Information Now

23 July 20 Corona 16


Warm Home Discount
Woman’s Hour
Newcastle Quayside market reopens

Research & Reports

Parenting under lockdown
Food insecurity in Newcastle during Covid 19

Opportunities for Action

Wellbeing Survey
Preventing muscle loss
Nature up close and personal: a wellbeing experiment


Summer Holiday food budgeting tips
Safeguarding – noticing and reporting domestic abuse



As lockdown eases, your service may be considering reinstating some of the face-to-face delivery of services or events and activities that were suspended. We would be grateful if you could let us know about any future plans.You can change your organisation profile by clicking login and using your email and password (which can also be reset) to update your entry and you can send us your events to upload.  Please note however, that I will be on leave for two weeks.Send the event information to
New and updated organisations:

Organisations are beginning to make arrangements for face-to-face sessions on a limited and appointment only basis. Citizen’s Advice open again on 3rd August at City Library.  Limited numbers will be allowed in the Library and priority will be given to those who are vulnerable, in crisis and /or cannot use online or telephone services. Social distancing measures must be adhered to.

Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount is a Government scheme funded by suppliers. It’s designed to help lower income and vulnerable households with their energy costs during the winter.

Utilita’s Warm Home Discount scheme will be open for applications for 1 week only between 5th-12th August 2020. Eligible Utilita customers who meet the ‘broader group’ criteria and apply may be able to get £140 credited to their electricity account to help with costs over winter.

Other suppliers who participate in the Warm Home Discount scheme are expected to announce their ‘broader group’ qualifying criteria set by Ofgem and open their schemes later in the year, usually around September/October.  You need to apply each year.

If you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit then you will be automatically credited with these monies through notification to the energy supplier from the DWP.

Heating problems and who can help
Simple Energy Service

Woman’s Hour Listener week on BBC Radio 4

Do you have an idea that will solve a problem?  Are you a budding entrepreneur? Could you solve the high street crisis and find ways to get women back into work having lost their retail or hospitality jobs?  Women are hardest hit by Covid because they worked the night time shifts at supermarkets, they took part time work and now their main sectors of work are struggling to survive.

But there are lots of other issues you can share too. Last year they covered: living alone, Attention Deficit Disorder, book clubs, mothers and sons, renting at 50 and things to think about before you go shopping, to name a few topics.

Woman’s Hour wants to hear from you. Listener week takes place from 24 August, each day and you can tune in to the podcasts on BBC Sounds.

If you have a point of view, an idea and want to be on the radio, contact them direct.

Newcastle’s Quayside market reopens

Good news, the Quayside market, with around 60 stalls, will open on 2nd August.  If you can, please go and support our local traders.  Social distancing measures will be in place.


Parenting under lockdown

The Office for National Statistics has new data on how parents and children managed during lockdown.  They have taken information from two sources.  The findings show:

With many schools closed to most children, they looked at the extent to which parents have been involved in homeschooling. This analysis, based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey between 7 May and 7 June, suggests that most parents have taken on additional responsibilities in this area, with 87% saying their child had been home schooled in the last seven days. Around 50% said they felt unprepared to home school and a similar number said that their child had struggled to continue their education.

Their analysis shows how parents who continued to work were juggling their work commitments with the extra childcare. Those working from home were more likely to work in the mornings and in the evenings, to free up time to deliver developmental childcare such as homeschooling in the afternoons, particularly between 3 and 6 pm.

Parents were nearly twice as likely to be furloughed compared to those without children, and just under a third (30%) of parents in employment that had home schooled their children agreed that it was adversely affecting their job.

ONS will be conducting further studies when children return to school.

Food insecurity in Newcastle during Covid 19

Whilst issues of food poverty and insecurity have been with us for some time, we did hit some enormous issues and find hidden problems relating to food in Newcastle during the 14 weeks of lockdown.A substantial part of our pre Covid 19 volunteer workforce were the over 70s in Newcastle. These same people were asked to isolate or shield in the opening weeks of the lockdown and so we lost a significant number of helpers – although some continued to informally help neighbours on their street or in their community of interest.

There was a wonderful response from people who were furloughed or unable to work full time and CityLife Line was created which helped establish the ‘Toon Army’ group of volunteers.  The voluntary and community organisations and venues providing food parcels, hot food, food shopping services were regularly updated and published on the following pages:

Newcastle City Council, working with Connected Voice, mobilised a team to help people during the pandemic through the CityLife Line and they have now done their first analysis of their data on food needs during this period.  The biggest increase in demand was seen in single households which increased substantially between April and June and the reasons were many, but are broken down into:

  • identified as vulnerable because of their health status
  • self-isolation
  • shielding
  • poverty
  • unable to shop

Additional needs included: hygiene products, medication, pet food and incontinence products.CityLife line referred people to over thirty voluntary and community organisations during this period to deliver items to meet these needs.  Many of these changed their support provision, revealing the spirit of help that exists in Newcastle. 16 (>40%) organisations changed their eligibility criteria during lockdown to make it easier to support people in need.   In total, our voluntary sector reported supporting 2,964 households and a total of 17,226 individuals.Some of the greatest problems were that some people could not access money to pay for their shopping and meeting the dietary and nutritional needs of this population.It should also be noted that there were many local community organisations, from faith groups to local associations and groups who were helping out locally, but do not show in these data.We need to ensure that we use the lessons we have learned from the pandemic to plan for future need, but we would like to say a big thank you to all the organisations that helped with the food insecurity effort in Newcastle.


Wellbeing survey – closes on 9th August 2020

Newcastle City Council are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of those who live and work in Newcastle.  Active Newcastle wants to understand the impact that COVID 19 has had on your physical and mental wellbeing.By answering the questions in this survey, you will help plan for the City’s Covid recovery, influence and develop physical activity offers and guide the future ensuring that Active Newcastle are responding to the needs identified in this survey.

As a thank you to anyone who has fully completed the survey, you have an option to enter a prize draw to win one of three healthy food boxes from Newcastle’s Grainger Market (to the value of £12.50 each).

Please note, that physical activity includes any type of activity where you are breathing heavier. It includes walking, gardening, using stairs, chasing after the children as well as the more traditional sporting activities.  The length of time you are active can also be in short bursts, so carrying heavy shopping up a hill or chasing the children round the garden, also counts.Please complete the survey.If a question is not applicable to you, please leave it blank and move to the next one.
InformationNOW has articles on keeping fit at homegardening and health.

Preventing muscle loss survey

Would you like to volunteer for some online research?  Ellie, a PhD student at Newcastle University has developed a survey looking at older adult’s knowledge of exercise and exercise recovery, aimed at those over 70 years old. The data will be anonymised before publication.

Nature up close and personal: a wellbeing experiment

On your holidays at home?  Looking for something new to do?  Well, a new research project called ‘Nature up close and personal: A wellbeing experiment’ funded by the Natural Environment Research Council launched this month. It’s the first time researchers have combined citizen science and connecting with nature to investigate impacts on wellbeing.

The British Science Association (BSA) and partners are asking the public to get up close and personal with nature, to determine what effect engaging with and being aware of nature has on their wellbeing.

Thousands of volunteers from across the UK are needed to take part in simple, yet fun,10-minute, nature-based activities, five times over the course of a week.  So, whether you’re a nature lover or nature usually passes you by, this one’s for you!


Summer Holiday food budgeting – Tips for Families

As you will be aware, parents and carers whose children are entitled to free school meals (FSM) will for this summer only, receive a supermarket voucher/e-gift card, at the start of the school holidays, from the Covid Summer Food Fund. This will cover FSM for the whole school holiday period.

The Public Health team at the Council has produced a short film for parents and carers highlighting some tips and advice on managing their summer food budget to provide healthy nutritious low-cost meals for children. The advice is useful for all families in Newcastle. InformationNOW has articles on dealing with debtmanaging your money

Safeguarding – noticing and reporting domestic abuse

Newcastle City Council has a page on preventing abuse or safeguarding someone.  Not sure what domestic abuse is? Read our article on InformationNOW and watch these two films.If you have a concern about an adult at risk, contact Community Health and Social Care Direct.

Last updated: July 24, 2020

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