Information Now
25 March InfoNOW News

25 March InfoNOW News


Broadband for people with a low income

New information on InformationNOW

Social tariffs are available to help people who are struggling to pay for their internet, telephone or broadband connections to stay connected digitally.

Ofcom has a list of the social tariffs available. Some options are only available to people who receive certain benefits.

You may also find it useful to read Cost of living increase- managing on a low income article on InformationNOW.

Getonline@home offer new customers a low cost refurbished PC, laptop or tablet, when you sign up to a new broadband and phone deal from their providers. Prices start at £49 for people on low income benefits or £119 for everyone else. The Laptop or PC is despatched 90 days after your new Supplier has confirmed that your broadband service is active. Simplifydigital can help you find the best value broadband service that’s right for you. This services is ran by Microsoft, Currys, Simplifydigital  and Computer Recyclers UK to help people to get online.

You can read more about support to get online and access digital equipment on InformationNOW

Read the Internet and broadband article in full on InformationNOW

Search InfoNOW News

New feature on InformationNOW

Did you know that you can now search our full InfoNOW News archive?

We’ve added a new function to the InfoNOW News section to make it even easier to find information that you’re looking for.

Phasing out stamps

Following a successful national trial the Royal Mail will now be adding unique barcodes to all  their regular ‘everyday’ Definitive and Christmas stamps. Each barcoded stamp will have a digital twin and the two will be connected by the Royal Mail App. The unique barcodes will facilitate operational efficiencies, enable the introduction of added security features and pave the way for innovative services for customers.

Definitive stamps are the stamps that will be very familiar to most people. They feature the profile of HM The Queen. The barcodes match the stamp colour and sit alongside the main body of the stamp, separated by a simulated perforation line. The new barcode is an integral part of the stamp and must remain intact for the stamp to be valid.

Read more on InformationNOW about postal services

Opportunities for action

International Day of Forests

Although last Monday was the International Day of forests, we need to build and sustain our forests across the UK every day.   North East Community Forests working with Northumberland Wilfdlife Trust   is looking for people to get involved and volunteer their time to plant.

Community Forests are located in and around some of the nation’s largest towns and cities. The North East Community Forest will see tens of thousands of trees planted across Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and parts of Durham. Increased tree coverage will improve our natural heritage and create happier and healthier places for us all to live, work in and visit.

All their events are listed on the Northumberland Wildlife Trust page

Read more on InformationNOW about parks, gardens, forests and woodlands

Tin on a Wall looking for volunteers

Tin on a Wall are looking for volunteers to help collect non perishable goods in Newcastle and North Tyneside on Saturday 2nd April.  Can you help?  Contact them using Facebook, Gmail or phone

Read more on InformationNOW about volunteering 


Your Care Your Way — the Accessible Information Standard

Do you have a condition that affects your ability to communicate or understand information?  Healthwatch Newcastle is campaigning with Healthwatch England for everyone to be provided with health and care information in the way they need it.

The Accessible Information Standard gives people who are disabled or have sensory loss, legal rights. If you have a disability, impairment or sensory loss or you are a parent or carer of someone who does, you should expect

  • to contact and be contacted by services in ways you find accessible.
  • to be supported at appointments if needed.
  • Health and care services to support you to communicate.

Please tell them about your experiences

Alternative accessible formats to take part.

Read more on InformationNOW about having your say about health services.

Your experiences of loneliness survey

We all feel lonely from time to time — and our experience of loneliness varies from person to person. We can feel lonely at any age and any stage in our life. Loneliness is not always the same as being alone. You can be perfectly happy alone with your own company and not feel lonely. However, some people can be surrounded by friends and family and still feel lonely.

Your feedback is vital in helping to improve services. Please share your experiences of loneliness in a short, confidential Healthwatch Newcastle and Gateshead survey.
Read more on InformationNOW about food and friends

Pharmacy services in Newcastle survey, closes 9th April

Newcastle City Council would like to hear what you think of pharmacy services in your area to help them develop how these services are delivered in future. Pharmacy services include:

  • dispensing medicines and medical appliances, such as blood pressure monitors
  • disposing of unwanted or spare medicines
  • advising people on how they can care for themselves and manage their medical conditions
  • providing advice on healthy living, such as Stop Smoking services
  • providing medicines and support when people have been discharged from hospital.

This survey will help them plan how pharmacies can best support people around their health in the next few years. It should take no longer than ten minutes.

If you have any questions about this, or you need this information in a different format, such as large print, please email Andre Yeung the Specialist Pharmacy Advisor in the Public Health team, at: or call: 0191 278 7878.

If you are unable to access the survey, please feel free to send an email to, with general comments about pharmacy services or any specific comments about any language needs when accessing pharmacy services.

Read more on InformationNOW about pharmacies and chemists

Spotlight on


Recycling converts the things we throw away into new items, making sure that none of the energy and raw materials used to make them goes to waste.

The Council has produced two videos about recycling.

Have you thought about composting your waste?

Examples of composting greens from the kitchen are: fruit and vegetable scraps and seeds; crushed egg shells; grass cuttings from the garden

Examples of composting browns from the kitchen are: real wine corks (cut up small); crumbs and nut shells; paper torn into small strips and cardboard boxes

Natural compost from organic food waste provides a useful plant nutrient instead of putting food in landfill where it produces methane, a global warming greenhouse gas.


Pushed to the Edge: Poverty, Food Banks and Mental Health

A new report exploring the impact of poverty and food bank use on people’s mental health. Written by Tom Pollard and co-produced with the Independent Food Aid Network and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation,the report is based on interviews conducted with people needing to use food banks in November and December 2021.

Read more on InformationNOW about food banks and cost of living increase – managing on a low income

Resources and training

Active Inclusion training

The Active Inclusion unit at Newcastle City Council has produced simple online training modules on:

  • Universal Credit
  • Introduction to Benefits – tiers one and two
  • Housing support
  • Debt advice

Create an account or sign in and search for the modules

Read more on InformationNOW about welfare benefits

Training Courses about domestic abuse

Respect, in partnership with SafeLives and the Drive Partnership, has launched a package of training courses for professionals working with perpetrators of domestic abuse.  These courses will upskill those currently working in perpetrator services and support those with transferable skills to move into a career working with perpetrators.  The training will give them the tools they need to confidently engage and challenge perpetrators of domestic abuse.  You can find more information here

Read more on InformationNOW about domestic abuse

Ramadan calendars with safe fasting messages

This year, Ramadan takes place between 1 April and 2 May. The Qur’an requires Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan from sunrise to sunset. However, there are exceptions to this. One of them is that people who are ill or have medical conditions do not have to fast. This includes people with diabetes. Diabetes UK has a series of fact sheets and You Tube videos in different languages.

Connected Voice Haref has worked with 11 mosques to get the right prayer timetables for their individual calendars. They have also worked with the NHS Diabetes CentreGlaucoma UK and Diabetes UK to get the right health information relating to fasting. The 2022 Haref Ramadan prayer calendars are available online and once again in print format. They are delivering the printed calendars to the mosques and will be sending them out to community-facing buildings.

Below are two generic Ramadan prayer calendars for health services, statutory services and community organisations.

Please add them to websites, information bulletins or share through social media.

For further information or support contact

Read more on InformationNOW about diabetes

Updates to InformationNOW

Events & Activities

To find what’s coming up, use this events tab.  You can also choose a type of event eg music, then select a category and search.

Safer parks at Leazes Park from 22 March to 31st March

SHEREHE – a multicultural party 8 April from 6pm, in person at Dance city

Events with Chilli Studios

Search Newcastle Events

New organisations


Teakisi aims to celebrate cultural diversity and offers a range of support for African women including: digital skills courses and coffee and a catch up.

British Institute of Learning Disabilities

British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) work with people with lived experience to support organisations and their staff to build a more inclusive society that empowers and enables people to thrive.  They are currently looking at issues of growing older with a learning disability and communication, learning disability and dementia.

Whickham Wind

Whickham Wind are a performing group based in Whickham but performing across Gateshead and Newcastle.

Updated articles of information

Learning disability and local support services

This updated article explains more about:

  • what is a learning disability
  • health services
  • local help and support
  • safe places
  • hate crime
  • staying safe

Read the Learning disability and local support services article in full on InformationNOW

TV Licences and concessions

Free TV licences for all over 75 year olds, are no longer available. This ended on 31st July 2020. However, people over 75 and receive Pension Credit, or live with a partner who receives Pension Credit can claim a free TV licence.

People over 75 years old not receiving Pension Credit needed to pay for a TV Licence from 1st August 2020.

Read the TV Licences article in full on InformationNOW

Read about pension credit and how it works on InformationNOW.





Last updated: May 5, 2022

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