15 May 2020
Struggling with sleep, looking for activities to do at home. We can help …
Information for people with sight loss
Mental Health Awareness Week
Care Home Connectivity
Support for families
CNTW NHS Foundation Trust service users survey
Socially distanced choir looking for volunteers – act now.
What’s on online
Richard Finch from Radio Tyneside interviews Kate at InformationNOW (now a podcast) about last week’s InfoNOW news: coping with sleep, living with a long term condition during the coronavirus and the digital chain story.
Azure charitable enterprises
Stop Smoking service for Newcastle
Equality Advisory Support Service
Emergency SMS service
West End Women and Girls
Food banks and free emergency food
While you are in hospital
It is a difficult time for people with sight loss, visual impairment or who are blind. There are organisations that can help you during the coronavirus pandemic.
RNIB helpline has extended hours during the coronavirus: 0303 123 9999 weekdays 8 am to 8 pm and Saturdays 9 am to 5 pm
Guide dogs for the Bind has a coronavirus information line:0800 781 1444, weekdays 9 am to 5 pm. They also have this email for children with sight loss: firstname.lastname@example.org for information on assistive technology or family support.
Glaucoma helpline: 01233 64 81 70 from Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 5 pm
Macular Society: 0300 3030 111
Please don’t ignore your eye symptoms. Get in touch with your optician, eye doctor or clinic to get help if anything changes or worsens. Clinics have been adjusted to make sure that you are at minimised risk.
Do you wear glasses or contact lenses?
Mental and physical health
It’s really important to get some exercise during the coronavirus pandemic. You may feel more anxious about going out, but your cane should help people be aware that they need to give you space and also ensure that you don’t get too close. Now that you can go out with one person (from a different household) who can keep their distance from you, maybe they can help you get out and warn people/you if you are in danger of getting too close. If you have a guide dog, you will probably be getting exercise every day and you should continue to do so.
During this time, it’s especially important you stay connected with the outside world; whether it’s having Skype calls with family and friends, joining a Talk and Support group through the RNIB Helpline or signing up to a Keeping in Touch call with Guide Dogs. There are many sight loss forums available and most are open to your family and friends too. Here are a few contacts on Facebook:
Looking after ourselves has never been more important than right now. The ‘new normal’ has changed the way we live, the way we work. We’re missing family, friends and colleagues. We’re using words like Covid-19, lockdown and social distancing at a time when we all need comfort the most.Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is kindness and looking out for each other. There is support for people who are finding life a struggle and who need to talk. Our mental health article has information and organisations that you can contact.
Small changes can make a big difference to you or someone you know or meet:
The RISE team works with young people in schools across Newcastle and Gateshead to help support their emotional and mental wellbeing. Rise/Wellness for All has launched two courses this week, one for staff and early years and one for parents and children. You can take these course for free.
The ITV Britain Get Talking campaign has had great results. Why don’t you:
Plans are being drawn up to help ensure people who need to make essential journeys in Newcastle can do so safely and with assurances on social distancing. Newcastle City Council is looking at how citywide transport networks can be changed to enable people to travel easily, while maintaining social distance and to meet the increasing demand for space to walk and cycle.
New measures and road layouts, starting in the city centre, will be introduced quickly – in some cases from as early as this week – to meet the short-term need to get the city moving in a safe way as coronavirus restrictions start to ease. Newcastle City Council will also be looking at how these short-term changes could help deliver longer term ambitions for a cleaner and greener transport network that encourages and supports more active travel and a reduction in car journeys.
Northumbria Police have alerted us to two new scams:
Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy organisation or agency in an electronic communication.
Keep up to date with our scams and fraud article.
Domestic abuse – recognising signs and who can help
Channel 5 aired a programme last week about how to leave an abusive partner safely in lockdown,
Children North East has launched a domestic abuse helpline: 0191 256 2440 or text FAMILY to 07984 388 130.
Northumbria Police officers are working with Boots and the UK Says No More campaign to support victims of domestic abuse during lockdown. Safe spaces have been installed in Boots consultation rooms in Newcastle and across the country to allow people to access vital support. There is a similar option at Superdrug on Northumberland Street.
To access support, those in need can ask for help at the counter and will be referred to use a safe consultation room, where they will have access to 24-hour national domestic abuse helplines and can also contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
As they respond to COVID-19, care providers are using digital technology to protect the health and wellbeing of vulnerable residents. Technology is enabling video consultations with health professionals, ordering of prescriptions, as well as supporting residents to talk with family and friends.
To further support the technology, NHSX and NHS Digital have negotiated a range of internet connection offers with telecom companies, details of which are available on the NHSX website.
This is a difficult time for families and children. Here are some links to help you:
Updated information on co-parenting for families where a child does not live with both parents.
Family action offer Care leavers listening works
Action for Children has helplines for parents and for children.
Additional support is available from Involvement Facilitators who are able to complete the survey on behalf of any service user wishing to contact them by telephone during office hours or by email to request a call back:
Email email@example.com Newcastle and Gateshead tel: 07866 133 240
Last weekend saw a 34% increase in cars on the road. There is a national campaign using mobile speed cameras and unmarked police cars. Please take care and drive safely within the speed restrictions as more people return to work.
360 motorists were caught driving as fast at 87mph near the Metrocentre, 64 on Felling bypass.
An opportunity to thank the NHS and care staff by singing a newly adapted version of The Blaydon Races as part of an online socially distanced choir has arisen.
The words of the great Geordie Anthem have been rewritten, with music provided by Hotspur School. Those taking part will be asked to film themselves on a phone or laptop singing the new words to a provided backing track. They then send in their recording by email so they can be edited together to form the choir. If you want to take part, you will have to commit some time before next Monday 25th May to practice and to record yourself singing.
You will receive the lyrics and backing track to listen to through earphones and you’ll record yourself singing along to it. The Trust will give you detailed instructions and lots of support. If you are interested in singing, please send your details ASAP to firstname.lastname@example.org You will need to provide a contact phone number and email so the Trust can easily contact you.
All our theatre and art organisations are struggling with closure. They are streaming their shows and collections but please consider making a donation if you can.
The National Theatre at Home programme has been extended for another 4 weeks. The next 2 shows are as follows:
week commencing 14th May – Barber Shop Chronicles
week commencing 21st May – A Street Car named Desire
Love in Isolation at the Globe Theatre. A choice of free Shakespeare plays including Romeo & Juliet and As You Like It. Coming soon, Macbeth. Ideal for GCSE and A level students who are studying English.
If you are missing your visits to the local galleries then take a look at their latest offerings here.
Baltic art (including family activities)
Laing Art Gallery (including family activities)
The Government is launching this funding plan now to help ensure no one needs to feel lonely in the weeks ahead. It will help everyone understand the role they can play in looking after each other, and empower expert charities and volunteers to reach more vulnerable people. The plan will aim to ensure that, for people of all ages and backgrounds, staying at home does not need to lead to loneliness. As part of this plan, national organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections are invited to apply for a share of £5 million of funding. Check the criteria and eligibility information.
Voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system with under £500,000 annual income can apply now for grant funding to support their vital work during Covid-19.
Last updated: May 21, 2020