Information Now

3 July 2020 InfoNOW news Corona 13


Monitoring footfall in the City Centre
Healthy activity updates
Donate to charity whilst shopping online
An opportunity to say ‘thank you’ this weekend


Plastic free July

Opportunities for Action

How to make a successful application to the Newcastle Fund


Have you thought about what to do in an emergency?
Volunteers and volunteering in Newcastle
Coronavirus information and updates

St Mary’s Cathedral opening times for mass

Updated organisations

Newcastle Futures
The People’s Kitchen
Crisis Skylight Newcastle
We are Undefeatable
Botanic Garden at Durham University
Hamsterley Forest
Kielder Water and Forest
Chopwell Wood
Foundations Furniture
Vegan and Vegetarian online lunch club
M4D radio, music for people with dementia



We have been looking at our data on Google Analytics for the website to find out what has caught people’s interest during the coronavirus pandemic.   Our most viewed pages have changed during this period including:

Food banks and free emergency food
Quick links to virtual activity online
Free meals and cheap food
Driving as you get older
Mental Health
When someone dies: a practical guide
Department for Work and Pensions
Job Centre Plus
Direct Ferries
HM Passport Office

We are currently working on  sustainable living information and we have updated our Quick links to virtual activity online with information on podcasts.

We have added a few places to visit this summer for your staycation and we will be promoting national parks week from 12 July.

Monitoring footfall in the City Centre

Want to know how busy the City Centre is each day.  Watch the video.

Using data from the Urban Observatory on Northumberland Street  you can see how easy it will be to social distance using a traffic light system that shows levels of footfall:

GREEN: footfall in the city centre is low and there is sufficient space to safely social distance.

AMBER: footfall in the city centre is average and may be getting close to capacity within the social distance measures.

RED: footfall in the city centre is high and you are advised to delay or postpone plans to visit.

Healthy activity updates

During the summer the warm weather is enjoyable for most of us, but the heat can sometimes become very uncomfortable. For children, older people, or people with chronic health conditions, the hot weather can be dangerous and potentially fatal.  We have some tips for keeping cool in summer and links to NHS recommendations.

We have also updated our How to stay active at home article with further links to resources from Sport England, We are Undefeatable (supporting people with long term conditions to keep fit), BBC 10 minute workouts at home and resources from Public Health England including the PHE Active at Home booklet

You can also get prepared for the virtual Great North Run on 13 September, whether  or not you had a place. Entries open on 3rd August.   Choose a charity and encourage your friends, family and wider supporter network to rally behind you as you embark on your virtual Great North Run experience.

An opportunity to say ‘thank you’ – 4th and 5th July

Plans have been announced for people across the country to come together this weekend to remember those who have lost their lives during the pandemic and to say the biggest thank you yet to the NHS, key workers and volunteers. On Saturday 4 July the public are being urged to shine a light in their windows as public buildings across the country are lit blue, including the Tyne Bridge and Civic Centre, to remember those who have lost their lives to Covid-19.

Then at 5pm on Sunday 5 July, the birthday of the NHS, people across the country are being asked to stop what they are doing to applaud the NHS, key workers and volunteers who have kept services running during the pandemic.  The thank you will be broadcast live as TV channels and radio stations pause their usual programmes to join in.  Organisers hope that after the applause family, friends and neighbours will enjoy a drink or cup or tea together, while following social distancing rules, to reflect on the bonds and friendships that have developed in recent months.


Donate to charity whilst you shop online

Our online shopping has increased during the coronavirus, but you can help your chosen charity each time you shop. There are a few options to give as you shop on line.  Amazon smile and Give as you Live are just two options. Charities have been unable to do their usual fundraising, so you can help them stay afloat as we emerge from lockdown. You don’t pay a penny.  The donation amount varies from store to store. Most of the time you raise a percentage of what you spend – between 1% and 10% – whilst sometimes it’s a fixed amount.  With some stores there are different rates or restrictions depending on what you buy – you can see more information on each store’s page on the website. The steps are:

  • Sign up
  • Choose a charity
  • Shop using a website or app
  • Click on shop and raise
  • They email you to say how much you have raised

You can use their online calculator to see how much you can raise.

Read more about our online shopping habits from the Office for National Statistics.

InformationNOW has a section on what you can do online.


Plastic free July

Plastic Free July is a global movement which has been built up at Council level across Australia. Their aim is to raise awareness that we consume too much plastic and help us change our ways.  As an example, it takes 1,000 years for  a plastic toothbrush  to breakdown. That means that every toothbrush you have used is still on this planet and perhaps in the ocean.  Anyone from any country can sign up to the movement as an individual or as an organisation.Whether you’re a beginner looking for a few single-use plastics to avoid, or someone well on their way to a plastic free life, they have ideas to inspire you at home, work, school, and within the community.  Simple things we can do are: use reusable cups and water bottles and use reusable shopping bags. Where possible, buy loose vegetables and fruit and take your own plastic boxes for meat, fruit and vegetables.

Did you know that round bottles, used most in the bathroom, are less environmentally-friendly than square-shaped ones? Round bottles use much more packaging in transportation than square ones because square shapes slot together more efficiently. So, if you’re looking to shower more sustainably, go for a square bottle.

Why bamboo?  Bamboo is a sustainable material and is one of the fastest growing species of plant on earth. Some species can grow up to 30 cm in one day.  Bamboo is grown naturally without fertilisers and pesticides.

Some top tips for plastic free living:

  • choose a toothbrush made from bamboo or with a replaceable head to reduce plastic usage
  • choose plastic free dental floss eg silk thread or bees wax
  • choose soap not liquids that are in bottles
  • reuse your plastic tubs or bottles
  • use razors with stainless steel reusable blades
  • instead of balloons choose bunting, tassels, pom poms, lanterns and fresh flowers
  • locally, you can influence things by the way you shop and by supporting our local stores in the Grainger market, Jesmond and Tynemouth.

How to make a successful application to the The Newcastle Fund, 8 July 1pm

Connected Voice are running a session on How to make a successful application to the Newcastle Fund on Wednesday 8 July, 1 to 2.30 pm

This session gives you the opportunity to explore Newcastle City Council’s primary grant programme for voluntary, community, charitable and social enterprises serving Newcastle.  Applications close on 18 August at 12 noon.  The programme includes:

  • a presentation from Newcastle City Council’s team leading on the fund
  • what is different about the criteria this year
  • opportunity to ask questions,
  • support available to help you to make your best case for a successful bid


Have you thought about what to do in an emergency?

Your Equipment Newcastle  may be able to help you plan for an emergency.  Just click on the Ambulance icon and it will take you through a series of questions about how well prepared you are. This includes:

  • community alarms and telecare
  • key safes
  • activity monitoring alarms and plugs
  • location sensors
  • as well as some advice about storing emergency numbers and help from neighbours.

InformationNOW has information on

Volunteers and volunteering in Newcastle

Local NHS Volunteer Responders may be able to support with additional volunteering, so if you have a specific need in your area they are inviting you to list your volunteer roles. Please click here to download the Volunteer Support Requirements Form.

Please also complete the Volunteer Centre survey; they want to know how your organisation responded to Covid 19 and how you will continue to run your service

VOICE are also taking part in a trial of onHand in Newcastle.  onHand matches people who need help with everyday tasks with vetted volunteers who are able to help. Successful in London, they are investigating how it might work in Newcastle.  You must be aged over 55 years to take part and the pilot is July and August this year.

Coronavirus information and updates

Covid control plan for Newcastle
Listen to a brief explanation of the plan

Getting out and about in Newcastle this weekend
Newcastle Gateshead website has all the information on what’s open and what’s online.

Risk Assessment for the VCS

Connected Voice has produced  buildings and staff risk assessment tools for the VCS

Cyber crime
We have updated this scams article again

  • British Gas disconnection scam threatens disconnection unless you pass on your account information.  These are phishing emails designed to access your personal and financial details.
  • Church of England emails are circulating asking for monies. These are fraudulent requests.
  • Linked In phishing email to steal credentials.

Benefit Bulletin

Active Inclusion Service produce a bulletin every two months to keep you informed about benefit changes. The June edition includes top tips on coronavirus and benefits and other benefit changes and issues.

Public Health England
PHE has updated COVID 19 guidance in light of changes to the government’s advice and continues to work across government to ensure guidance for the public is timely and up to date. We have recently updated mental health and wellbeing guidance for:


St Mary’s Cathedral
You may be interested that places of worship are beginning to open up again from this weekend. St Mary’s Cathedral will be open at specific times.  Please call the Cathedral Office any time after 9am on 0191 232 6953 or email and register for the Mass you wish to attendFace coverings are required, use of sanitiser and 1 metre apart.

Visitor sites updated

Botanic Garden at Durham University
Hamsterley Forest
Kielder Water and Forest
Chopwell Wood

We have updated our dementia article with M4D a specialist radio  station for dementia

Organisations Updated

Newcastle Futures

The People’s Kitchen
Crisis Skylight Newcastle
We are Undefeatable
Foundations Furniture

Last updated: July 30, 2020

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