Information Now

17 April 2020 Info NOWNews – corona 5


  • InformationNOW – including the hand wash rap
  • Looking back on the coronavirus pandemic
  • Scams and fraud updated
  • Urgent Treatment Centres
  • Notices relating to the coronavirus
  • Information for carers – have you got a contingency plan?

Research & Reports

  • The Office of National Statistics on the coronavirus findings so far
  • Smart Works is two years old

Opportunities for Action

  • Domestic violence – be alert
  • Covid 19 Symptom tracker
  • Connected Voice Haref work with Muslim communities


  • Keeping fit and healthy
  • Local messages translated about health safety during the coronavirus
  • Healthworks healthy eating resources


InformationNOW has been working in partnership with Radio Tyneside to pass on messages during the coronavirus to patients and residents in Newcastle and Gateshead.  People can tune in at any time of the day to find out about the CityLife line and to hear news about what’s going on in the City.  Listen to them on 93.6FM, online and on Hospedia, playing music from today and the past 60 years.

We also post podcasts on Mixcloud. Search for LLARN.  Richard interviewed one of Newcastle’s oldest residents who compares life during the coronavirus to life during WW2.

Latest updates to InformationNOW:

Foodbanks in Newcastle
Free meals and cheap food

We have added new educational and virtual visits to our  article Quick links to virtual activity online:
Museums with virtual tours (includes Guggenheim)
National park tours
Fender free online guitar lessons
European palaces

Recyke y Bike – from next week  open Wednesday to Saturday 12-2
MND Association
Dementia Advice Centre
Jospeh Cowen Healthcare Centre
Walker Park Cafe Centre

Have a look at the handwash rap

Looking back on the coronavirus pandemic

You Tube film giving positive messages from the future – when we look back on this period of home working, restriction and isolation; new ways of working, fear and sorrow.

Scams and Fraud

Cyber crime
With the rise in the use of Skype there has been an increase in copies /themed applications that are not Skype. This enables malware to be planted on your computer.  Malware is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server or computer network. A  wide variety of types of malware exist, including: computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, rogue software, and scareware
Look for the padlock and  or to download

Watch out for fake Tesco emails
The email states that the supermarket is offering free vouchers during the coronavirus outbreak. The link in the email leads to a genuine-looking phishing website that is designed to steal login credentials as well as personal and financial information.

Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details

Issues with Google Chrome and Firefox
If you are a regular user of these two browsers then make sure you update now. There has been a series of flaws with these which have been updated recently.

Read this article and refresh your browser on each device that you use.

You can check

Keep an eye on the ActionFraud website for the latest information

Urgent Treatment Centres in Newcastle

Owing to the coronavirus, the only Urgent Treatment Centre that is open, is the one on Ponteland Road, NE5.  As long as you don’t have any coronavirus symptoms, you can ring or walk in.  There are also lots of pharmacies/chemists open too to give advice and organise your prescription or give advice on your medication management.


Notices relating to the coronavirus

Funeral costs
From Wednesday 8 April 2020, financial support to help families meet the costs of funeral expenses will increase from £700 to £1,000 for those who meet the eligibility criteria related to benefits or tax credits.

You may find these articles useful

Post Office
The Post Office has launched a scheme to help self-isolating people or vulnerable people access cash with the help of a family member, support worker or carer. Under the Fast PACE system, the customer should contact their bank and check they can use the service. They would then write a cheque to “The Post Office”, print the name on the back of the cheque of the person collecting it for them and sign that side too.


The Department for Work and Pensions has announced there will no longer be a requirement to have a face-to-face assessment in order to claim sickness and disability benefits. Jobcentre Plus will contact those people who have face-to-face assessments scheduled to discuss options.


The Office for National Statistics on the coronavirus so far

To ensure the country has the best possible information on our society and economy, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has rolled out new online surveys to monitor the public understanding of COVID-19 and its impact on daily life. In addition, they have started a new Business Survey to assess impact on issues such as firm’s turnover, product prices and employment.  Their evidence and data is published on the COVID-19 page of our website, with a handy roundup blog setting out latest developments.  So far:

  • Over 8 in 10 people (85.7%) say they were either very worried or somewhat worried that they or someone in their family would be infected by the COVID-19 virus; this was higher for at risk groups, ie, those aged 70 and over (91.7%) and those with underlying health conditions (90.4%).
  • Over 7 in 10 adults (77.4%) said they had an understanding of how to protect themselves from COVID-19, fewer than half of adults (47.8%) thought they had enough information about the UK’s plan for dealing with COVID-19.
  • Almost all the adults (99.6%) said they had washed hands with soap and water to avoid infection in the last 7 days, with almost 9 in 10 saying they had increased the frequency of doing so since the outbreak of COVID-19.
  • Nearly all adults either cancelled or postponed plans (89.2%) due to COVID-19 or did not have plans in the previous 7 days.
  • Just over half (50.6%) of all adults said someone had offered to organise or bring food and other essentials if they need to self-isolate or become unwell; this rose to 83.3% for those aged 70 and over.


  • Overall, online prices of items in the high-demand products (HDP) basket have increased by 1.5% over the period week 2 (23 to 29 March) to week 3 (30 March to 5 April)

Smart Works is two years old

Smart Works Newcastle opened in April 2018.  It has released a report showing their impact in that time.  They work with 129 referral partners across the region and a number of employability programmes to support women who need help to get a job, including Your Homes Newcastle, Sage Pathways, Greggs, New Ventures and the Military Preparation College. They have 35 volunteers who help with dressing women for an interview and question and performance preparation.  Since they opened, they have helped 680 women start a new chapter of their lives

  • the people they help may have been unemployed for one month through to 5 years
  • they have helped women across the age brackets, most in the 35 to 44 year group
  • over one in two were successful at interview

Congratulations Smart Works – keep up the good work and get ready for an upsurge in demand after the lock down finishes.


Domestic violence

Councillor Clare Penny-Evans (Chair of Safe Newcastle) is  responsible for tackling domestic abuse in the city and has made a film to show that help is available.

A key message is to learn the silent solution – when somebody calls 999, an operator will ask which emergency service is required. If you are not able to ask for help, your call will be forwarded to a police system and you will hear an automated message. If 55 is pressed by the caller, the system will detect this. The operator will then transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.

What can you do if you witness abuse?

Crimestoppers has made a film asking you to act if you spot something.

You may like to contact Galop national LGBT and domestic abuse helpline

The Safe Together Institute has courses and online learning materials that may help if you are volunteer or member of staff.  You can enrol in their free Global Practice Community to gain access to free resources, videos, free courses, webinars and chat rooms.

Read our article on domestic abuse. 


Covid 19 symptom tracker

The COVID Symptom Tracker App provides a way for everyone to contribute to research to better understand symptoms and spread of COVID-19 and to help explain why some people develop mild illness, whilst others become critically unwell. The App gathers personal data, but is compliant with GDPR. Only anonymous data will be shared with the NHS, data modellers and researchers. It takes about 1 minute per day to input your data (whether or not you know you have the virus) and support the development of knowledge that will help to tackle this virus. Supported by NIHR, Guy’s and Thomas Biomedical research centre, King’s College London.

Connected Voice Haref work with Muslim communities

Connected Voice Haref has worked with local communities to create a safe fasting and Ramadan calendar. These messages are especially important for those with diabetes or glaucoma.  Ramadan takes place from 23 April to 23 May 2020.  You can find the calendar on religious and cultural festivals.

Haref has been working in partnership to pass on key community health messages, and there is a statement from the North East of England Muslim council about Covid-19 burials.   Use zoom to increase the poster size and typesize.

Keeping fit and healthy

Active Newcastle has posted a schedule of activity on Facebook for you to follow this week; look out for the same each week.

One You  (NHS) provides the how are you quiz and  tips, tools and help to improve your health right away.  These workouts include cardio, strengthening and cool down stretching.

Parkinson’s UK has a page on staying active at home with Parkinson’s disease.


Having a good quality sleep can make a huge difference to how we feel both mentally and physically. It’s therefore important we try to get enough. Feeling anxious or worried can sometimes make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep, and for many the current situation with COVID-19 may be adding to this. To maintain good quality sleep, try and maintain regular sleep patterns and keep to good sleep hygiene practices, such as avoiding mobile and tablet screens before bed; cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment; being more active can help with sleep; write down your worries before bedtime. The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.

You are what you eat and drink

The food you eat has a huge impact on your health. A well-balanced, nutritious diet can help to prevent many illnesses and can significantly improve some existing health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Food and nutrition

At the present time, food may be your consolation and enjoyment. Try to eat sensibly and in moderation.

Fluid intake

Not drinking a sufficient amount of fluid can result in problems from headaches and tiredness to dehydration. There are many benefits to be gained from drinking the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA)  of 6 to 8 glasses of fluids a day (around 1.2 litres). Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.  It is important to keep up fluids as the weather gets warmer.

Drink alcohol sensibly

  • it is important that social distancing doesn’t result in unhealthy levels of drinking. Her are some useful tips to help.  Alcohol gives a temporary lift and then you can feel worse.  Stick to a light drink – with friends online if you are on your own.
  • read about alcohol and its effects.

Local translations about health safety during the coronavirus

Connected Voice, working with Riverside Community Health Project, Newcastle City Council and Northumbria police, has created community health messages and videos in a number of languages including: Urdu, Bengali, Romanian, Hindi, Romani. Statistics show that BAME communities are presenting with the disease and this may be because they can’t read the health messages.  Please pass these messages on and pin up a notice where ever you can.

Healthworks healthy eating resources

Healthworks Newcastle has launched new social media healthy eating resources and an updated dedicated health eating webpage; this week there is a film on how to make chicken fajitas.  Below the film there is a recipe book to download for free. Have a look at their chickpea recipe challenge on You Tube.  Join in and share your pics, comments and recipes.

Last updated: July 23, 2020

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