Information Now

17 December 2021 InfoNOW News



After a busy and rewarding 12 months, the Prevention and Information team will be taking a break over Christmas and the New Year. Our team will be on leave from 17 December and open on January 4th.  We’d like to thank everyone for their support and input into the InformationNOW website, helping us make it a trusted resource in Newcastle.  We’d also like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

In the New Year, we’ll be making some changes to the filtering options on InformationNOW and hosting a new series of webinars.

Need online information over Christmas?

Looking for equipment and aids to help you around the house ?  Answer some questions, get a tailored report with items for you to consider.  You can also buy online. Visit Your Equipment Newcastle.

InformationNOW has published a support for people on a low income article. This pulls together links to information and organisations that can help you whatever your situation.

InformationNOW has updated free and cheap meals and food banks information. Please note that most of these services will not be open over Christmas and New Year.

Want to find information in an old newsletter, see our News archive.

What’s open and closed in the City over the Christmas period

The People’s Kitchen
Christmas Eve 6pm to 7.30 pm (take away only)
Christmas Day 11.30am to 2pm
Boxing Day 9.30 am to12 noon
New Years Eve7 pm to 10 pm
New Years Day 9.30 am to12 noon

West End Foodbank distribution information

Everyone who goes to the foodbank for emergency food needs to have a valid foodbank voucher.  All the outlets are on InformationNOW

Galafield Monday 20 December

St Bede Church  Monday 20 December and Thursday 23 December

Benwell Lane  Tuesday 21 December and Wednesday 22 December

Heaton Baptist Church Wednesday  22 December

St Silas Thursday 23 December

Lemington Methodist Church Tuesday 21 December and Thursday 23 December

Benwell Lane Foodbank Centre and Heaton Baptist Church

Benwell Lane Foodbank Centre and Heaton Baptist Church on  Wednesday 29 December

St Bede Church, St Silas Church and Lemington Methodist Church on Thursday 30 December

Newcastle Treatment and Recovery (NTaR)NTaR will be normal opening hours throughout the Christmas period with the exception of the following days.

  • Christmas Eve 9 am to 16:00 pm for service opening hours, but service will be contactable via phone until 5pm
  • New Years Eve 9 am to 16:00 pm for service opening hours, but service will be contactable via phone until 5pm

Other services:

DWP offices are closed 27, 28, 29th Dec 2021 and 3rd January 2022.  Please read  How and when your benefits are paid – GOV.UK (

Newcastle Carers will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 December and will open at 9am on Tuesday 4 January 2022.

City Council service information

Money Matters, are open between Christmas and New Year. Closed 27 & 28th December and the 3rd January, operating  telephone only service.

Council tax  The service will be closed from 1pm on 24 December 2021 until 8.30am on 4 January 2022.

Crisis support will process online applications only over the Christmas period.

City Life Line  is open from Monday 20th December to Thursday 23rd December from 10am to 4pm. Open for calls and completion of the online form from 10 am to 4pm between 24th December to 3rd January inclusive. Telephone: 0800 170 7001.

Community Health and Social Care Direct (care and support for adults) are open as follows:
22nd December  8am to 5pm
23rd December  8am to 5pm
24th/Christmas eve 8 am to 3.30 pm with emergency cover from 3.30 to 8 am
Christmas Day, 26th December, 27th December and 28th December emergency cover 24/7
29th December normal hours 8am to 5pm
30th December normal hours 8am to 5pm
31st/New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day emergency cover 24/7
2nd  and  3rd January emergency cover 24/7

Normal hours ring 0191 278 8377
Emergency hours ring 0191 278 7878  and ask for EDT

Mobile number: 07968 474891
For people who are hard of hearing during normal hours

Emergency Homeless Service (out of hours):

Outside of the above times the Emergency Homelessness Service (EHS) provides a telephone response to people who become homeless in an emergency. The EHS will assess everyone who contacts and match their circumstances to the options available. To speak to the EHS service call 0800 1707 008 (press option 2 for the emergency homeless service).

  • The Housing Advice Centre will be closed to telephone and email advice on Monday 27 December, Tuesday 28 December and Monday 3 January 2022

Household Waste and Recycling Centres are open every day of the year except for 25 December, 26 December and 1 January (Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).  Rubble skips will be removed to make way for festive waste and recycling


City Library, Cruddas Park, East End, Fenham, Gosforth, Kenton, Outer West and West End Libraries will close at 1pm on Friday 24 December and open on 4 January.

City Library will be closed on 25, 26, 27 and 28 December and will be open at normal hours on Wednesday 29 December and Thursday 30 December.  On Friday 31 December it will close at 1pm and open on Tuesday 4 January.

Blakelaw Library will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 December and open on the Wednesday 5 January 2022

Denton Burn Library will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 December and open on Thursday 6 January 2022.

East End Library will close at 1pm on Friday 24 December and open  on Thursday 6 January 2022.

West End Library will close at 1pm on Friday 24 December and open as normal on Wednesday 5 January 2022

Covid vaccinations

Booster vaccines will be offered to everyone over the age of 18, and those aged 16 years and over who are at an increased risk.

NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG is aiming to do their vaccine roll out at GP surgeries, but will need volunteers to support them at three community sites: Benwell, Lemington and the Molineux Centre. Volunteers are recruited on the national NHS system

Keep an eye on this page for booster appointments, drop ins and who can get a booster.

12 to 15 year old vaccines 

Children between the ages of 12 to15 can access vaccines through a walk-in service at the Grainger Market on Saturday 18  December . Find out more information.

Vaccine Outreach Bus

You might get a call from Newcastle City Council as they support the NHS vaccination programme. The bus is going to different locations over the coming months. This is a genuine call and they can offer advice and support on booking either your first, second or booster jabs.

People at the Heart of Care  white paper

The Government has published its White Paper on social care reform. Read the national Healthwatch response to the seven issues the white paper covers and how this compares with what people have told them would make social care better.

InformationNOW has a series of articles related to: care and support for adults

Opportunities for Action

The Northern Writers’ Awards 2022

The Northern Writers’ Awards are now open for 2022 entries.There’s £40,000 worth of awards up for grabs including publication, mentoring and cash prizes. The awards are for people at all stages of their writing careers – whether you are completely new or have had work published or broadcast before.The categories range from prose and poetry to YA and short fiction. Get drafting and submit your work by 17 February 2022.

The judges for the Northern Writers’ Awards change each year to ensure a mix of taste and opinions is reflected across the awards. This year’s judges include Anthony Anaxagorou and Helen Mort (Poetry); Doug Johnstone and Tahmima Anam (Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction);  Wendy Erskine and Benjamin Myers (Finchale Short Story Award); Liz Flanagan (Young Adult and Young Northern Writers’ Awards).

See New Writing North

Northern Writers’ Awards Talent Network

In addition to the individual programmes of each award strand, all Northern Writers’ Awards winners over the age of 18 will receive ongoing support as part of the Northern Writers’ Awards Talent Network. This might include consultations with staff, support for funding applications, professional development sessions, regular peer group meetings, and more.

Protecting savers from pension scams

Official figures on pension fraud show that in the five year period from January 2015 to December 2019 there were approximately 3,000 crime reports received by Action Fraud though it is thought that this under-represents the issue.

New regulations to help prevent pension savers being subject to scams came into force on 30 November 2021. To mark the new regulations two videos have been produced, one featuring the Minister for Pensions, which helps explain to people what the changes mean for pension savers and how the regulations will work.

Based on Section 125 of the Pension Schemes Act 2021 the Minister will:

  • enable trustees to prevent a transfer request if they see evidence of ‘red flags’.
  • prevent people’s hard-earned savings being moved to suspect schemes without them receiving expert guidance
  • this includes the costs involved for managing the investment

InformationNOW has articles on: pensions, pension credit and fraud and scams

Spotlight on

No one should be alone this Winter – suicide prevention

If you’re struggling to cope with your mental health or difficult life circumstances, don’t keep it to yourself. Talk to someone about your problems or worries. This is the first step to getting help and dealing with them and feeling less overwhelmed.  Specialist support organisations can give you advice about your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Suicide is known to be a higher risk in some groups of people and it is the leading cause of death in males age 20 to 49 years. Self-harm is a known risk factor for suicide and is particularly high in younger age groups and women.

The North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network, in collaboration with suicide prevention charity Every Life Matters Cumbria, have launched three new short film animations as part of their campaign.

Get help early
Look out for others
Look after yourself

So, look out for your friends and neighbours during Winter. A “hello” can make all the difference.

InformationNOW has articles on: suicide, bereavement and griefsupport groupswhat to do when someone dies a practical guide

Research & Reports

Search Ageing Well report

In September 2021 Search held a conference at St James’s Park and a report has been published  Ageing Well Beyond Covid-19.  Older People were asked what they wanted to happen or change to improve their lives in the City.  There are a few of their comments:

  • communication needs to improve with clarity over services and what they offer/deliver
  • make sure the non-digital are not left behind
  • help older people to become digital
  • encourage and enable older voices to be heard and consulted
  • continue and restart activities for older people to improve their health and wellbeing
  • involve older people in the design and use of green and community spaces

InformationNOW has a section on: getting onlineevents and activitiesleisure and lifestyle 

Antiviral treatment trial opens for recruitment in the North East and North Cumbria

This study is investigating treatments that can help people in the community with COVID-19 get better quicker and reduce the need to be admitted to hospital. T

Local people who receive a positive PCR test for COVID-19 will be contacted by the trial team or a local healthcare professional, such as a GP or a research nurse, to consider enrolling in the study. Alternatively, anyone who meets the eligibility criteria can also sign up to take part in the study directly through the trial website

All participants take part from their own homes without needing to visit a clinic or hospital. Participants randomised to the group that receives an antiviral treatment will have their medicines sent directly to their homes by courier. Participants will keep a daily diary for 28 days through the website or receive a phone call from the trial team on days seven, 14 and 28 to speak about their symptoms and any NHS care they have needed.

More volunteering opportunities

Urban Green parks are looking for help during the week before Christmas.

InformationNOW has a section on: volunteering 

Resources and training

Online information sessions for professionals who work with carers

Newcastle Carers are running online information sessions for professionals. These sessions are an opportunity for professionals to learn about their work and gain an understanding of the challenges carers face when looking after someone.

It’s easy to book on a session: call the Carers Information Line on 0191 275 5060, or email

Upcoming sessions:

  • Tuesday 1 February
  • Tuesday 1 March
  • Tuesday 5 April
  • Tuesday 3 May
  • Tuesday 7 June

InformationNOW updates

Christmas and New Year

Jesmond Food Market this weekend
Candlelit Midnight Mass
Laser light City
New Year’s Eve Fireworks – cancelled


Blood pressure clinics start on 11 January at the Grainger Market
Social art classes for people with a learning disability at Cornerstone Benwell

What’s new on InformationNOW this week
Articles Updated

How to make a good complaint
When someone dies – a practical guide
Support Groups

Organisations Updated

North East Ambulance Service
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
The Mercy Hub
The People’s Kitchen
Betel UK



Last updated: January 13, 2022

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