Information Now

21 August 2020


#Inspiring Hope
John Dobson Street
West End Covid 19 testing site

Research & Reports

Coronavirus – the impact on young people
Women without Children
BBC Elite British Sportswomen survey 2020

Opportunities for Action

WHO European Healthy Cities conference – call for abstracts
Digital edition of the Festival of Thrift
Physical activity is more than just exercise debate


Sustainable Food
City Libraries opening
Nutrition and the brain

This week’s events & activities at a glance

online/virtual activities
Edinburgh book festival online

Updated organisations

West End Refugee service
Usdaw trade union
Forum for the future – sustainability movement



One of our most used articles is When someone dies: a practical guide and the listing,Tell Us Once Service. Tell Us Once has received a highly commended Civil Service award.  This is an essential service, particularly during Covid, reassuring people who may be facing the loss of a loved one, that they don’t have to deal with myriad agencies to report what has happened and manage the consequences. Not only did they contact all funeral directors to remind them to promote their service,s but they contacted Citizen’s Advice services, Dignity, Alzheimer’s Society and Support for Suicide.

Other news:

Listen to Simon Luddington of Search talking about their work in the West of the City on our podcast link at the foot of the homepage.
Listen to Kate and Richard from Radio Tyneside on the campaign to end loneliness report and more on MixCloud


10 September 2020 is World Suicide Prevention Day and 10 October 2020 is World Mental Health Day.

CNTW Foundation Trust want to mark these two important days by having a month of inspiring messages in between. They would like to hear from service users about what helped them out of their dark place, and in particular whilst socially isolating during lockdown. All contributors will be kept completely anonymous but they will share their messages across social media and online with the hashtag #InspiringHope
If you or someone you know would like to contribute, please contact:

John Dobson Street

The Council has decided to offer refunds to motorists who paid PCNs for the northbound lane on John Dobson Street.There is no legal obligation on the city council to do this. It is doing this as a measure of goodwill. The total cost of the refunds could be up to £2.5 million and this will be met through ring-fenced income from PCNs and not from council reserves.Please read the full statement and details of the refund process  Here you will also find the full legal findings and technical review of the signage which clearly sets out the discrepancies within the chief adjudicator’s report.

 From 9am on 18 August, motorists who have paid a PCN for the northbound bus lane ONLY on John Dobson Street since February 2016 are invited to apply online for a refund before 9 October

  • This does not apply in cases where a PCN was successfully appealed, cancelled or previously refunded
  • Southbound enforcement on John Dobson Street remains in place and no refunds will be given
  • All bus lane cases on hold for northbound PCNs on John Dobson Street will be cancelled
  • Northbound enforcement remains suspended until further notice

West End Covid 19 testing site

A new centre to provide rapid access to COVID-19 tests is being opened in Newcastle’s West End.
The Test and Track Centre on the former Newcastle General Hospital site will offer residents tests for coronavirus by appointment.As part of a national network, the centre will be linked to the national test booking system and will feed results into the NHS Test & Trace system to help control the spread of the virus and protect our population.The centre has been built over the last few days and will begin testing on Friday 21 August.It’s the third such testing facility in the city with a drive-through centre at Newcastle Great Park and a walk-through centre at Byker.  Further details will be available on the CityLife pages tomorrow.


As more people become interested in cycling there are more people to become injured and uncomfortable, so it’s sensible to look into bike fitting and make sure that you don’t give up because of these issues. The International Bike Fitting Institute is setting up a standard for the industry.  If your saddle causes you pain then it could be a number of issues from the seat itself or seat to handle bar stretch – these things can be dealt with in a bike fitting.  This means we need trained fitters and a certificate of skill.

This is what you should expect from a bike fitting:

  • pre-fit questionnaire  An interview with the cyclist, covering their goals, cycling history and any relevant medical issues
  • on and off bike assessment  This can vary depending on the rider’s needs. This is followed by making any necessary alterations to the bike
  • homework  The fitter may also recommend exercises and stretches to help improve flexibility or correct a strength inbalance
  • tools and technologies  These are often used to assist the fitter during the bike fit.  InformationNOW has a section on cycling.


Coronavirus: the financial impact on young people

Whilst people of all ages and gender have been affected by job losses and debt during this period, research by the Institute of Fiscal Studies shows that employees under the age of 25 are about two and a half times as likely to work in a sector that is now shut down or at risk.  Within this age group, it seems that women have suffered more than their male counterparts. Campaigners and charities are calling for more to be done to help this group thruogh the pandemic. If you are in debt or struggling to pay rent, contact your housing association, the Council or Citizens Advice Newcastle.
More information:
Where to get advice in Newcastle
The Housing advice centre

Women without Children

The number of women without children who are ageing is set to grow in the next ten years. Reasons for the 1960s group remaining childless could include an increase in female employment from this decade and more women attending University.

The Office of National Statistics warned that the projected increase of elderly childless adults is likely to increase the already substantial unmet need in the social care sector.  Since children are the main group providing informal care for adults over 85, demand for care homes will likely rise.

This number does not include older people whose children have died before them or are unable to help them, but it may include women with step children or adopted children.

A useful organisation is Ageing well without Children

Useful articles:
Care Homes in Newcastle
Leaving Hospital and choosing a care home  on InformationNOW

BBC Elite British Sportswomen survey 2020

The BBC Elite British Sportswomen’s Survey was sent to 1,068 women in 39 different sports and received 537 responses. It is the third time BBC Sport has carried out the survey. The first one was in 2013 and the second in 2015.  Key results include:


WHO European Healthy Cities conference – call for abstracts

The annual conference of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network, of which Newcastle is a member, takes place online from 8-10 December 2020. The title of the conference will be: Healthy cities in times of plague: protecting communities and building back better. It will review the actions undertaken by cities to respond to COVID-19 and explore what action is necessary to ‘build back better.’
The conference organisers are seeking scientific research or practice-based case studies within the following themes:
Theme 1: Peace and Participation

  • Urban preparedness for disasters and emergencies
  • Community resilience and mobilisation

Theme 2: People and Place

  • Supporting and promoting mental health and wellbeing
  • Supportive and inclusive places for the ‘new normal’

Theme 3: Planet and Prosperity

  • Building back better through an economy of wellbeing
  • City leadership for a green and healthy recovery

Successful abstracts will be invited to present at the conference as well as providing a written case study. If you have an idea for an abstract, please contact Claire Batey: by Friday 28 August.

Digital edition of the Festival of Thrift, 12 September 2020

The Festival of Thrift is a community interest company (CIC) and they carry out activities to benefit the community and to advance public awareness of sustainable living through Festivals, exhibitions and other activities.  The CIC is a  collaboration between Tees Valley Combined Authority, Northern School of Art, Northumbrian Water and the Arts Council. If you enjoy creating, fixing, swapping and sharing at home, then this festival might be the one for you and it is all happening digitally this year.

As an example, at the live last Festival, they featured an architectural installation showcasing contemporary fabrication techniques using materials that reduce toxicity in the home and contained a living environment of plants that possess the most effective air cleaning properties.

In preparation for this digital festival there are lots of activity packs online to give you ideas of what to do and you can share your results online by sending them in advance:  Packs include:street swap; cloud gazing; garden of the deep; noisy toys; the secret life of stuff.

This year’s theme is energy and you can also register for conversations on green energy, feeding the community and thrift youth.

See their Annual Report 2019.

Physical activity is more than just exercise debate, 4 pm 26 August

Ageing 2.0 are holding an online discussion on the importance of physical activity to our health.  Speakers include: Professor Dylan Thompson, University of Bath; Jon Bowskill, Exercise and Rhab Specialist and Tommy Parker, CEO at  KiActiv®.  Register

  •  What is the difference between physical activity and exercise?
  •  Why is this distinction so important to overcoming the pandemic of physical inactivity?
  •  What does this mean for the way we design services for healthy ageing and care settings?
  •  How can we harness technology to effectively deliver on this blueprint for behaviour change?

Sustainable Food

Newcastle has a Food Newcastle Network which is part of the Food Cities partnership. The aim is to drive forward a positive food culture in the City from growing to awareness of what we eat to reducing food waste, our food footprint and food poverty.  InformationNOW is working on a sustainable living article, but in the meantime, you may find the podcast series from the Sustainable Food Trust informative with podcasts from:Caroline Lucas MP; John Humphrys, broadcaster; Liz Earle beauty and health guru; Simon Wright, restaurateur and food writer
and most recently, Jonathon Porritt, former director of Friends of the Earth.

Woman’s Hour also includes an interview with  Professor Sarah Bridle author of  Food and Climate Change. She’d like to see labelling of air-freighted foods in supermarkets to give consumers a better understanding of the impact of our diet on the planet.

City Libraries opening

Newcastle’s City Library will extend its opening hours to include Saturdays from August 22. Since it first reopened to the public, the library has only been operating during the week and running a reduced service, but this marks another step on the journey to being fully operational. Other Newcastle Libraries in the city will begin to reopen in the coming weeks, with all libraries set to be open by early October.
The first locations to welcome back residents will be High Heaton, Denton Burn, Kenton and Newburn. They which will begin opening between the 27 August and 3 September with social distancing and hygiene measures for the safety of staff and visitors. Face coverings are expected unless you have an exemption.

Need to stock up on your reading material?

Kindle Books

There are lots of Kindle books available for 99p. From psychological thrillers to romantic fiction.  Authors include: Deborah Carr, The Poppy Field; CL Taylor The Fear; Laura Jane Willliams, The Love Square and Nick Alexander The Bottle of Tears.

Nutrition and the brain

The Chartered Counselling Psychologist and former Great British Bake Off Finalist, Kimberley Wilson has a podcast; her mission to improve brain health with simple lifestyle and nutritional tips, while still enjoying an occasional slice of cake. She also has some handy resources such as how to manage your anxiety and a printable table with ideas on how to include simple steps to a healthy brain.

Edinburgh book festival finishes on 31 August

There are over 100 online events for free: coming up are: an interview with author Alexander McCall Smith, YiYun Li on her memoirs, Sebastian Barry, Tales from an uncivil war and the interview with the Booker prize winner takes place on 26 August in the evening.


Organisations Updated

West End Refugee Service – some face to face has resumed
Usdaw – retailers and service sector trade union
Forum for the Future – sustainability movement

Last updated: August 27, 2020

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