Information Now

18 June InfoNOW News features Corona 12


Coronavirus updates and resources
Familes and children support during the coronavirus


Learning disabilities awarenesss week
Caring for grandparents month
Let’s talk loneliness


Organisations are updating their resources for lockdown

Newcastle College
Father’s day Instagram link
Seated online pilates


Lots of voluntary sector and statutory services changed the way they operated during the first 12 weeks of the pandemic. Some organisations are getting in touch to say that they are offering a mix of outdoor and socially distanced services as well as their new online chat rooms, activities and classes. Please let us know if you change your provision or update your profile yourself using your organisation login. You can reset the password.  Remember we can also add your online events to that section on our website.

Sexual health services are offered at community hubs, online and by post. Listen to Harriet, Steve and Kate discussing how to access services with Richard from Radio Tyneside.

We have updated Quick links to virtual online activity with the North East Heritage Library, Safari Live and the Sofa Singers.

Coronavirus updates

City Council

Birth registrations   

Birth registrations have resumed, but are strictly by appointment and availability will be staggered based on the date of birth of the child.    Parents of babies born before 31 March 2020 are now being invited to contact the Register Office to make an appointment.  Please phone 0191 278 7878 and ask for registrars or  email

Watch the Cabinet discussion on the impact of coronavirus and planning for our recovery.

Latest scams

Virtual tour of the Laing Art Gallery – this was a scam on Facebook
New HMRC text message phishing scam targeting self-employed

Read more from Northumbria Police.

For advice and guidance on cyber security use the National Cyber Security Centre and report crimes here 

Doctors of the World report

A new report from Doctors of the World outlines the impact of COVID-19 on a range of groups, including people seeking asylum and refugees, for whom the virus represents a ‘widening of the gap’ between them and the essential services and support needed to stay well and healthy.

Family and children information

Some of our children have returned to school whilst others don’t expect to return until September.   Some will be anxious about returning and others will be increasingly anxious about returning to their society of friends for walks and fun.

This Recovery College online module of information (two age ranges) may help you come to terms with the lockdown and respond to the changes that are emerging for our future.

Headspace, a popular mental health app, are unlocking a free, “Weathering the storm” collection of meditation and mindfulness content for people around the world, available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Download the app in the Apple or Play store, and then click on the ‘Explore’ tab in the app. The free section is at the top of the list.

“My Hero is You” is a story book that aims to help children understand and come to terms with COVID-19, in 50 languages. Get a free download

For some of us, working from home will continue for a while longer. CNTW NHS FoundationTrust has some tips for Working from home

Learning Disabilities awareness week, 15 to 21 June

Learning Disability Week 2020 is taking place from 15 to 21 June. The theme of the week this year is the importance of friendships during lockdown. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people with a learning disability are feeling isolated, as they are unable to see their friends and families. We know that people with a learning disability already experience high levels of loneliness and social isolation, and that this will have been made worse by the lockdown.

The lead organisations in Newcastle are creating friendship circles and posting.  Don’t be left out, get involved in a group on social media.  By taking part on social media, you can show your awareness of the difficulties this group face at present.

You can share your stories on social media:

CNTW NHS Foundation Trust – send them a story or a tip for coping and connecting during lockdown.  Email   Follow their tips for friendships here.

Friends Action North East has creative sessions online for you to take part in

Skills for people and Keeping people connected have films and videos talking about friendship and invite you to submit a film or comment

Journey Enterprises – let them know why friendship is important to you on social media and by joining their secure chat room.  They are also dropping off packages to get creative, so if you are not on social media you can ring them to drop a package off and have a chat at a distance.  You can also have a short walk with them 1:1 now.

The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company has a live show on Star and Shadow Cinema on 26 June

Inclusion North – catch up daily on the news in a straightforward format

You can also share your friendship thoughts and videos on Mencap’s Twitter feed.


InformationNOW has a  learning disability page with organisations that can help you and information on supported housing and the shared lives scheme.

Beyond Words is a charity that provides books and training to support people who find pictures easier to understand than words. Whether supporting somebody with a learning disability or communication difficulty, their resources empower people through pictures.  Find their Books beyond words

Caring for Grandparents month

Independent Age is reminding us that it is time to remember and care for our grandparents. This will have been a difficult time for families with grandparents who have been separated from their loved ones.  Many grandparents look after their grandchildren whilst parents work. They collect them from school, feed them and take them out for fun.  All this has stopped during the Covid 19 pandemic and has caused strain, sadness and for some real anxiety.

Maybe one of the issues about staying in touch has been that your grandparent doesn’t use technology – what about reading through this research with tips about how to motivate them to get them digitally connected.


Before the coronavirus, 23% of unpaid carers were over 65 years of age.  Since the coronavirus an increase of 14% of unpaid carers are over 65 years.  In reverse, some young carers were looking after grandparents on a permanent basis before the coronavirus and since the pandemic 10% of young carers between 18 and 25 years are caring for them.  Newcastle Carers can give these groups support, information and advice.

InformationNOW has an article on Looking after Someone and Grandparent issues
Age UK has Top tips for Grandparents

Let’s talk loneliness

Public Health England, along with the Marmalade Trust, Jo Cox Foundation and others, have developed a series of resources to address the concern about the increased loneliness that people experience in our Society today.  The resources include advice, stories and a toolkit that may help some organisations develop their skills and experience to help others.

Whilst loneliness is not the province of older people or grandparents, Independent Age is also hosting a live session with Corinne Sweet on Facebook at 1pm today about this theme.

Contact the Royal Voluntary Service to get help and support and follow them on their Facebook page.

Mental health resources are available for everyone, whatever their age or circumstances, from the Mental Health Foundation.
The ITV Britain Get Talking campaign has had great results.  Why don’t you:

  • get in touch with someone that you’ve lost touch with
  • speak to family members , aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents
  • play phone contact roulette – spinning through your contacts to choose someone to call at random

Listen to Barbara Douglas of the Elders Council, Beena Kethani and Mervyn Eastman reflecting on their personal approach to the Covid 19 lockdown.


Organisations are updating their resources for lockdown

Connected Voice Advocacy has created this Advocacy myth buster to ensure that people know that advocacy is still available; including how advocates can help during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are a carer, you may be interested in Life Story Work in Lockdown –  for carers and people with dementia on our dementia page

CNTW NHS Foundation Trust has a looking after your mental health guide

Jesmond Pool and Gym has a number of online activities.

Updated events and activities

Newcastle College is offering free online courses for adults on health and social care

VOICE is offering two opportunities to get involved: understanding and treating Covid 19; how have you changed your eating habits during lockdown

It’s Father’s day this weekend – put something on Instagram

Seated Pilates online is just one option from Jesmond Pool and Gym


Last updated: July 23, 2020

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