Information Now

20 December 2019 InfoNOW news


Online shopping
Parcel delivery scam warning
Feeling lonely at Christmas
Volunteering at Christmas
Do you know a young carer?
Library opening hours


Coping with loss at Christmas

Opportunities for Action

Tips on Christmas with someone with dementia
Christmas recycling top tips
Further thoughts on Christmas


Get online Newcastle courses
Good Gym help with winter pressures

This week’s events & activities at a glance

Eagles walking basketball
Christmas activities

What’s New on InformationNOW

Learning Disability
Urgent Treatment Centres
Byker Sands Family Centre
Get Online Newcastle


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Kate, Carol and Lauren will be out of the office from Monday 23 December and will return on Tuesday 7th January 2020.

Online shopping

Last week, Resolver stated that complaints about online shopping and deliveries had risen in the last year. They help you complain about your delivery problems.  This is a completely free service that covers online shopping, parcel delivery, flight delays and cancellations, parking, train delays and mobile phones.

Read about your consumer rights and how to complain about a service.

Parcel delivery scam warning

Trading Standards Office and Royal Mail

Be on your guard. Christmas is fast approaching, so Royal Mail and the Trading Standards Office are asking you to beware the following scam.

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 661 1911 (a premium rate number).If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message, you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 0207 239 6655. For more information, see the Crime Stoppers website

Read more about how to protect yourself from Fraud and scams on InformationNOW.

Feeling lonely at Christmas

Over half a million older people will spend Christmas alone this year and many people will find themselves isolated.

If you have friends, relatives or neighbours who may be lonely this Christmas can you pay them a visit, give them a call or send them a card?

Read more about what you can do if you’re feeling lonely on InformationNOW and ways you can help others. 

Contact the Elderly has changed it’s name to Reengage

If you know anyone over the age of 75, living alone and finding it difficult to get out and about Reengage may be able to help you next year. They organise group gatherings, afternoon tea parties and social events usually on Sundays and there are volunteer drivers to take you and bring you home again. Why not contact them and see what may be available to you and others you may know.

Contact: Jane Murphy 01274 753003

Volunteering at Christmas

It’s great to volunteer at any time of year, but Christmas is a time when people may feel more lonely or isolated that usual.  Giving your time is a great way to show you care, but it may also help you to cope with your own difficult feelings.  Lots of charities will be looking for support including Crisis. Volunteer for collections or for the meals on 25 and 26 December at Blackfriars,Ouseburn

Have a look through our Food banks article to see organisations that may need help over Christmas.

Read more about volunteering.

Good Gym are always looking for more runners – they help people as part of their run.   You can keep fit and healthy and help someone in need.

Do you know a young carer? Help available towards studies

The Council have extended their offer to introduce a new young carers bursary. A young carer looks after a family member or friend who has an illness, disability, mental health problem or addiction and who couldn’t manage without their support.

The scheme is designed to help, encourage and support young people to continue studying in Newcastle, and is not means-tested. There are a lot of associated costs with staying in education and pupils regularly use the extra money for books, equipment, clothing and travel expenses. Young carers are now able to apply for up to £300 to help support their studies. If you believe you may be eligible to receive a Newcastle bursary you should enquire with your chosen learning provider if they have the scheme available. You can also contact Newcastle Carers.

The Newcastle Schools bursary scheme also gives financial support to pupils who:

  • are from low income families
  • are in care
  • have recently left care or who are receiving benefits.

Library opening hours

All libraries will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve City, Gosforth, Kenton and Outer West Libraries will be open between 10am and 1pm. East and West end libraries will be closed. The rest of the library opening times are the same as normal.All libraries will return to their normal opening hours from Monday 6th January. The smaller partnership libraries have a full timetable on their websites.

Remember that you can access audio and e books throughout the festive season for free.

You can also request a home delivery service or join the Reading Friends scheme to chat about books.


Coping with loss at Christmas

Christmas can be a painful time when you are missing someone who has died. Cruse share tips which may help you plan and cope with the festive season.   It is important to think about yourself if you are grieving and decide whether you want to stick to routines or do something completely different. The Cruse National Helpline will be open as usual over the holiday period, offering a listening ear and emotional support to anyone who has lost someone they love, or been affected by a bereavement. All calls are answered by trained Cruse volunteers. The freephone number is 0808 808 1677.  Lines are open at 9.30 am including Christmas day and Boxing day, they are open until 8 pm.

InformationNOW has a bereavement article with a list of useful organisations and an article on what to do when someone dies.


Tips on Christmas with someone with Dementia

Independent Age have some tips on helping  people who are sharing Christmas (or any other celebration) with someone living with dementia. Tips like finding a film on the many channels that they know and can enjoy; help them feel involved with tasks they can do in the kitchen or wrapping presents.

Christmas recycling top tips

Christmas always creates additional waste such as, wrapping paper, toy boxes or food waste, so please recycle as much as possible. Top tips include:
  • Scrunch aluminium kitchen foil, tub and pot lids and wrappers together to form a ball – the bigger the ball, the easier it is to recycle
  • Empty plastic sweet and chocolate tubs can be recycled
  • Excess cardboard, wrapping paper and glass can be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC)
  • If wrapping paper holds its shape when scrunched, then it is recyclable; if it springs back it is not
  • After Christmas you can take your real trees to a HWRC
  • Christmas cards and wrapping paper with glitter cannot be recycled
  • Polystyrene and bubble wrap cannot be recycled

Further thoughts for Christmas

Healthy eating for Christmas and New Year

The British Nutrition Foundation has come up with a suggested menu or two. We eat 6000 kcals (25104 kJ) on Christmas day – that’s 3 times the recommended daily intake for women and over 2 times for men.   Top tips include: low salt gravy, fruit stuffings instead of sausage meat, vegetables with lemon zest and not butter.  Read healthy eating on Christmas day

Donate, donate, donate

Drop off an item for the Crisis Skylight collection.  Items include: non-perishable food • men’s clothing • nuts • chocolates • biscuits • tinned food • Food for special dietary requirements diabetic/ gluten free etc. • bath sets • back-packs • gloves • hats and there are  collection locations till 19 December.  Foodworks in Heaton is the nearest collection point in Newcastle.

Donate any spare winter clothes to Action Foundation for asylum seekers.

Feeling well?

Visit your local pharmacy for help with cough, colds, viruses and eye/ear problems.  There are now three main Urgent Care Treatment Centres (these have replaced the former Walk in Centres, though they are in the same place).  Call NHS 111 for immediate advice.


Get Online Newcastle – courses for the New Year

Get Online Newcastle is a partnership between Newcastle City Council and Your Homes Newcastle and their aim is to help you improve your digital skills.  Their courses show you how to get online safely, search for items and information, choose the technology that will meet your needs, learn how to use smart technology on your phone.  Their courses are free.  You must live in Newcastle to apply for a place on these courses.

You need an email address to book your place, but don’t worry if you don’t have one, just use email address: for now. They will send a booking confirmation email in the post. .

Book online (book on the first day of two days and you will automatically be booked onto day two)

Can’t book online – call 0191 277 4100

Good Gym help with winter pressures

Do you need some help this Winter or running up to Christmas?  Good Gym will help with writing Christmas cards, putting up decorations, clearing paths with wet leaves or changing smoke alarm batteries. Get in touch if you are over 60 years. Volunteers have a DBS check.

New events and activities at a glance:

  • Jewish Heritage project at City Library
  • Community Dementia Cafe at St Mary’s Cathedral
  • All Autistics Accepted

Walking basketball tournament

Would you like to try out walking basketball before the Eagles match on 27 December?
Contact Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation for more details.

Christmas events on InformationNOW

There are lots of activities for the festive season in Newcastle and the North East.  Have a look at our Christmas calendar on InformationNOW and choose a carol concert, a walking nativity or a film with the children. Don’t forget about the New Year’s eve fireworks at the Civic Centre and Quayside.

More events and activities available on NewcastleGateshead

If you want to go further afield, you could visit Alnwick Garden or ice skating at Beamish.

What’s new on InformationNOW this week

Articles Updated
Learning Disability
Urgent Treatment Centres

New and updated Organisations
Byker Sands Family Centre
Get Online Newcastle

Last updated: April 8, 2020

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