16 January 2024 InfoNOW News

16 January 2024 InfoNOW News

2024 Welcome

Happy 2024 to everyone! 2023 was a busy year for InformationNOW with over 850,000 visits to the website. We also look forward to announcing a few improvements to www.informationnow.org.uk in 2024.

Some of the most viewed information in 2023:
Home care agencies in Newcastle
Food banks in Newcastle
Care and support for adults
Bottle in the Fridge scheme

When someone dies a practical guide

Colder winter weather is predicted to continue, and winter can already be a difficult time of year due to energy food and fuel costs. Keeping warm and well in Winter and getting support with cost of living can help.
Newcastle wellbeing hubs are a warm welcoming place to spend time in Newcastle. They offer a range of support such as hot drinks, free Wi-Fi, place to charge your devices, information, advice and more.

You can search your nearest wellbeing Hub on Newcastle.gov.uk here

InformationNOW drop in sessions

Lauren and Richard from the InformationNOW team will be holding online drop in sessions to support people and organisations new to or currently using InformationNOW.

You can join theses sessions to get support with:

  • Getting the most out of www.informationnow.org.uk
  • Using your InformationNOW account
  • Updating/registering your organisation
  • Using accessibility and translation features

The next sessions are on:

  • 26 January 2024  3.30 pm – 4.15 pm
  • 23 February 2024  3.30 pm – 4.15 pm
  • 22 March 2024  3.30 pm – 4.15 pm

You can find out more here

Read more on InformationNOW about digital support

Tax Credit migration

Newcastle residents claiming tax credits may have received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) this January inviting them to move to claiming Universal Credit. Their tax credits will end 3 months after the date of this letter.

Universal Credit is replacing six ‘legacy’ means tested benefits

  1. Income Support,
  2. income-based Jobseekers Allowance,
  3. income-related Employment and Support Allowance,
  4. Housing Benefit,
  5. Child Tax Credits
  6. Working Tax Credits.

To keep up to date with these changes and know what to do or how to support somebody, you can read more about the move to universal credit on Newcastle.gov.uk 

Read more on InformationNOW about benefitstax credits or universal credit

Flu cases rise: prevention information

Flu cases are on the rise in the North East, The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board are urging anyone with symptoms of the flu virus to only attend hospital if absolutely necessary, to help minimise the risk of the illness spreading in hospitals.
Anyone eligible for a free flu vaccine this winter, who has not yet booked their appointment, is also being urged to get their vaccination now. Those eligible include:

  • people aged 65 and over
  • anyone in a clinical at-risk group, people who are immunosuppressed and their household contacts
  • pregnant women
  • people with learning disabilities
  • health and social care workers and carers

You can use the NHS flu vaccine search tool to find your nearest availability

Read more on InformationNOW about coping with flu and viruses

Newcastle Volunteering partnership

Volunteer Centre Newcastle and Connected Voice have developed a partnership for volunteering across Newcastle. The project is funded by North of Tyne Combined Authority via the UK Shared prosperity fund to enhance support for volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations in Newcastle.

The project is looking to:

  1. Increase the number of volunteering opportunities in Newcastle.
  2. Work with volunteer-engaging organisations to provide volunteering opportunities and support for people who face additional barriers.
  3. Create new training opportunities to support volunteering in Newcastle.
  4. Listen to and champion the voices of volunteers and volunteer-engaging organisations.
  5. Use these voices to influence key decision makers in the city to develop new initiatives that promote volunteering and build a deeper understanding of the value of voluntary work.

You can get involved by

  • Taking part in a volunteering health check for your organisation. Contact Matthew Brindley, Volunteer Centre Officer: [email protected]
  • Developing inclusive volunteer roles and discussing training needs for your organisation. Contact Courtney Wallace, Supported Volunteering Coordinator: [email protected]
  • Sharing your voices, experiences, successes and challenges as part of wider strategy development. Contact Nimerta Virdee, Volunteering Voice and Engagement Manager: [email protected]

Read more on InformationNOW about Volunteering

Healthwatch Newcastle drop in

26 January 2024  9:30am – 12:30pm

Healthwatch Newcastle are holding a drop in session at Jesmond Library on 26 January, where you can ask for information and support about health and social care services in person. All are welcome to come along.

Read more on InformationNOW about having your say about health services

Sign up for the Late Shows

Friday 16 February 2024

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, the organisation that co-ordinates one of the biggest events in Newcastle and Gateshead’s cultural calendars, The Late Shows, is calling out to venues to sign up to take part in the 2024 event.

Arts, culture and heritage organisations, not normally accessible for free on an evening, as well as individuals and collectives based in central Newcastle, Gateshead or the Ouseburn are invited to submit applications by Friday 16 February 2024 and the line-up will be announced at the end of March.

The Late Shows guidance notes and submission form can be downloaded from the website:

Read more on InformationNOW about things to do in Newcastle

Pelvic Health service representatives

The North East and North Cumbria local maternity and neonatal system are looking for 2 people to help shape a new service to support people who experience pelvic problems; such as incontinence or prolapse following pregnancy.
The North East and North Cumbria local maternity and neonatal system are a partnership of NHS organisations who work with women, their families and healthcare professionals to improve maternity and neonatal services.
The new perinatal pelvic health service will be introduced across the 8 North East and North Cumbria hospital trusts

The role is paid and requires three days per month (spread across the month).The role is a key part in the development of the new Perinatal Pelvic Health Service (PPHS) and requires people with experience of mild to moderate pelvic health issues to help shape and influence how the service develops.

To find out more scan the QR code on the poster below or visit their website here.  The deadline to apply is 31 January 2024, you can apply online here

Read more on Newcastle Support Directory about Pregnancy Support
Read more on InformationNOW about Pregnancy and baby health

My Future My choice

Tuesday 30 January 2024  9am – 6:30pm

My future: My choice, is a careers event to support young people of Newcastle aged 16-25 to make informed vocational choices.

The event will feature stallholders and speakers covering general and sector-specific options. This will include the city’s colleges and universities, and employers from a variety of sectors including green renewable, public services, hospitality, engineering, and more.
The event also has a dedicated SEND zone for 16-25 year olds with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their parent/carers.

book a place at the event on Newcastlecareers.org.uk

Read more on InformationNOW about looking for careers and jobs

Newcastle Fund: Meet the funder

22 January 2024  1 – 2pm

The Newcastle Fund is Newcastle City Council’s main grant giving programme for voluntary and community organisations, charities and social enterprises based in Newcastle. It provides funding for specific projects or for organisations’ core running costs. The fund is currently being reviewed ahead of it’s next phase

Connected Voice are running a meet the funder session with the Newcastle fund for organisations to hear about the latest developments, if they may be eligible and how to apply.

You can find out more and book a space on their website here

Read more on Newcastle.gov.uk about The Newcastle Fund

Building a climate conscious organisation

Tuesday 30 January 2024 9.30am – 1.30pm

This event from VONNE and Community Foundation Tyne and Wear will explore practical steps towards environmental sustainability for voluntary and community organisations.

The event involves 3 practical workshops

  1. Climate and governance
  2. Engaging your community in climate action
  3. Sustainability for small organisations

You can hear advice from VONNES Going Green Together (a VCSE Net Zero project), Community Foundation, and guest speakers Olly Armstrong and Joanne Appleby. The workshops will be followed by peer networking.

This is an in person event to be held at VODA Spirit of North Tyneside in Wallsend and refreshments and lunch are included.

Book a space and read more on InformationNOW 

Care home, hospitals and hospice visit guidance

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published their draft guidance on visiting in care homes, hospitals, hospices and roles and responsibilities under it.

This follows the government’s consultation during summer 2023 which found that most people supported the proposal to introduce a fundamental standard on visiting and being accompanied on appointments that providers must meet.

The new fundamental standard aims to make sure: 

  • people staying in a care home, hospital or hospice can receive visits from people they want to see
  • people living in a care home are not discouraged from making social visits outside the home
  • people attending appointments in a hospital or hospice, that do not require an overnight stay, can be accompanied by a family member, friend or advocate if they want someone with them.

The new standard helps providers understand the process for decision making about enabling visits and gives us a clearer basis to clarify our expectations and take action where required, including:

  • identifying a breach by a provider
  • being able to use our civil enforcement powers to take action when it is necessary and proportionate to do so
  • recognising good practice.

They are inviting members of the public and providers, their representatives, and other stakeholders to give feedback on their guidance for this fundamental standard through their online form or by their easy read document.

Read more on InformationNOW about Care homes hospitals and hospices

New Fathers and male carers survey

Ways to Wellness are looking for feedback to help understand the experiences of fathers and male carers.
They want to hear fathers and male carers experience accessing support during pregnancy and the first two years of their child’s life.
In sharing your experiences, you will help them to learn about what is working well and what can be done better.

You can find out more and take part in the Including Men: Support for fathers and male carers survey here

Read more on InformationNOW about Carers support

Council Budget proposals: Last Chance

Last chance to have your say as part of the consultation on Newcastle City Council’s budget proposals, as they are due to close on 17 January 2024

You can watch a video summary of Newcastle councils budget proposals here

Lets Talk Newcastle is Newcastle council’s engagement platform, here you can read proposals and share your views

You can have your say online about council budget proposals on areas such as:
Council Tax and Adult Social Care Precept
Supporting Independence Scheme Proposal 
Homelessness Prevention Contract Change
Transforming the Adult Social Care Front Door 
SEND transport support to post-16 learners 
Local Services and Waste Management 

Read more on InformationNOW about Getting involved and having your say in Newcastle

Holocaust memorial day events

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place every year on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp during the second world war. It is a day to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

There are several events in Newcastle to mark the occasion such as:

24 and 25 January 2024 12 – 2:40pm
Skimstone Arts A Night of Fear & Freedom Live Events – City Library Event and Newbridge Project event
Join musicians and story sharers around a campfire and listen to live and recorded performances of true stories, songs, music, spoken word and poetry about how freedoms have been stolen, lost and found.
The events are repeated at 12pm, 1.10pm and 2.20pm. Each experience lasts for approximately 40 minutes.

Thursday 25 January 5:15 – 6:30pm
Holocaust Memorial Day: What is a Holocaust Witness?
This session will draws on a range of Holocaust testimonies and a range of reactions to those testimonies to draw a picture of the changing role of the witness in our understanding of the Holocaust.

Wednesday 31 Jan 2024 3:30 – 5pm
The Forgotten Holocaust: the story of the Roma genocide 
This special event will shine a light on this little known history of the Romani genocide. Includes a Q&A session and a tour of a pop-up display about the Roma during World War II.

Read more on InformationNOW about Holocaust Memorial day events

Volunteer passport scheme session

Tuesday 23 January 2024  2 – 3pm

Join Volunteer centre Newcastle for an online information session to find out more about the benefits of your organisation joining the Volunteer Passport Scheme as a scheme partner, allowing you access to fully recruited, trained and security checked volunteers

Find out more about the January session

Find out more about the March session

Read more on InformationNOW about Volunteer Passport Scheme Newcastle

Work and Thrive Newcastle

31st January 2024 3pm

Work and Thrive Newcastle is a new employability partnership which aims to provide all Newcastle residents improved access to high quality employment support and good work opportunities.

Work and Thrive partners include Newcastle City Council (including the Skills Hub, Newcastle Futures, Newcastle City Learning, the Careers Team and YHN), DWP (Department of Work and Pensions), National Careers Service, other local training providers and community organisations.

As part of this new partnership offer Skills Hub Newcastle in the City Library will be rebranded as Work and Thrive Central, launch a new employment plan ‘Good Work for All’, along with the launch of a new website.

To launch the new offer an event will be held at City Library on 31 January. If you would like to attend the event, please contact Chris Ord at [email protected]

Read more on InformationNOW about support to prepare for a job

2024 Walking football league returns

Fancy a game of football to get yourself back into physical activity? Walking Football session are effective for older adults, people who have been inactive and want to improve their fitness or people who are coming back from serious injury.

Newcastle United Foundation runs a free walking football league every Thursday between 12pm and 3pm at Cochrane Park in Newcastle, the next season starts in February 2024.
Males aged 50 and over and females aged 40 and over can sign up either as an individual or a team by contacting [email protected].

Read more on InformationNOW about Hobbies and Fitness Activities

Newcastle Neighbourhoods events

Newcastle Neighbourhoods Network events are opportunities for organisations working towards the wellbeing of the communities in the city to get to know one another, share good practice, explore links, reduce duplication, and collaborate with those communities. There are several upcoming events in January and February.

North Newcastle (Gosforth, Dene & South Gosforth, Fawdon & West Gosforth, Kenton, Castle, Manor Park, North Jesmond, Parklands)
Wednesday 7 February, 10.30am. Fawdon Community Centre, Fawdon Park Road.
Find out more and book a space here

Inner West Newcastle (West Fenham, Benwell & Scotswood, Wingrove, Elswick, Arthurs Hill, Blakelaw)
Wednesday 31 January, 10.30am Riverside Community Health Project, Atkinson Road.
Find out more and book a space here

Outer West Newcastle (Callerton & Throckley, Chapel, Denton & Westerhope, Lemington, Kingston Park South & Newbiggin Hall)
Tuesday 30 January, 1.30pm, West Denton Community Centre, Hillheads Road.
Find out more and book a space here

Newcastle East (Walker, Walkergate, Byker, Ouseburn, Heaton, Monument, South Jesmond)
Wednesday 24 January 10.30am St Martin’s Centre, Byker.
Find out more and book a space here

Read more on InformationNOW about Newcastle Neighbourhoods

Cost of dying report

SunLife’s  20th annual report states there could be a “cost of dying crisis” as costs hit a record high.
The average total “cost of dying” – which includes burial or cremation fees, funeral directors’ costs, a mid-range coffin, one funeral limousine, a doctor and celebrant, and estate administration fees – had reached £9658.

You can read a summary of the report here
You can read the full report here

Read more on InformationNOW about planning ahead for later life and death

Accessibility and Social Media

Wednesday 7 February 2024 from 12pm – 1.30pm

This free online session from Accessibility for All will explore how to make social media platforms more inclusive and accessible.

Read more on InformationNOW about accessible information


Upcoming Events

Welcome to Badminton

Welcome to Badminton are running weekly (with some exceptions) badminton sessions for refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. These sessions are free and all equipment is provided, just remember to bring water and wear comfortable trainers. They take place on Saturdays from 6pm to 8pm. They also run some sessions with other sports and activities

Read more on InformationNOW about Welcome to Badminton

Insights: Lectures for all

Newcastle Insights are Public lectures at Newcastle University on a wide range of topics from a variety of speakers. Hear debates, research and ideas on technology, society, culture, science, history, politics, education and more. The Insights lectures are free and open to all.

Upcoming debates include:
Darwin Day Lecture: Why your DNA is not your destiny

LGBTQ+ History Month Lecture: Collecting, archiving and celebrating LGBTQIA+ and alternative sexualities

You can find the full list of upcoming lectures here

There are also a series of Holmes Lectures for 10- to 14-year-olds aiming to foster an interest in science for children and teenagers.

Read more on InformationNOW about lifelong learning

Parent and Toddler group

30 January 2024 1 – 2:30pm

Pottery Bank community centre have a new Parent and Toddler group starting 30 January 2024. The group runs during term time throughout the year, entry is £1 per child and includes a drink and snack.

Read more on InformationNOW about the event

Robert Burns: Connections to the North East

For Burns night on 25 January Jesmond Library will be looking at Robert Burns connection with Newcastle and the North East of England. There will be Scottish refreshments and a performance of Burns’ ‘The address to a Haggis’.

Read more and book a space on InformationNOW

Read more on InformationNOW about cultural celebrations

Creative Central NCL

new organisation

Creative Central NCL is an arts and culture project funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Newcastle City Council.

The project supports independent artists, creative professionals and cultural organisations. The project runs from 2022 – 2027.

Read more on InformationNOW about Creative Central NCL

The Conversation Group – Newcastle

updated organisation

The Conversation Group – Newcastle is a group for informal conversation, English language practice and for sharing information together.

Read more on InformationNOW about The Conversation Group – Newcastle

Be Caring

updated organisation

Be Caring are a CQC registered home care agency for people over 65 years or people over 18 with specific needs.

Read more on InformationNOW about Be Caring Ltd

Streetwise young peoples project

updated organisation

Streetwise Young People’s Project helps young people 11 to 25 years to access free information, advice, counselling, support, community activities and sexual health services.

Read more on InformationNOW about Streetwise

Support groups

Updated article

There are support groups in Newcastle that give you the chance to talk to people who have experienced the same issues as you. You can talk to each other and get information, support and advice. Groups can support you through difficulties and offer emotional support.

Read more on InformationNOW about Support Groups

Separation and divorce

Updated article

Although some couples will stay together, some may decide to try counselling, and for some, separation or divorce may be the only option. Here you can find information to help with a separation or divorce

Read more on InformationNOW about Separation and divorce

Home care agencies in Newcastle

Updated article
This article provides information on agencies working across Newcastle who provide general and specialised care at home (domiciliary) services.

Read more on InformationNOW about Home care agencies in Newcastle

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Best Wishes

Lauren and Richard

Richard White and Lauren Hoy: Prevention, Information and Advice Leads at Newcastle City Council

Last updated: January 16, 2024