16 February 2024
28 November 2023 InfoNOW NEWS
Planning ahead for Christmas
Do you provide services and support to people in Newcastle who may be impacted by Christmas holiday closures? InformationNOW would like to know your Christmas holiday dates and times.
With an average of 65,000 visitors a month its a great way to let people know about what you do. If you would like to feature your organisation or services in our Christmas opening times for support services article, you can get in touch on [email protected]
Read more on InformationNOW about Christmas and New Year opening and closing times
The InformationNOW team supported Newcastle City Council’s 2023 Carers Conference: Caring its everyone’s Business on 23 November at One Strawberry Lane.
Alongside Carers Lead Fiona Richardson, representatives from NHS ICB, Social care & safeguarding, VCSE organisations and more heard from carers, young carers and people being cared for about their experiences, suggestions and feedback on making caring everyone’s business in Newcastle.
Attendees took part in roundtable discussions and activities, live polls, speeches and information stalls from services that support carers and 1:1 Q&A conversations with carers.
Catherine Graham – Jo Cox Award winning Newcastle poet and carer
Dr Dan Cowie – Clinical Lead, North East North Cumbria ICB, Ageing Well Network
Alison Mcdowell – Director of Adult Social Care & Integrated Services, Newcastle City Council
Cath McEvoy Carr – Director of Children, Education and skills, Newcastle City Council
Karen Inglis, Community Wellbeing Lead, Newcastle City Council
Luke Bramhall – CEO Newcastle Carers
Following the conference work begins on a new carers strategy for Newcastle. Carers feedback from the day will help shape this strategy , as well as ongoing opportunities to get involved for carers in 2024.
If you are a carer and would like to be involved in sharing your experiences and views to shape carer support in Newcastle please get in touch at [email protected]
Read more on InformationNOW about Looking after someone
Adult Social care users information leaflet
People who’ve been in contact with Adult Social Care at Newcastle City Council for support, will be receiving a letter and leaflet with key information.
They will receive:
- a letter addressed to them with useful Adult Social Care contact details and signposting to support to get online.
- a leaflet with information about local services and support in Newcastle.
We hope this will be useful to people receiving it, their friends, family or others.
If you, someone you know or support has any questions about this, please contact Community Health and Social Care Direct on 0191 278 8377 (8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday).
Cost of living payments
Second 2023 to 2024 Cost of Living Payment dates announced
Millions of households across the UK will receive £300 directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 31 October and 19 November.
The £300 Cost of Living Payment will be sent out automatically and directly to recipients, meaning those eligible do not need to apply, contact the Government, or take any action to receive it. This includes tax credits-only customers who will receive the payment from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between 10 and 19 November 2023. To read more please click here
Read more on InformationNOW about Cost of living support and tips
Newcastle Wellbeing Hubs
Winter is now here, which means the days are shorter and the weather is turning cold and wet. The cost-of-living crisis is affecting many of us, in lots of different ways. It is having an impact on the health, wellbeing, and happiness of our communities. Wellbeing Hubs support you, and offer a warm and welcoming place for coming together. Hubs are set up across Newcastle in community centres, libraries, places of worship, and charities.
Our network of wellbeing hubs can provide:
- A safe space
- A charging point for digital devices
- Free hot/cold drinks
- Signposting for advice and support with Cost of Living challenges
Read more on InformationNOW about Keeping warm and well in Winter
Wellbeing Hubs grants available
Wellbeing Hubs provide people in Newcastle with a warm and safe space to go during the colder months. Newcastle City Council have opened their Wellbeing Hub grant fund to help local voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations in Newcastle, who support people affected by the cost of living crisis.
A £250 grant will be offered to all places registered as a Wellbeing Hub, by 6 December 2023. This includes organisations who were registered as a Hub last year. It’s easy to register as a hub and apply for a grant online. It’s non-competitive and is not means tested.
Organisations that register as Hub will be able to:
- apply for further grant funding, up to the value of £6,000
- access training and support to help you signpost people for more information or support
- attend an induction session where staff will explain more about the range of training available at Newcastle Civic Centre on Thursday 14 December 2023
Read more on Newcastle.gov.uk about Cost of living support help
Drop in deliberate fires over bonfire weekend
The Fire Service has thanked communities across Tyne and Wear after they recorded a 15 reduction in deliberate fires on Bonfire Night.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) had led a regional wide safety campaign in recent weeks ahead of what is historically their busiest time of the year.
They had asked parents to speak to children about the consequences of anti-social behaviour and deliberate fire-setting with a 94 per cent increase in incidents last year.
Firefighters teamed up with police, paramedics, teachers, medical professionals and local authority staff to share prevention messaging.
Universal Credit online support sessions
Newcastle City Council and Newcastle Libraries provide a face-to-face service to support Residents to make Universal Credit claims online and those who already have claims but need help to manage their online Universal Credit accounts.
Support is also offered with other online forms such as Housing Benefit, Discretionary Housing Payments, Council Tax, New Style JSA, New Style ESA (but not the paper assessment forms), State Pension and Social Housing Applications.
Note: Elaine is NOT a benefit advisor and therefore unable to offer benefit advice. Support is offered to Residents who have IT skills at all levels even a basic knowledge.
Existing Universal Credit claimants would need to have their login details to access their accounts.
To get this support, phone Elaine on 07970 632 851 (Monday to Friday, from 8.30am to 4.30pm). Elaine is available in the following buildings but please ring her in advance to MAKE SURE Elaine is available or to arrange an appointment:
East End Library & Community Hub, 83 Shields Road, NE6 1DL
10.00am -12.00pm & 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Outer West Library & Community Hub West Denton Way NE5 2QZ 10.00am to 12.00pm and 1.00pm to 3.00pm
City Library, City Centre. NE1 8AX 10.00am – 12.00pm & 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Kenton Library & Community Hub Kenton Centre Hillsview Ave, NE3 3QJ
10.00am -12.00pm & 1.00pm -3.00pm
West End Library & Community Hub, Condercum Road, NE4 9JH
10.00am – 12.00pm 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Read more on InformationNOW about Universal Credit online application support at Newcastle Libraries
VCSE Networking Event – Cost of Living
13 December 2023, 1 to 3pm, One Strawberry Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4BX.
Connected Voice brings together local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations for their last Networking Event of 2023.
This event will focus on the theme of Cost of Living. There will be an opportunity to hear from a range of speakers from the VCSE sector and beyond, before taking part in discussions and information sharing in relation to the wider theme.
- Emma Bell, CEO, EmBells CIC Community Support Project
- Hannah Greason, Tackling Poverty Support Officer, Gateshead Council
- Iain Miller, Senior Public Health Practitioner, Newcastle Council
- Jonny Tatum-Hall, Citizens Advice
Read more on InformationNOW about support for living on a low income
Ward area grant funding available
Funding is available for voluntary and community sector organisations to run projects or events that help residents in the local area. Your project must benefit residents in up to four of ward areas, such as Monument, Heaton, Walker, Ouseburn, Walkergate and South Jesmond . The deadline for applications is 31 December 2023.
To apply, you must be a not-for-profit organisation, such as a:
- community or voluntary group
- registered charity
- not-for-profit business (such as a community interest company or social enterprise)
- council department (if you are applying for a project to provide additional services beyond what you normally provide)
- public sector body (if you are applying for a project to provide additional services beyond what you normally provide)
What can be funded:
- Improving the local environment and green spaces
- Tackling climate change
- Supporting children and young people
- Employment, education and skills
- Social events and activities
- Improving health and wellbeing
- Tackling crime and antisocial behaviour
- Arts and culture
- Improving local buildings and infrastructure
- Sport and physical activity
- Tackling poverty
The application and guidelines for Ward committee funding are now online, to find out more about grants and applying please click on the link here
English Gambling Hub film competition
Deadline 31 March 2024, Premiere and winners April 2024
The English Gambling Education Hub has launched a film competition to raise awareness of gambling harms.
Young people are tasked with creating a short 3-minute film that explores the reasons why young people gamble, the associated risks and harms, as well as signposting to support and treatment for those suffering from gambling harms.
Organisation working with children and young people aged 11-25 can register to apply for one of the 50 £250 grants to help young people develop a film.
The winner will have their film professionally developed and rolled out in schools across England, as well as being invited to spend the day on set. There are prizes for 2nd place and 2 runners up.
The categories to enter the film competition are:
- Under 13 years
- 13 to 16 years
- 16+ years
- Open/ mixed age
To learn more or to register to take part, visit the English Gambling Education Hub film portal or email [email protected] There is a Film competition toolkit available to download here
What’s important to you? jobs event
Thursday 30 November, 10am-3pm, Banqueting Suite, Newcastle Civic Centre
What’s important to you? An event for people from Newcastle who have a learning disability, their family, carers and service providers. The event is ran by Collaborative Newcastle and Skills For People
The aim of the day is to:
- Find out what are the challenges that are stopping people from having jobs.
- Find out what employment support and opportunities are available for people with a learning disability.
- Come up with solutions to the challenges people are facing.
NOVUM 2024 – Artist Callout
Deadline 17 December 2023
Building on NOVUM Festival’s resounding success artists are invited to join next summer to be part of the programme for 2024 (9-11 August) by responding to the open call for expressions of interest with details of your art, music, poetry, prose, performance, dance or creative work.
Following the pilot year, 2024 marks the full launch of what aims to become a new destination event for the North East celebrating original home-grown talent alongside the long-standing international connections – both historic and contemporary.
You could be based in the North East, across the UK, or across the world – NOVUM is a place where artists come together sparking new relationships and new ideas.
NOVUM’S aim once again is to bring an experimental and diverse creative reflection of the city’s people to the iconic Civic Centre – opening the amazing modernist architectural icon to the public in an entirely new way.
They are looking for everything from large scale spectacle installations to creative workshops.
Read the brief and respond to the Open Call for expressions of interest by Friday 17 December,
Read more on InformationNOW about Summer events
Newcastle Council trainee roles available
There are several new trainee roles available to work across Newcastle city council
Trainee opportunities are available for individuals who are looking to start their careers at Newcastle City Council. Trainees get experience of full time work (37 hours per week) for 12 weeks and are paid the Real Living Wage. As well as learning on the job, there’s also support to gain Level 2 Maths and English qualifications if you don’t already have them.
Trainee roles are available in…
Business Support Teams (2 posts)
Construction (2 posts)
Service User Finance (1 post)
Read more on InformationNOW about support preparing for a job
NU Foundation Kick start your career
Wednesday 6 December 10am to 12pm, NUCastle, Diana street, NE4 6BQ
Employers such as Newcastle University, Comfort Call, NHS and Nissan will attend this careers event at Newcastle United Foundation for 16 to 24 year olds. There will be chances to meet employers, discuss careers, roles and training in their industries.
If you are interested in attending this event and getting support with career opportunities you can complete the expression of interest form here
Read more on InformationNOW about looking for work
NGPS and Action Foundation roles
Newcastle GP surgeries have an opportunity to join their team as a Refugee and Asylum Seeker Social Prescribing Link Worker
Deadline for applications is Tuesday 12 December. You can find out more about the role and apply on their Website
Action Foundation have an opportunity to join their team as a Accommodation Services Support Work Manager. managing a team of support workers, who support asylum seekers and refugees in our accommodation across Newcastle and Gateshead.
Deadline for applications is Monday 4 December. You can find out more about the role and apply on their Website
Read more on InformationNOW about support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Newcastle Council Budget VCSE consultation
11am to 1pm One Strawberry Lane, Newcastle, NE1 4BX.
Local Councils across the country are facing huge financial challenges, Newcastle City Council is now in budget planning phase and is holding its consultation for the VCSE sector on 12th December.
If you are a VCSE organisation based in/ working in Newcastle, or a member of the Haref network, please join us to hear from the Council’s Chief Finance Officer and Director team about the budget proposals, and how they may affect organisations
Read more on InformationNOW about Getting involved in your community
Post-Pandemic Social Housing study
Residents of the Byker Wall estate are invited to take part in a research study on social housing after the covid19 pandemic.
The study wants to hear peoples experiences during the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdowns, including how you spent your time using inside and outside spaces in the Byker wall.
The study will offer opportunities to take part in Individual interviews, questionnaires, focus groups and walking tours to share your experiences.
If you would like to know more please contact Northumbria University Researcher Hidayati Ramli at [email protected]
Read more on InformationNOW about Getting involved in your community
Refugee and asylum mental health study
Refugees and asylum seekers in the UK are invited to take part in a research study from school of psychology at Newcastle University about how stressful experiences impact mental health.
This includes sharing experiences about the reason you arrived in the UK and sharing experiences of difficulties after arriving in the UK.
This involves completing an anonymous survey. You can also take part in a prize draw to win a £25 supermarket voucher!
Organisations that support refugee and asylum seekers are welcome to share this study with those they support.
For more information and to take part in the survey please click the link here:
Read more on InformationNOW about Immigration and Asylum
24 Doors of Christmas
NE1’s popular 24 Doors of Christmas turns the city into a giant advent calendar with iconic venues opening their doors to the public for exclusive tours every day in the run-up to Christmas.
Spaces include Newcastle Civic Centre, Theatre Royal, Blackfriars, Tyneside Cinema, Bealim House, The Magic Hat, Newcastle Cathedral and many more!
Tickets are free but must be booked in advance
Read more on InformationNOW about having a sustainable and money saving Christmas
Autism friendly Christmas Newcastle
Christmas can be a difficult time for some autistic children and adults, there are however events and venues to make Christmas more accessible.
Tyne theatre and opera house, Northern stage, Theatre Royal all have relaxed sessions of their festive pantomime performances where noise and lights are limited and there is support available. Please check their websites for performance dates and costs.
You can visit LIFE Centre’s animated Christmas show ‘What Santa see’s’, where ear defenders are and sensory support kits are available from reception. You can also download a visual and sensory planner ahead of your visit here.
Dobbies Gosforth have a Quiet Santas Grotto with pre-booked time slots, no queuing, and music and lights turned off.
You can find more Autism friendly Christmas events across the North East from North East Autism Society
North East Autism Society also have festive resources, school Christmas toolkits and activities available on their website
Read more on InformationNOW about local autism support and services
Children North East Brain development workshop
13th December 10am -12pm at Charlton Street Family Hub, NE15 8RN
Calling all parents / carers of teenagers! Would you like to understand more about how your child’s brain works? Children North East are running a workshop looking at how young peoples brains continue to develop up until the age of 25, how this impacts behaviour and how to help avoid conflict related to this.
Please call 0191 2727824 or email [email protected] for more information and to book a space.
Read more on InformationNOW about Childrens health
Community Health Bus findings report.
Newcastle University’s School of Pharmacy and Newcastle GP Services (NGPS) have developed a community health bus service for Newcastle to help ensure that local people have access to high quality healthcare in their communities.
Involve North East on behalf of North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board produced a report about their findings on community health buses in the Newcastle area.
The report ‘A community health bus for Newcastle Findings of a patient survey to inform the scope of the service’ can be read in full here
Read more on InformationNOW about Your GP
Benefits Bulletin and training
The November 2023 Benefits bulletin is available and can be found on Newcastle.gov.uk here. The bulletin has information on when the DWP and HMRC will be sending ‘migration notices’ to those claiming Tax Credits in Newcastle – inviting them to claim Universal Credit.
If you work supporting people to identify, access and manage welfare benefits you can subscribe to receive regular Benefit Bulletins emails by contacting [email protected] and giving your name, position and contact number.
There are also winter 2023-24 dates for ‘Introduction to Benefits’ sessions. The sessions give a basic overview of the benefits system, its structure, basic rules, who can claim what, payments, challenging decisions and important key points.
Wednesday 13 December 2023. 2 – 4.30pm
Wednesday 20 March 2024. 2 – 4.30pm
Click this link to sign up for these sessions. These training sessions are aimed at those who are not specialist benefit advisers but give some benefits support to people
Read more on InformationNOW about benefits
Warm Spaces in England Toolkit
This toolkit from GOV.UK provides evidence, resources and a framework of principles to assist organisations in the local delivery and evaluation of warm spaces in England
You can view the toolkit on GOV.UK here
Read more on InformationNOW about Help with heating problems
Wise Group energy advice and support
Wise Group’s Energy Advice service supports households to stay warm and well in there home across England, Scotland, and Wales, Their dedicated energy mentors can provide support including:
- Tackling energy emergencies
- Managing fuel debt and related issues
- Saving money on fuel bills
- Accessing energy grants and crisis funds
- Accessing targeted schemes and initiatives
- Optimising energy usage Increasing energy efficiencies.
- Specific energy advice and information
How to refer
If you are working with an eligible client/service user who requires energy advice and support, please send an email to [email protected] For urgent referrals, contact them on 0800 092 9002
Read more on InformationNOW about Energy saving tips
Pop-Up Winter Craft Workshops
Grainger Market’s Arcade is hosting a series of fun, festive and free winter craft workshops each weekend in the run-up to Christmas! Delivered by local artists, the workshops are a fantastic opportunity to get crafty this Christmas. The workshops are suitable for all ages, free to attend and no booking is needed.
- Saturday 2nd December – Silk Painted Baubles for the Tree.
- Sunday 3rd December – Seasonal Winter Table-Top Decoration.
- Saturday 9th December – Eco Christmas Crafts.
- Sunday 10th December – Winter Piñata.
- Saturday 16th December – Tote Bags & Positive Messages.
- Sunday 17th December – Natural Christmas Decorations
- Saturday 23rd December – Geometric Folding Winter Crafts.
Find more Christmas events on InformationNOW
Newcastle Christmas markets and events
Until Saturday 23 December
A festive fixture in the city, Newcastle’s main Christmas market returns to the city on 18 November, and runs all the way through to 23 December! Located around Grey’s Monument, Grainger Street, and this year in Old Eldon Square too.
There are also Christmas themed Quayside Markets on Sundays: 9:30am – 4pm. For more information about the city Christmas markets please visit NewcastleChristmas.com
Thursday 30 November Props Christmas wellbeing and shopping evening
The event will host stalls from local independent traders selling homemade and original products. You can also enjoy a range of holistic wellbeing, and beauty treatments, dance classes, mental workshops, crafts and so much more.
Thursday 30 November Kind Christmas Experience at One Strawberry Lane
An event by Kind Currency, hosted at Strawberry Lane. The event will include an ethical and sustainable Christmas market, a Christmas workshop where you can create and keep your own decoration, a giving bank, story time with Father Christmas, Mrs. Claus and local authors, inclusive Christmas choirs, and a Christmas film called “Magic of Kindness”.
Friday 1 December Christmas at the bandstand
Gather around the bandstand in Exhibition Park for a free Christmas celebration! Local community choirs and musicians will keep you entertained with festive song. Hot food and drink is available to buy from Urban Green Café
Saturday 2 December Small Business Saturday pop up Christmas market
Over 30 stands showcasing some of our best local artisans and creatives, including young entrepreneurs supported by The Princes Trust.
Saturday 2 December Christmas Fayre at Heaton Baptist Church,
Free entry, all welcome. Raffle, Tombola, Win a Bottle (over 18s only), Refreshments and Cake. Funds raised go to A Time 2 Talk to provide counselling and wellbeing services to the North East.
Saturday 2 December Star and Shadow Christmas mystery movie
2 Mystery Christmas movies will be shown for free at the Star and Shadow Cinema. Families and children welcome to attend this free screening, under 16s must be accompanied by an adult
Sunday 3 December Northumberlandia Food and Craft Market join the Food and craft market to find high-end craft items, locally sourced food and drink, a range of Northumberland Wildlife Trust merchandise and more
Tuesday 5 December Christmas quiz at Cumberland Arms in support of Rape crisis Tyneside and Northumberland
Come join for a Christmas quiz! Grab a drink and get excited for the festive season. Prize for the winners, plus a raffle and tombolo!
Wednesday 6 December Wellbeing for Life Christmas Celebration
A special festive meeting at Jesmond Library with seasonal songs and refreshments. Guest Amanda Quinn (Jesmond libraries writer in residence) will help everyone get inspired to write Christmas letters and messages.
Thursday 7 December Crisis Skylight Carol concert
Crisis Skylight Newcastle’s annual Carol Service at Newcastle Cathedral. Anyone who has accessed their services, supported their work, volunteered, campaigned, or worked with them as a partner organisation is welcome to attend. Join from 6:30 to warm up with hot drinks and mince pies, whilst viewing the work created by 2023 Crisis Skylight members in the exhibition area. The service starts from 7:15pm and includes festive music from the Rock Choir, readings, and classic carols.
Saturday 9 December Fawdon community centre Christmas party
A family event with free buffet, entertainment, Santa and his christmas elf, tombola, stalls, raffle, crafts and more.
Sunday 10 December Star and Shadow Festive Market
Bric-a-brac, arts, crafts, second hand clothes, books, collectibles, household items, and other bargains and unique finds ahead of Christmas.
Thursday 14 December Shieldfield community Christmas celebration at Wretham Place
A family friendly event organised together by Shieldfield’s organisations, including Big River Bakery and Caring Hands. Visit Santa in his grotto, enjoy craft activities, hot drinks, stalls and carol singing!
Tuesday 19 December Jubilee Dementia Choir Christmas Performance
Silverline Memories Jubilee Dementia Choir will be giving a Christmas performance at St Aidans church, Brunton Park.
Find more Christmas events on InformationNOW
Coffee Meet up at Kenton
Tuesdays, 12 to 1:30pm, Kenton Library, Kenton Centre, Hillsview Ave, NE3 3QJ
Search Newcastle have a new group, coffee meet up at Kenton. This group is an informal weekly meetup for over 50s, have a cuppa and connect with others.
Read more on InformationNOW about Coffee meetup at Kenton
Skimstone Arts Winter groups
Freeflow Creativity Cafe is where you can have a go at writing lyrics, poetry and monologues inspired by real stories with artists from Skimstone Arts.
Free Songwriting & Instrumental Tuition
If you’re aged 16 to 25 and would like to learn the art of songwriting or how to play a new instrument why not join Skimstone Arts band, Reality Boots. Help create a new song to be shared at A Night of Fear & Freedom Live Events and Radio Broadcast, presented as part of national Holocaust Memorial Day Events in January 2024
Read more on InformationNOW about Art galleries and artistic spaces
Newcastle West Community Grocery
Open from 28 November 2023
Newcastle West Community grocery use surplus food fresh from local supermarkets to make the cost of the weekly shop more affordable to its members. You can join for £5 a year and can can fill a shopping basket with a weekly shop for just £5. They also offer support courses focusing on debt employment and life skills.
Read more on InformationNOW about Newcastle West Community Grocery
Cornerstone Benwell is a community centre and warm hub. They have a wide range of services, groups and activities such as Benwell Bridge Community Pantry, Corner Kitchen Community café The Welcome Project for adults with learning disabilities, a Shop (preloved clothing and homeware), arts and crafts and more.
Read more on InformationNOW about Cornerstone Benwell
Crossings community group
Crossings Community Group is an organisation delivering free music sessions for refugees, asylum seekers, and the wider community. They have sessions at Gosforth civic theatre, Brunswick Methodist church and the comfrey project in Gateshead.
Read more on InformationNOW about Crossings Community group
Threads in the ground
Threads in the ground is a climate education and community action organisation. They run several projects such as Warm Grain (community meal hosting), Mushroom sculpt (an eco-friendly art project), Hereditary footprint (a culture heritage and arts project based around the North Easts coal past), Creative Climate Teachers (a teachers group discussing and creating climate education resources)
Read more on InformationNOW about Threads in the ground
Cost of Living Support
As the cost of energy, fuel and food rises, you may find it harder to manage money and pay your bills. This article has more information on support available and ways to save money on your living costs.
Read more on InformationNOW about Cost of living support
Universal Credit is a benefit payment for people under Pension Credit age. It provides one payment for housing, employment, children and income. This article has updated information on Universal Credit
Read more on InformationNOW about Universal Credit
Taking up learning opportunities at any age can enhance your life and help you to feel healthier and happier. If you want to learn new skills, improve existing skills or just get out and about and do activities where you can meet other people, you could do a lifelong learning course.
Read more on InformationNOW about lifelong learning
Last updated: November 30, 2023