Information Now

25th August Info NOW news


Information NOW film with BSL and subtitles
Free tailored IT classes
HMRC news
Pension Savings scams
Newcastle Central Station survey

Research & Reports

Centre for Ageing Better Annual Review

Opportunities for Action

OVERwritten, playwriting workshops
Parkinson’s research focus group

New on InformationNOW this week

This week’s events & activities at a glance

Healthwatch Newcastle meetings
Heritage open days

New and updated articles & organisations

British Sign Language and Subtitles
Alphabetti Theatre
Newcastle Private Rented Service
The Patients Association
Guide Dogs Newcastle


Information NOW film using BSL and subtitles

Information NOW is delighted to launch its new film about our website, made with the kind help of Deaflink, based in the North East.  The film is embedded in our article on British Sign Language and Subtitles and can also be found on You Tube and Vimeo along with our other helpful films.  Just click on the icons at the bottom of our homepage.

Information NOW is committed to making information on the website as accessible as possible and we have also embedded Recite Me to encourage a wide usage of the site. Just click on the icon at the top of each page and see our article on How to get the best out of Information NOW.

If you have a sensory loss or disability you are entitled by law to accessible information about your health care and support from the NHS and publicly funded social care services.  Find out more about the Accessible Information Standard here.

Free tailored IT classes

Northumbria Students Union in partnership with the Elders Council of Newcastle will be recommencing their tailored IT classes on Wednesday 20th September. 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. These have been popular sessions in the past. To register your interest in attending a session please either email Anne or call 0191 208 2701.

HMRC news

In order to make tax payments easier the Government introduced Simple Assessments which means that most people do not need to complete a self assessment of tax. In the next couple of months HMRC will be writing to all taxpayers who reached state pension age in 2016/17 explaining the Simple Assessment process. HMRC will be sending out the actual Simple Assessments (PA302) in October 2017; if you have questions following receipt of your letter please email here.

From 15 December 2017 it will no longer be possible for taxpayers to make payments to HMRC at the Post Office. HMRC will shortly be issuing letters to its customers starting with Tax Credits, NICO and Child Benefit customers. HMRC will not be issuing a press release regarding this change. Ways to pay are available on their website.  Information NOW has a section on money and an article about tax.

Pension savings scams

Since the new pension freedoms were introduced nearly 3,000 savers have been conned out of an average of £15,000 each since 2014, after fraudsters persuaded them to cash in their pensions. Companies that do not have prior permission to contact consumers, or do not have an existing client relationship with them, will face fines of up to £500,000.  The ban includes telephone cold calling, texts and emails.

The government will also tighten the rules to make it harder for consumers to transfer money to unregulated pension schemes, such as those investing in forest schemes or parking spaces.

It can be difficult to know how to handle a situation when you are approached by an unknown person or organisation who tries to sell you something or persuade you to give them money or your personal details. Taking sensible precautions can help make yourself less likely to be a victim of fraud or scams. Read our staying safe online and our Fraud and scams articles.

Newcastle Central Station Survey

Virgin Trains East Coast are conducting a survey to inform a Travel Plan that is being developed for Newcastle Central Station.  They are inviting people to provide feedback on access to and around Central Station.  As an incentive to take part, people completing the survey can take part in a prize draw for two First Class Rail Tickets.


Centre for Ageing better annual review

The Centre for Ageing Better was set up in 2015 and is funded by an endowment from the Big Lottery Fund. They promote better use of evidence on ageing including systematic reviews, research and  people insights. Population projections show that in 2024, more than one in four of us will be over 60 but rather than celebrating ageing older people are sometimes seen as a burden on society.  The systemic issues that the Centre for Ageing tackle are: health including preventing falls, fulfilling employment, appropriate housing that meets accessibility standards, saving for retirement and wider engagement in volunteering.  Their annual review is available on their website alongside a short video.  Information NOW has useful articles in our sections on health, housing, work and retirement and money.


OVERwritten, playwriting workshops

Would you like the chance to develop your writing skills or create a 5 minute play which will be produced and presented at Alphabetti Theatre in front of an audience?  The workshops will be run by writer and performer Steve Byron who has developed his writing with Live Theatre Newcastle and Greyscale. As part of the course, you’ll explore storytelling, writing for drama, character development and journey, story arcs, monologues, dialogue and writing for multiple characters and more.

The price of the workshops also includes a ticket to see Overdue by Arabella Arnott from Mon 4 to Sat 16 Sept . Find out more and book your place here.

Parkinson’s disease research project, Thursday 31st August, 1.30 –, Scafell Meeting Room, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle,NE4 5PL .

Voice North are offering an opportunity to join a focus group to help improve mobility and prevent falls in Parkinson’s disease.  People with Parkinson’s Disease and their carers/close family can work with researchers on developing the head mounted display which contains software and sensors to help with balance.

For further information or to take part, please email Voice North or telephone 0191 2081277.


This week’s events and activities at a glance


Newcastle Mela
Roman Cavalry Exhibition including Flavinus Day at Hexham Abbey


Includes: Coffee morning at Throckley, Womens Gardening and Dementia Friendly Reading Group
At a glance


Includes: Making History at St Martins, Computer Club at Search and Stepping Stones Fitness class at Newburn ActivityCentre
At a glance


Includes: Coffee morning at St James’ Church, King’s Hall lunchtime concerts and Silverline Tea dance at Great Park Community Centre and
Heritage Open Days, 7 – 10 September
At a glance


Includes: Natural Crafts at Scotswood, Zumba at Blackfriars and
International Recital Series at St Nicholas Cathedral
At a glance


Chase Park Festival at Saltwell Park on 26th August
At a glance


Includes: Newcastle Mela, Pollinators Picnic, Pepperpot Fayre

At a glance

Healthwatch Newcastle meetings at Broadacre House, Market Street, NE1 6HQ

You are invited to the Healthwatch AGM which will celebrate their work over the past year.  You can also have your say about local social care and health services. To be held on 4 September from 10 to 12 noon. Please book your place through Eventbrite or ‘phone 0191 338 5720.

You are also invited to attend their public committee meeting on Monday 11 September from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.  If you wish to attend the committee meeting email Healthwatch or phone 0191 338 5720.

Healthwatch Newcastle and Healthwatch Gateshead are running ‘fringe’ Delivering Together events about specialist mental health services. The first series of events during the week c 4 September is about Getting help when you need it. These events will allow more members of the public, experts by experience, and voluntary and community sector representatives to make their voices heard and contribute to the new service design. All the dates and times can be found and booked through Eventbrite or ‘phone 0191 338 5720.

Heritage Open Days, 7 to 10 September

Heritage open days are a great opportunity to see interesting local buildings and areas which may not normally be open to the public.  There are often guides to show you the secrets and treasures hidden inside. There are 70 options to visit in Newcastle which include Bessie Surtees House, Newcastle Castle and the Guildhall and there are 357 attractions in the North East. Some buildings, such as the Guildhall, require booking so please check the website here.
Information NOW has an article on places to visit in the North East.

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Development Manager (Information and advice), Quality of Life Partnership
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Last updated: March 15, 2018

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