Information Now

26 April 2019 Info NOW news



Your Equipment Newcastle
Couples with a person over pension age – don’t miss out
MS Society surveys
Are you safe to carry on driving?

Research & Reports

Spotlight on health at home by Healthwatch Newcastle
Homeless link help prevent women’s homelessness

Opportunities for Action

Taking the temperature of the community and voluntary sector
What would you do?  Consultation on the NHS Long term Plan
Digital leaders awards – voting open
Connect25 Foodbank fundraising appeal


2019 HAREF Ramadan Calendars

New on InformationNOW this week!

Doorbells:  Dreaming for the Future
Alzheimer Research UK public meeting

Updated articles & organisations
Equally Ours
Citizens Advice Newcastle
Bebop Spoken Here
Search Newcastle


Your Equipment Newcastle

Your Equipment Newcastle has been designed by the Disabled Living Foundation to make daily living easier for people who may have problems carrying out day to day tasks. The guided advice that you received when you answer questions on a topic, has been written by occupational therapists.  Already people are telling us that it is useful, quick and easy. Products range from hand rails and adjustable seats to bath seats, items to help avoid falls or scalds, and transferring in and out of baths.

Read home adaptations, equipment and aids for more information.

Couples with a person over pension age – please read this message

The government are changing the rules from 15 May 2019
From 15 May 2019, ‘mixed age’ couples will no longer be able to make a new claim for Pension Credit or Housing Benefit. In most cases you will have to claim Universal Credit  which is much lower and has work related requirements.

If you are of Pension age you can claim Pension Credit and Pension-age Housing Benefit. Find out if you are of pension age on

To protect yourself you can claim Pension Credit and Housing Benefit now. To claim:

Need more advice? Independent advice is available in Newcastle:

The full list of advice services in Newcastle are listed in the booklet: ‘Where to Get Benefit and Debt Advice in Newcastle’

Please note:
Mixed age couples already on Universal Credit can swap back to Pension Credit and Housing Benefit before 15 May
Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can be backdated three months, so you can claim them up to 13 August – so long as you satisfied the rules before 15 May

MS Society Surveys

The My MS My Needs survey is the largest survey of people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) in the UK. It asks people with MS about their experiences, needs and priorities. This year, the MS family & friends survey will run alongside it to gain valuable information about the whole family experience of living with MS.

To request a paper copy email or phone to 0300 500 8084

The survey is also available in Welsh, large print, and Easy Read. And if you would prefer to complete the survey over the phone, you can call the MS Society on 0300 500 8084.

Closing date: 31 May 2019

To find out more about MS or seek support, contact the local branch of the MS Society Newcastle Gateshead.

Research & Reports

Are you safe to carry on driving?

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers has carried out research into when it is time to stop driving.  Some older drivers carry on driving for longer than they should, but did you know that some stop too soon?  Their research with groups of older drivers, their relatives, and mobility centres and experts, help answer questions.  They also give information about technology in different models of cars – technology which may enable you to keep driving safely for longer, such as cruise control, lane keep assist, emergency brake assist and power assisted steering.
Information NOW has an article on things to consider as an older driver.

Spotlight on health at home – Healthwatch Newcastle

Healthwatch Newcastle estimates that around 2,600 people in Newcastle are housebound. During autumn 2018 they investigated how easy it was for housebound people to use a GP practice, dentist, optician or pharmacy services in the city.

The recommendations in their report include:

  • Ensuring that information about dentists and opticians that make home visits is accessible
  • GP practice systems flag the patient that will always require a home visit so that it is easy to access
  • GP practices work with their patient participation groups on how to improve services for this group of people

InformationNOW has an article on Your Doctor or GP,  How to use your GP well. Opticians and Dentists.

Opportunities for action

Homeless Link help to prevent women’s homelessness

Homeless Link have received £2 million from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to deliver a preventative onward grants programme aimed at tackling homelessness among women.

In response, Jacqui McCluskey at Homeless Link, said: “There are at least 600 women sleeping on our streets every night, and thousands more who are hidden from sight, homeless and without a safe, secure place to live. Women experience homelessness differently to men and need different types of support, which is often not there    ….This is why we are delighted to receive this funding from the Tampon Tax Fund, which will be distributed to front-line organisations of all sizes to enable them to develop and deliver effective, gender and trauma informed services for women experiencing homelessness.”

Information NOW has an article on worried about becoming homeless.

Opportunities for action

Taking the temperature of the community and voluntary sector in Newcastle

Newcastle CVS is asking voluntary or community groups based in Newcastle and Gateshead, what  life is like for you in 2019? Is your income going up or down? What about demand for your services? Do you have reserves and will you be using them?

They have been taking the temperature of the local voluntary and community sector for some years. The information provided helps them to identify sector trends and lobby decision makers. The findings are available to everyone, so local organisations can also use the information for their own funding strategies and business plans

Please help them present the picture of what life is really like in the voluntary and community sector locally. The survey should take no longer than fifteen minutes and it gives you a chance to present your views.  Please respond by 5pm, Friday 3 May.

What would you do? Consultation on the NHS long term plan

The NHS in Gateshead and Newcastle is changing and it needs your help.

The government is investing an extra £20bn a year as part of the NHS long term plan, which sets out what the NHS wants to do better over the next ten years.

  • How can the NHS help people live healthier lives?
  • What would make services in Gateshead and Newcastle better?
  • How could care for people with specific conditions be better?

Take the survey or take part with an alternative format.   Closes 30 April 2019


Digital Leaders Awards – voting open

Newcastle City Council has been nominated twice in the Digital Leaders 100 list, and there is still time to cast your votes to help them win! You can vote for them as Digital Council of the Year  and for AI Innovation of the Year for the adult social care chatbot.  You may remember we told you about the Equipment Chatbot late last year because it is available 24/7, 365 days a year.  It offers information about social care, equipment, mental health and services to help you maintain independent living.

Voting is quick and easy;  all you have to do is enter your email address. Voting closes on 10 May, so please head over to the page and vote now!

Connect25 Foodbank fundraising appeal

The van used by Connect 25 to deliver food to families is broken beyond repair. The Foodbank has set up a GoFundMe page for donations to help towards the cost of replacing this.

InformationNOW has an article on Foodbanks and hot food in Newcastle.


2019 HAREF Ramadan Calendars

HAREF has been working with 12 mosques across Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside to develop this year’s Ramadan calendars. They have also teamed up with International Glaucoma Association and Diabetes UK to include safe fasting messages for people with these health conditions.

The calendars will be distributed to the mosques in the next two weeks. They also have Ramadan calendars for community buildings and will be sending these out to those who requested them last year, after the Easter break. The NHS CCG will be distributing them to GPs in Newcastle and Gateshead. You can also Download a calendar to print and display in your workplace. These need to be printed in A3 size


Ladies events and activities

Active ageing sessions including
Walking basketball, Monday movers and cycling

Vinnies afternoon prize Bingo, Art Club  and Walking Group

Career Event for the over 50s

Doorbells:  Dreaming for the Future  Wednesday, 15th May 2019, 6pm

at the Star and Shadow Cinema, Warwick Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1BB

My home, my castle, my container, my prison?  

How do we imagine the future of where and how we live?  Who will we live with?  What can we afford?  What will our lives look like and how will we manage?  Elders Council has worked with a team to produce this film.

A sensitive, humorous and moving film, with original songs and soundscapes, explores: behind our doorbells and front doors, how are we dreaming of the future?  A discussion and light buffet are included.

Book your ticket:  £3 includes light buffet.


Alzheimer Research UK Public Meeting

On Tuesday 14 May the Civic Centre will host a public meeting for those who want to find out more about dementia research. The meeting runs from 2- 4pm and includes free short talks on Alzheimer’s, dementia, and the latest research. To book your place contact Sally Warburton

InformationNOW has an article on dementia.

New and updated articles
Home care agencies in Newcastle
Care Homes in Newcastle

Organisations Updated
Equally Ours
Citizens Advice Newcastle
Search Newcastle

Bebop Spoken Here



Last updated: October 3, 2019

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