31 March 2021
Easter; epilepsy awareness; autism awareness and have your say on health and our city.
• Transforming the City Centre
• Young Carers action day
• Opportunities with Newcastle City Learning
• Tax returns and homeworking tax relief
• Coronavirus updates
• Housing and older people
• Staying afloat in the pandemic
• Online help for families needing to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme
• Lloyds bank funding opportunity
• Welfare update – benefits
New on InformationNOW this week!
This week’s events & activities at a glance
• Newcastle Health and Homelessness Inequality Research Findings
• International Newcastle events, Festival Week 22-26 March 2021
• Updated organisations and articles
• Night Stop
• Moving on Tyne and Wear
• Joseph Cowen Healthcare Centre
• Newcastle City Learning
• Fitness activities
Now that we are about to emerge out of lockdown, we may need to focus on our health and reconditioning. We have a new article on Walking and health which signposts you to what you can do on your own or with others. Walking can be incorporated into everyday routines, such as going to work and domestic tasks. It is a year-round, habit-forming activity and by far the most easily accessible means of reaping health benefits with no special equipment required.
A new proposal will bring significant investment to the city centre and ensure Newcastle remains a place where businesses can thrive, people want to move to and live and tourists visit. It will capitalise on the city’s vibrancy and welcoming nature and create a safer, more appealing and healthier green city with outdoor spaces and activities that people and their families can enjoy together.
This will mean some big changes to the city’s environment including moving forward with plans to remove vehicle traffic from Blackett Street in the heart of our city centre.
You can watch a video available on YouTube
Economic recovery plan
Alongside this vision there is an Economic recovery plan which with a broad range of stakeholders, will look to reinvent and accelerate their ambitions for an inclusive, green, and prosperous economy. Please take part in this survey
Young Carers Action Day is an annual event, organised by Carers Trust to raise awareness of young carers and the contribution they make to their families and local communities. This year the theme is ‘Protect Young Carers Futures’
Young carers (aged 5-18) and young adult carers (aged 18 -25) generally look after someone in their family who, due to illness, disability, mental health problems or substance misuse could not manage without their support. Their caring roles have enabled these young people to develop incredible skills such as resilience, time-management and empathy, important skills, not just for young people moving into higher education, but also for those looking to enter the workplace.
As part of the Carers into Work project across the North of Tyne Combined Authority, Newcastle Carers has a Carer into Work Advisor, Ave Joesar who can support young adult carers into employment. For more information about the project and to access support, email Ave.
Newcastle Carers is commissioned by Newcastle City Council and the Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group to provide support to unpaid carers of all ages caring for someone living in Newcastle.
InformationNOW has articles on: Looking after someone
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION
Newcastle City Learning offers new short experiences and programmes which will engage people in learning again. Joining one of their classes is a great way to meet new friends and learn a new skill along the way and over the last year, they have been delivering online learning and support using Google classroom.
There are free Level 2 and Level 3 courses for employed residents of the North of Tyne Combined Authority area, which means people could save hundreds of pounds on subjects like bookkeeping and counselling. There are also free essential digital skills courses to help people develop their confidence and skills in using digital technology. Read the new brochure
Enrol online or call on 0191 2773520 from 8.30am to 4.30pm or email
InformationNOW has articles on: lifelong learning
If you are late filing your tax return, don’t ignore it. It won’t go away and penalties will pile up. It is best to complete it online as there is a penalty, when you are late, for a paper submission. When it comes to appealing penalties HMRC has indicated that they will consider the following as examples of “reasonable excuse”: Difficulties caused by Covid 19:
• an unexpected stay in hospital preventing you from dealing with your tax affairs
• the death of a partner or close relative
• a serious or life threatening illness or a disability that led to the delay
• software failure when using the online filing system/service
• fire, flood or theft preventing you from completing your tax return
However, be careful, as HMRC expects you to file the tax return as soon as you are able to, so don’t delay getting your return in once the immediate crisis has passed and, if making an appeal, include details of the time of the event that has delayed the submission of your return.
Some people can end up being asked by HMRC to complete a tax return in error. The most common reasons for needing to complete a tax return are self-employment or property income over £1,000 pa; overseas income, and savings or investment income over £10,000 pa – but that is not an exhaustive list.
You could try HMRC’s online checking tool at to see if you need to complete a tax return.
Working from home tax relief
Your organisation or employer may have come to an agreement with you relating to support against expenses for home working for anything up to a year. If not, it is easy to claim tax relief from the HMRC and if you do it now, it can start from the date of the official lockdown, 23rd March.
Read the information from Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert and claim before the end of this financial year, 31st March 2021. You do not receive a cheque, but your tax code will change to make the allowance.
The National Health Research Institute (NIHR) has released videos to be shared across our communities. The videos feature staff working in health and social care explaining vaccine safety standards and the importance of vaccine research in the fight against COVID 19 in a range of languages including Bengali, Hindi, Polish, Romanian and Punjabi.
CityLife Line still offering essential support across Newcastle
Citylife Line continues to provide help to Newcastle residents throughout the pandemic. This includes access to food, medicines and other support. Complete this online form or visit this page. You can also call 0800 170 7001 and someone can complete the form on your behalf. The team works Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 9am to 3pm. Those requiring immediate support, will be contacted by telephone on the same day (except Sundays). For all other requests, you will be contacted within 36 hours.
The Centre for Ageing Better published a report as part of its Good Home Inquiry which has revealed the impact of homes in poor condition on people in their 50s and 60s. There are an estimated 4.1 million homes in England that do not meet basic standards of decency and around half of those homes are lived in by someone aged 55 or over.
New research, undertaken by Joseph Rowntree Foundation and The Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, has followed 14 low-income families over five years, trying to understand how they have coped before the pandemic and also during its first six months. Two separate reports look at before and during the pandemic. Here are the recommendations below:
InformationNOW has articles (with organisations that can help) on: support for people on low incomes; looking for work; buying or renting ordinary housing; getting online; welfare and benefits; help with housing
An online event at 11am and 6pm on 24 March, 2021 targets support to residents needing to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. The event is free and people booking will receive a personal call back from a Home Office accredited adviser employed by Your Homes Newcastle. Translators can be provided if necessary. Book a place
Information on the EU Settlement Scheme
The Lloyds Bank Foundation 2021 funding programme is now open, with £9.5m to distribute to small and local charities in England and Wales. Registered charities helping complex social issues involving any of the following can apply: addiction and dependency, asylum seekers and refugees, care leavers, domestic abuse, homelessness and vulnerably housed, learning disabilities, mental health, offending, prison or community service or young parents. This year the Foundation will be open all year rather than distributing grants via multiple funding rounds, applications will be considered at any time.
With changes in welfare benefits coming into effect, the Newcastle Welfare team are working hard to keep everyone informed. If you need help, please read their pages, starting with Coronavirus and benefits; what the changes mean to you. See our article with links to key organisations that can help.
Crisis Newcastle with Groundswell and Cardboard Citizens are holding a piece of forum theatre to share the findings of #HealthNow Health and Homelessness Inequality research carried out in Newcastle between October and November 2020.. The forum theatre will be run on line to demonstrate their findings and to generate some discussion. Book this event on 30 March 2021,1pm to 3pm.
The Festival What’s On programme includes free language and culture-related activities and resources available from 22 February, with live events and workshops running in March.
Activities and events are aimed at Schools (educators, learners and speakers from Early Years to University) and Communities (community schools, language and cultural communities and the general public) including Refugee and Asylum Seekers families.
Last updated: March 19, 2021
Before you go, please help us