online and wait indoors for your groceries and other products to be delivered. Read the Information NOW articles about what you can do online, getting connected and staying safe.  For ideas about what to do search our Christmas category to keep you in the festive mood.

No one should have no one – Age UK campaign

Nearly a million older people feel lonelier at Christmas than at any other time. Can you do something to help?  Watch the new Age UK video now. Can you provide companionship on Christmas day?  Alternatively you could try and book in with Craghall Residential Care Home or Whorlton Grange for a free Christmas lunch. Visit the Community Christmas website for more options and ideas and browse our Information NOW Christmas events and activities section.

The future of Newcastle’s parks decided

Newcastle City Council has created a Charitable Parks Trust to ensure that our parks remain clean and pleasant public spaces in the face of significant Government cuts.  The new Trust has been formed in partnership with the National Trust and Heritage Lottery fund alongside continued Council funding and Social Finance. 

Preparations to stay well over Christmas

Christmas is a busy time and we all want to stay well so we can get out and about and meet friends and family.  Remember to stock your medicine cabinet with paracetomol, aspirin, cough medicine and indigestion tablets which can be bought cheaply from discount stores.  If you really need help call NHS 111, go to a walk in centre or visit your pharmacy, the opening times will be listed on the Newcastle Gateshead CCG pages or in the Chronicle.  Call 999 for a life threatening emergency.


Care Homes Market Study

The Competition and Market Authority has published its findings on residential and nursing care homes for older people. It is essential that the care home market remains sustainable in the future given that more people are living longer but will not necessarily be able to manage in their own homes.  Based on data analysis, the study estimates that the average cost for a self-funder in 2016 was £846 per week whilst those places funded by the Councils cost an average of £621 per week. This appears to be because care homes increase their charges to private funders to cover the short fall from Councils.The Office for National Statistics predicts a 36% growth in persons aged 85+ between 2015 and 2025, from 1.5 million to 2 million. This is expected to lead to a substantial increase in demand for care home services so this continued shortfall funding from Councils is not a sustainable position.  In the future, those care homes that draw more funding from private funders may choose not to offer places to Council funded clients – this may lead to an overall shortfall in the care homes market.

The government has stated it will publish a green paper on care and support for older people by summer 2018. Decisions on the future policy on social care for the elderly are essential. The uncertainty of future funding policies and frameworks means that the sector will further struggle to attract the investment needed to build the homes required.

Older women bearing the burden of a lifetime of lower pay and unequal working conditions

A report from the Centre for Ageing Better on Inequalities in later life, shows that there are significant inequalities between men and women which are affecting later life and retirement in a damaging way. The report highlights:

  • Only 36% of women aged 65-69 years received the full state pension in 2014. Female part-time workers or women with low grade jobs are at greater risk, and women who have spent most of their lives working part-time are no better off in retirement than women who have never worked.

The report calls on the Government to issue policies and influence employer practises  to change to enable women to stay in or return to work in later life, and state pension and auto-enrolment schemes should not penalise those without an uninterrupted full-time employment history.

Visit the Information NOW work and retirement  and money sections to learn more about financial planning.


Local Charities day, 15 December

#LocalCharitiesDay this year takes place on Friday 15 December and will highlight the work of small charities that are making remarkable differences in their communities. With tightening budgets, uncertain contracts and a smaller pot of grants, charities need your help to keep going, either through donations or volunteering.  Volunteering is a great way to keep active, meet new friends and stay connected so why not join a charity today.

Dry January

For many of us, the Christmas period can be a time of excess and perhaps it’s hard to turn our thoughts to quitting drink in January.  However, for the past four years, the North East has led the way in signing up to the challenge of Dry January. Those who took part also found that it spurred them on to healthier lifestyles for the rest of the year.  So why not sign up?

Here are some top tips for seeing Dry January through to the end:

•    Take part with a friend and spur each other on – buddying up means you’ll  support each other through any wobbles, celebrate each other’s achievements and enjoy  other distractions and treats together.

•    Try something new – take advantage of feeling better in yourself and join the gym or try a new sport. Explore the benefits of being physically active.

•    Keep track of progress –  it’s a good idea to keep a record of weight loss or money saved as a great way of helping you stay on track.

•    Download the Dry January app, available on iOS and Android, to help track progress, and for handy tips and tricks.  You can share your progress with Balance on Facebook or tweet @BalanceNE

Healthwatch survey: NHS continuing healthcare

Healthwatch Newcastle helps everyone speak up about health and social care services in Newcastle. They also offer free, confidential and independent information about these services.

NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) is a package of care that people receive because they have been assessed by an NHS team as requiring full care provided for free by the NHS either at home or perhaps in a care home.

If you (or someone you care for) live in Newcastle or Gateshead and have been through, or are starting the process of CHC, Healthwatch would like to hear about your experiences. Please take their survey.


Healthwatch Newcastle app

If you want to have your say about health and social care services you can download the Healthwatch Newcastle app onto  Android, Windows or Apple mobile device. 

IT Classes Project

Elders Council working in partnership with Northumbria Students Union volunteers are running tailored IT classes. Sessions will begin again in January from  2 – 4 pm on Wednesdays as listed below. Tuition is tailor made to suit the learner. Topics include setting up an email account; learning how to use your iPad or even learning how to use a computer for the first time. For further details or to register your interest, please email or call Anne on 0191 208 2701.  Visit our getting online section and our events and activities pages for more computer training options:


Go Digital in Newcastle

Did you know that Newcastle City Centre, from the Haymarket all the way down to the Sage on the Quayside, offers free Wi Fi?  Make the most of it when you are shopping, working or travelling.  To find out how to use it, watch this You Tube film.


Christmas activities for the family

If you like ice skating then the Christmas break may be the ideal opportunity for all the family to get fit and have fun.  Ice Skating is on throughout the festive season at the Life Science Centre.

You may like to go skating, visit Santa or enjoy the New Year activities at Alnwick Garden.

How about taking part in a Winter Warmer Guided Walk on 28 or 29 December? Meet at the Guildhall at 11.00am and finish at St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead Quays an hour later.  No booking required.  Costs between £3 and £4 pp including mince pies.

To keep active over the festive season visit our hobbies or keeping physically active articles on Information NOW.

balletLORENT performs Rumpelstiltskin – watch it now for free

If you didn’t get a chance to see Rumpelstiltskin at the Northern Stage, here is a chance for you and your family to watch it over the festive season.  This re-imagined tale was written by Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Anne Duffy and it is narrated by Ben Compton (Game of Thrones).  You can watch it on BalletLORENT’s website.


Organisations Updated

Newcastle Support Group

The Cinema Exhibitors Association Card
Oakhouse Foods
RVS meals with care
Wiltshire Farm Foods
Community Transport (Newcastle)

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Best Wishes

Kate Bowman
Interim Development Manager (Information and advice), Quality of Life Partnership

Last updated: May 29, 2019

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