Information Now

20 Oct Info NOW News


  • Information NOW News
  • Love your Bones campaign
  • Eye Health
  • Books on the Tyne festival
  • Age UK Newcastle
  • Helping people access the energy they need to stay warm
  • File your tax return

Research & Reports

  • Music Therapy and palliative care
  • Changes to the CVI (Certificate of Visual Impairment)

Opportunities for Action

  • City Bike Share Scheme
  • Healthwatch survey – NHS continuing healthcare


  • Get online champions
  • IT classes

New on InformationNOW this week!

  • This week’s events & activities at a glance
  • balletLorent performs Rumpelstiltskin
  • Traces
  • Updated articles & organisations
  • Osteoporosis
  • Falls prevention
  • Universal Credit
  • Learning Disabilities and Autism
  • Grandparents plus
  • Skills for People
  • Switch with Which?
  • National Autistic Society
  • Contact a family
  • Friends of Jesmond Library



Information NOW News

The Information NOW team have made a number of changes to existing information over the last two weeks including: updating our Universal Credit and related benefits articles, updating our Learning disabilities and autism article and the list of Safe Places as well as our Osteoporosis and Falls prevention articles. We have also updated our entries on the City Council’s Information Hubs and Libraries facilities.  We have expanded our events and activities categories to include Arts & Crafts and Swimming & Aquafit.

Love your bones – protect your future campaign

20th October is World Osteoporosis Day and there is a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about how to protect your bones. Osteoporosis can make your bones fragile and you will have an increased risk of falls and fractures. Statistics show that 1:2 women and 1:5 men over 50 years incur a fracture owing to fragile bones. There are ways to prevent this including: a diet rich with calcium and Vitamin D, found in foods such as cheese, milk and leafy vegetables and regular weight-bearing exercise.  Have a look at the Information NOW events section for activities to keep you fit and healthy including water workouts.

Eye health – visit your optician every two years

RNIB and Specsavers have launched their State of the Nation Eye Health report for 2017.  The report shows that women are more likely to suffer from sight loss during their lifetime than men, but equally alarming, is that a quarter of people are ignoring the first signs of sight loss. Despite not being able to see as well in the distance or close up as they used to, 23 per cent have not sought advice from an optician or medical professional to get help for their visual impairments.  Eye health is an indicator of other health conditions including heart disease and diabetic retinopathy.  Everyone should be visiting the optician every two years.

Books on the Tyne, Newcastle’s book festival from Saturday 23 November to Sunday 3 December.

Book early for the Lit and Phil/City Libraries events and avoid disappointment.  There is a wide range of sessions to choose from including Ann Cleeves talking about Vera and Andrew Clark talking about life in the 1930s, 40s and 50s as well as Brian King speaking about Martin Luther King’s visit to Newcastle.

Age UK Newcastle

Age UK Newcastle are launching several new projects to help and support older people.

There is a new wellbeing clinic for people at Betts Medical Centre in Kenton who are aged 65+, have a long term health condition and are at risk of falling. You will be referred by a GP or Healthcare professional and Amie Cooper will be available at the Practice on Tuesday afternoons to see clients and offer advice and support.

Age UK are launching their No One Should Have No One campaign to combat the impact of over 1 million people who are described as chronically lonely.  Age UK Newcastle would like to recruit some new volunteers to support their Befriending Service as part of their bid to reduce loneliness amongst older people in Newcastle.  Contact Yvonne  or ring 0191 235 9903.

Helping people access the energy they need

Ofgem, the independent energy regulator, has announced that their prepayment safeguard tariff will be extended to approximately one million additional vulnerable households this winter by extending the cap on prices to homes in receipt of the Warm Home Discount.

New rules have also been announced which will require energy suppliers to move customers approaching the end of fixed term deals onto better tariffs than their standard variable rate when deals come to an end. For more information please click here

For information on managing your heating and energy costs read our article on Information NOW.

In addition, Energy UK, the trade association for the UK energy industry, and the Money Advice Trust have launched a new guide to help the energy sector identify and support customers in vulnerable circumstances. Vulnerability, mental health, and the energy sector: a guide to help identify and support consumers, is aimed at frontline staff of energy suppliers and contains accessible explanations of vulnerability and practical tools to help identify and provide support in a variety of situations. The guide also covers supporting people with mental health problems or issues with mental capacity.

File your tax return

You have until the 31st January 2018 to file your 2016/17 tax return without penalty online. However, don’t leave it until the last minute as it takes at least 14 days to register for online services. Penalties start at £100, rising to £1,600 quite quickly – so don’t delay. The tax due for the 2016/17 tax year must be paid by 31st January 2018.  For more information on tax read our article on Information NOW.


Music Therapy and palliative care

Marie Curie collaborated with Queen’s University Belfast and local music therapy organisation Every Day Harmony, to run a pilot study in their Belfast Hospice to see what impact music had on the quality of  this significant stage of their lives.
“This study is an important first step towards providing rigorous evidence of the impact of music therapy on quality of life in palliative and end of life care, with promising findings in improving psychological symptoms and meaningful existence in particular”  said Dr Tracey McConnell, Post-doctoral Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast.

Browse our Information NOW End of LIfe category for more help and support.

Changes to the Certificate of Vision Impairment

An updated Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI)  has  been launched at the Vision 2020 conference. The updated certificate is a significant development with regard to eye care for people with learning disabilities and/or dementia. For the first time, the form asks whether you have a learning disability or a diagnosis of dementia.

Patients who have learning disabilities or dementia should be certificated using the same process as for other patients. Certification serves as a formal record of a patient having a visual impairment which is of huge significance when patients are seeking to access social care support or financial benefits. Without certification, care and support providers are often unclear of someone’s level of vision and what practical support they require. The other welcome change is the introduction of an easy read covering letter, which will be sent to those who requested it with their Certificate.


City Bike Share Scheme

Newcastle will be home to Mobike’s third scheme in the UK on a trial basis.  It is proposed that up to 1000 bikes will be rolled out across the city in the coming weeks to help support the city’s priorities for tackling air quality.  There will be a number of  Preferred locations for the bikes – generally in locations near to existing cycle parking. As well as being equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology, these bikes have non-puncture airless tyres, a lightweight aluminium anti-rust frame, enhanced and durable disk-brakes and an auto-inspired five-spoke wheel.

To use the service, users simply need to download the Mobike app, register, and scan the QR code on the bike. With Mobike’s  smart-lock technology, scanning the QR code instantly unlocks the bike and allows the user to ride it away. To complete their ride, users need only to park the bike at any authorised bike parking area near their destination and manually close the lock on the bike.  The Mobike mobile app is now available for download in Newcastle at the Android store here and Apple app store here.

The scheme has been launched on a trial basis so that the organisations involved can monitor and evaluate factors, such as take up and use of the scheme, as well as the impact on other transport providers. Newcastle City Council would welcome any feedback from groups and individuals about the Scheme.

Healthwatch survey: NHS continuing healthcare

NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) is a package of care that people receive because they have been assessed by an NHS multidisciplinary team as requiring full care provided for free by the NHS.

If you (or someone you care for) live in Newcastle or Gateshead and have been through, or are starting the process of applying for or you are currently using CHC, Healthwatch would like to hear about your experience. Please take their survey here.  See the Information NOW article about help with healthcare.


Get online digital champions training, Tuesday 31st October 2017,10.10am – 3.00pm, at the City Library

Would you like to become a digital champion and help others to get online?  If you are a volunteer for an organisation or you would like to volunteer then register for this training session by calling: 0191 278 4292.

IT Classes Project, October – November 2017
Room 107, Squires Building, Northumbria University

Elders Council working in partnership with Northumbria Students Union volunteers are running tailored IT classes. Sessions have recommenced and will take place 2 – 4 pm on 1st November; 15th November; 29th November. Tuition is tailor made to suit the learner. Topics include setting up an email account; learning how to use your iPad or even learning how to use a computer for the first time. For further details or to register your interest, please email or call Anne on 0191 208 2701.  Visit our getting online section and our events and activities pages for more computer training options.


This week’s events and activities at a glance

At a glance includes gardening, badminton and knit & natter

At a glance includes line dancing, tai chi and gentle gardening

At a glance includes Mahila Mandal, art club and computer club

At a glance includes Pool of Sound drop in for adults with learning disabilities and singing for people with dementia.

At a glance includes line dancing and plant stall at Armstrong bridge

At a glance includes social at the Laing Art Gallery, and sequence dancing.

balletLORENT performs Rumpelstiltskin, 24 – 28 October, Barras Bridge, Newcastle, NE1 7RH

Go and enjoy a special performance of Rumpelstiltskin at Northern Stage which includes four ladies from the Cornerstone Knit and Natter group in Benwell, children from local schools as well as 10 professional dancers. See their trailer here.

For more ideas of what to do, what to see and how to keep fit visit our leisure and lifestyle category on Information NOW or check out the latest events.

Traces – 6 October to 26 November, Holy Biscuit, 1 Clarence Street, Shieldfield,
Newcastle, NE2 1YH

An opportunity to discuss aspects of death and think about how we mark our own or someone else’s passing; how does this affect how we live our lives?  Alongside an exhibition there will be a series of conversations on a range of subjects such as Experiencing Grief and a Death Cafe. Telephone 0191 447 6811 (Tuesday to Friday) to book a place.  Visit Information NOW and read When someone dies: a practical guide.

Articles Updated

Falls prevention
Universal Credit
Learning disabilities and Autism

New and updated organisations

Grandparents plus
Switch with Which?
National Autistic Society
Contact a family
Skills for People

Friends of Jesmond Library

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Development Manager (Information and advice), Quality of Life Partnership


Last updated: April 8, 2020

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