30 October InfoNOW News

30 October 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.

We produce an article on Informationnow.org.uk with Christmas and New Year opening and closing times, to help people plan ahead for December and January.

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] 

Ways to stay safe this winter

Winter brings community events and family celebrations to enjoy such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and of course Christmas. To make sure you enjoy the celebrations and stay safe this winter, there are some things to think ahead and be aware of.

This could come in the form of the misuse of fireworks, updating people’s awareness of what to do in an emergency, or in some cases unacceptable anti-social behaviour dealt out by a small proportion of the local community.

Tyne & Wear fire and rescue service have a few pointers that might make all of the difference.

  • Attend your locally organised bonfire and fireworks display
  • Always make sure on bonfire night that your pets are safe from harm
  • Don’t create and ignite illegal bonfires in your own garden or in public spaces
  • Always buy your fireworks and trick or treat costumes from a licenced trader
  • After your bin collection day please ensure your wheelie bin is returned to its safe location to remove any temptations for potential fire setters
  •  Don’t fly-tip your unwanted household goods please discard them at a Household Recycling Centre.

If worried residents are aware of any anti-social behaviour related incidents, they should call 999 in the event of an emergency and they will receive a response from the Fire Service.

But if they have any important information which may help identify those individuals responsible then they can call Firestoppers anonymously on 0800 169 5558.

Read more on InformationNOW about Fire Safety

Sustainable warmth scheme

The Sustainable Warmth scheme is targeted at Newcastle City Council residents who:

  • own their homes or rent from a private landlord;
  • have a gross household income of £30,000 per year or less;
  • live in homes with a low energy rating (as shown on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), where the rating is either D/E/F/G)

The scheme can fund measures such as wall, loft and floor insulation, low carbon heating and solar panels. You can apply here using their form

You can watch this video about Rosemary and how she benefitted from this scheme.

Read more about the scheme at WarmWorks website

Read more on InformationNOW about Help with heating problems and how to pay for them

Social Housing Waiting Times Tool

Newcastle is facing a real challenge in terms of a falling supply of social housing and increased demand for accommodation. Current waiting times for people bidding on Newcastle Homes properties can be up to 3 weeks for all bands: an average wait of 9 weeks for people in Band A (immediate danger of serious risk or harm) and an average wait of 65 weeks for people in Band D (general need).

The Social Housing Waiting Times Tool is a tool that you or someone you support looking for social housing can use to find out the average waiting times for properties in the city.

You can find this tool as part of the property search section on Newcastle Homes as well as a Recent lets tool

You can personalise a search based on priority banding and household size.  Applicants with specific needs such as adaptations, can expect to wait longer as the tool doesn’t take into account such specific needs.

You can find instructions on how to use the tool on Newcastle Homes website  

Read more on InformationNOW about moving into a home

£1m fund launched to kickstart Ouseburn initiative

A £1m fund to support a seven-mile (11km) nature trail through Newcastle and North Tyneside has been launched. The trail will start from the River Tyne in Ouseburn to Weetslade Country Park and the Letch in Longbenton.

An exhibition highlighting the project’s potential is now open for viewing at The Farrell Centre until February 9, 2024.

The Reece Foundation (working with with Northumbrian WaterNewcastle City CouncilNorth Tyneside Council and the Environment Agency) wants to empower the local community to have their say, supported by funding to bring about changes they identified.

They are asking local Newcastle and North Tyneside communities “What’s the best thing that can be done to improve the area for you.” You can answer this question with your views on their website

You can find out more about the Ouseburn Way and see the map of the development on The Ouseburn Way website

Read more on InformationNOW about parks & nature trails

Festival of Social Science

21 October to 17 November 2023

The Festival of Social Science explores the world of social science, from how society has shaped our local areas to behaviours that help fight climate change. This year a number of events will focus on lifelong wellbeing, exploring mental and physical health at all ages and celebrating the 75th anniversary of the NHS. The festival will be of interest to people working health & social care, researchers, VCSE staff, students and anyone with an interest in the social sciences.

The festival  runs until Friday 17 November with events across the UK, both virtually and in person, for all ages and tastes.

North East events include:

31 October to 12 November Story Chair: Sharing Difficult Stories is an exhibition showcasing  the Story Chair programme which  explores routes for innovation in women’s criminal justice support services, focusing on craft and storytelling practices.

1 November 2023 Enjoying the journey. Striving for workplace wellness looks at practical strategies and employee rights before encouraging group discussion for the sharing of good practice

9 November Enlighten Critical care from the outside: one year on Artist/designer and researcher, Dr Laura Johnston, created a garden for critical care at James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.  Over the past year, the garden has been the subject of social science research, use and feedback from staff and those using critical care. Here she shares what she learned.

12 November Our possible future selves:  Community-based storytelling to motivate young people to think positively about their future aspirations. This event is set to be a jam-packed morning full of activities to get young children and their parents/ guardians thinking about their future using community based storytelling techniques.

14 November Walk on the Wildside is split into a walk and talk activity for approximately 60 minutes, in which researchers talk through different areas of the city centre followed by a 2 hour discussion at Northumbria students union thinking about their safety in the Newcastle night time economy

16 November The 3rd International Symposium on Social Work Practitioner Research  features keynote speeches and a number of parallel panels/interactive workshops exploring how social workers deal with complexity in their practice, to promote the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

Read more on InformationNOW about Care and support for adults

Citizens Advice help with energy bills

Do you need your energy bills checked? are you worried about your energy bills? do you have issues with your energy supplier?

Citizens Advice Newcastle (CAN) can provide advice and support with these issues for the people of Newcastle. You can call their  advice line on 0800 448 0721  and request a referral to Ellie- ERF, fill in a self-referral form on their website and quote ‘Ellie- ERF’ on www.citizensadvice-newcastle.org.uk or email [email protected] and quote ‘Ellie- ERF’.

You can also request face to face appointments and home visits to support with these issues.

Read more on InformationNOW about Cost of living help and support

Winter vaccination programme

The winter vaccination programme has delivered more than 10 million flu jabs and over 7 million COVID-19 vaccines in just over 6 weeks, making this the fastest roll out on record. 3 million people have received their flu and COVID-19 vaccines in the same appointment.

Despite this promising start, millions more eligible people are being urged to get their vaccines ahead of the colder months to reduce the risk of serious illness.

Find out more including how to check eligibility and book vaccinations.

Fertility Network Share your story

Fertility Week 30 October to 5 November 2023

The Fertility network are looking for people from ethnic minority backgrounds to share their fertility stories and highlight the reality of #fertilityincolour.

They want to hear about your experiences at different stages of your fertility journey and also raise awareness about some of the inequalities faced by different communities whilst going through fertility treatment.

Anonymous and named submissions are welcome. These will then be shared on their ethnic minorities day (Tuesday 31st October 2023) during fertility week.

If you would like to get involved, please email [email protected] to find out more.

Find more fertility groups and events on InformationNOW 

Safeguarding Adults Week training

20-24 November is national Safeguarding Adults Week where organisations across the country come together to raise awareness of important safeguarding adults issues. A range of webinars from Newcastle Council, Northumbria PoliceSearch NewcastleTyne & Wear fire and rescue service

The webinars will be hosted on Microsoft Teams and are aimed at professionals and volunteers. The sessions cover a wide range of topics linked to safeguarding adults, particularly those which might relate to emerging issues or developing practice.

You can view the webinar list and book a space now.

Find out more and book a space on the Newcastle Safeguarding Website

Read more on InformationNOW about the Safeguarding Adults board

The Stroke Research Patient and Carer Panel

The North East North Cumbria Stroke Research Patient and Carer Panel is looking for new members across

the region to join their panel. The involvement is a group of people who are interested in stroke. Some of them:

● have had a stroke

● are caring for a loved one who has had a stroke

● work with stroke patients

● are involved in stroke research


They meet several times a year in person and remotely to learn about stroke research,

have the opportunity to participate in stroke research, and offer their views on proposed clinical research studies. They are always keen to welcome new members, all are welcome but they are

particularly interested if you have recently had a stroke or are a young person who has

had a stroke.

If you are interested in joining, or would just like to know more please contact Andrew Smith: [email protected],  Lisa Stuart: [email protected] or NENC Communications:  [email protected] or call 0191 569 9089.

Read more on InformationNOW about having your say about health and care services

Health & Social care volunteer consultation

18 November 2023 deadline

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published a consultation as part of a proposal to change the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 to remove the need to obtain a full employment history when appointing health and care volunteers.

The consultation asks questions on whether the full employment history requirement poses challenges to the appointment process and seeks understanding on whether the remaining required pre-employment checks are sufficient to ensure the suitability of volunteer applicants. DHSC welcomes views from service providers, volunteer managers, VCSE organisations, volunteers, staff and the public.

Find out more about the DHSC consultation on the gov.uk webpage, or direct any questions to [email protected]. The consultation closes on 18 November 2023.

Read more on InformationNOW about Volunteering

Collaborative Newcastle Autism consultations

Tuesday 7 November

Skills for People are hosting Autism consultations on behalf of Collaborative Newcastle to find out what’s important to autistic people, how current services and support can be improved and what is needed in Newcastle to help people have the life they want.

There is a face to face event and an Online event to hear peoples views on Tuesday 7th November.

People can also share their views by completing an online survey via  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9CGL7RD.

Could you please share this with networks or people who may be interested in taking part..

For more information or alternative ways to share your views, please contact Sam or Becky at Skills for people – 0191 281 8737.

Download their poster

Read more on InformationNOW about Autism and local support services

Books on Tyne

18 to 25 November 2023

Newcastle Libraries and The Lit & Phil are once more hosting the Books on Tyne Festival for its 11th year.

The packed programme includes many aspects of local life and history, the natural world, current affairs, philosophy, literature, music – and much more. Speakers this year include Caroline Barker Bennett, Gerald Dickens, Rachel Hewitt, Robin Stevens, Jonathan Wilson, Selina Todd and Professor Brian Ward.

You can view the festival programme online here

Read more on InformationNOW about Libraries, reading and audio books

Life Centre ice rink

11 November 2023 to 7 January 2024

The open-air ice rink returns to Life centre from Saturday 11 November in the city centre of Newcastle. Relaxed skating sessions are available. These sessions have lighting and noise levels will be adjusted for people with sensory needs.

If you use a wheelchair and you would like to use the rink, we recommend that you visit during quieter times (early sessions at weekends). If the rink is quiet enough, we can provide foot grips to accompanying carers

Carers, informal carers or personal assistants can skate for free when arriving with the cared for person. This includes children aged 2 or under. Please pre-book a Carer ticket online before you visit and show proof of entitlement on arrival such as a letter showing that you receive support, or a Companion card, a Children and Young People’s Network Card, or similar.

Book tickets on Life centres website here

Read more about the Ice rink at Life here

Read more on InformationNOW about Newcastle attractions

How2 run a business courses

9 November to 7 December 2023

For future entrepreneurs and people interested in starting a small business, there are a series of free How 2 start and grow a business workshops  by Reviving the Heart of the West End based at John Buddle work village.

These workshops run from 9th November to 7th December. Theres a workshop for any budding business , from starting & promoting a business, managing money, self employment and universal credit to publicly launching your business.

Read more on InformationNOW about starting your own business or self employment

Ready for school Parent drop ins

14 November to 4 December 2023

Will your child be starting reception in September 2024? Children and families Newcastle hubs will be holding free drop in sessions for parents to get you and your child ready for school.

You have the opportunity to talk to school admission teams, school nurses, health visitors, library teams and you and your children can enjoy speech and language activities, crafts and more.

The sessions will take place on:

Tuesday 14 November 1:30 to 4:30pm at Galafield Family Hub

Wednesday 22 November 1:30 to 4:30pm at Byker Sands Family Hub

Monday 27 November 1:30 to 4:30pm at Carnegie community hub

Monday 4 December 1:30 to 4:30pm at The Haven, Kenton

Find out more about ready for school sessions on Newcastle Support Directory

Read more on InformationNOW about childrens activities

Help to get online

Get Online Week took place October 16 to 22, promoting help and learning to fix the digital divide and get everyone online safely. There’s always help available to improve your digital skills in Newcastle.

Get Online Newcastle support people living in Newcastle to get online and learn digital skills. Their computer courses and techy tea parties are available each month and take place at City Library and East End library and community hub. The courses include Online Basics and intro to Microsoft office 

Newcastle City Learning‘s Know your Phone is a 4 week course to help people build their digital confidence. The next set of sessions begin15th November, 10.30am – 12.30pm at St Martin’s Centre.

You can call 0191 2773520 or 0191 2782818 to enrol or contact l[email protected] for more information

Jesmond Wellbeing for Life’s session on Wednesday 1 November  at Jesmond Library focuses on ‘Cyber Security and other scams’ from guest speaker, Maria Bartley from Northumbria Police.

Read more on InformationNOW about Getting online and digital equipment

NCAT Community counselling

Community Counselling is a free service managed by Newcastle Community Asset Trust (NCAT) in partnership with Newcastle College. This service provides support to people who are currently facing personal difficulties including; Depression, Anxiety, Low self-esteem, Bereavement, family issues, domestic violence, suicide and many others. This service is for Men, Woman and children.

The counselling sessions run weekly at Blakelaw Community centre.

To find out more about the service please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Read more on InformationNOW about Depression

Costing our futures

Young Women’s Trust champions young women aged 18 to 30 on low or no pay. They have produced a 2023 report: COSTING OUR FUTURES Young Women in the Cost of Living Crisis 2023.

Young women earn £5,000 on average less a year than young men of the same age. They are therefore more likely to be struggling in the cost-of-living crisis: in debt, struggling to afford the essentials and choosing between heating and eating.  56% of young women described their current financial situation as uncomfortable.

Read the full young women’s trust report here

Read more on InformationNOW about Emergency funds and support

Little Book of Useful Stuff

Involve North East in partnership with North East & North Cumbria Integrated Care Board have produced a handy resource for young adults and teenagers. The Little Book of Useful Stuff is packed with handy tips to help you keep safe, stay healthy and make informed decisions about your life. Written by health professionals, it’s information you can trust

Download the Little Book of useful Stuff here

Read more on InformationNOW about young peoples health

Together type 1

Together Type 1 is a Diabetes UK community youth programme for everyone aged 11-25 living with type 1 diabetes. The group is set up by and supported by people who understand what it’s really like juggling the ups and downs of life with diabetes.

Young people can join using their online form to meet new friends, learn new skills, and build confidence.

Young people can also volunteer as a Young Leader. You will be trained and supported to create spaces online and in the community where young people can chat together, share ideas, raise issues and have fun

Read more on InformationNOW about Diabetes

Tuesday Night Fever Halloween Party.

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Tuesday Night Fever are having a Halloween party with party games and prizes for fancy dress. Put on your best Halloween costume and join the party. Tuesday Night Fever is open to 16 + year olds with a learning difficulty.

Read more on InformationNOW about this Event

Vinnies Pop up Market

Thursday 2 November 12.30pm to 3.30pm

Vinnies Pop-up community market at St Vincents centre, runs every Thursday with discounted groceries, household, toys, books, clothing, where you can grab a bargain.

Their pop up pantry shop operates during Vinnies Pop Up Market where you can get any 12  grocery items for only £5.

Read more on InformationNOW about Free meals and cheap food in Newcastle

Potters shed workshops

Fridays 10am to 1pm

Join in at Pottery Banks green space to learn new skills and create items from recycled wood. Your woodwork creations will be used in Pottery Bank’s community garden, allotment and outdoor space. No experience needed as you will be taught how to safely use power drills, sanding tools, hand saws and other tools.

Next session of the Potters shed workshop is on November 3rd 2023

Read more on InformationNOW about Pottery Bank Community Centre

Dementia carers Jesmond drop in

Friday 17 November 10:30am to 12:30pm

Are you or someone you know living with dementia? Do you care unpaid for someone with dementia? Do you live in the Jesmond area?

Newcastle Carers have a drop in at St Georges Church hall, Jesmond on 17th November.

They will have dementia specialist staff there to listen and support every step of the way with information, advice and support. There will also be a variety of informational pamphlets and booklets about dementia from national and local organisations

Read more on InformationNOW about Dementia 

Jukebox Music sessions

Last Friday of the month, 1pm

Are you looking to:

  • meet likeminded people to appreciate music with and improve your English
  • develop a sense of community with others through a shared love of music
  • relax listening to music and share your experiences

Then you can join Jukebox Music sessions from Newcastle City Learning. Sessions are on last Friday of the month, 1pm at the Heaton Centre. The next jukebox session is on Friday 24 November

Read more on InformationNOW about Getting involved in music

Welcome to Badminton Social group

Sunday 5 November 2023 12pm to 4pm

Social event at Summerhill Bowling Club to celebrate 18 months of funding from Sport England. This funding helps people from a refugee, asylum seeker or migrant background to play badminton for fun, make friends, learn new skills and keep healthy. Shuttles and racquets are provided- no experience needed.

At this social event there will also be music by Crossings group, volleyball and football outside.

Read more on InformationNOW about Welcome to Badminton

Sexual Health Services 4 Newcastle at New Croft Centre

New Organisation

Sexual Health Services 4 Newcastle at New Croft Centre provides free sexual health support for LGBTQ+ adults and young people

This includes: contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You can request a free STI home testing kit online or book a face to face appointment for help with:

  • pregnancy advice
  • contraception, coil fitting
  • emergency contraception
  • sexual assault support
  • HIV testing or treatment before or after you have been exposed to HIV (PrEP and PEP)
  • Chems support
  • young people’s clinic with Streetwise
  • relationships

Read more on InformationNOW about Sexual health

Healthwatch Newcastle

Updated Organisation – New Address

Healthwatch Newcastle are moving to a new home! They will Suite E11 E Floor, 19 Dean Street, Milburn House, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1LE

Healthwatch Newcastle helps everyone speak up about health and social care services in Newcastle. They also offer free, confidential and independent information about these services.

Read more on InformationNOW about Healthwatch Newcastle

The Grange Outreach Service

New Organisation

The Grange Centre Outreach service can help you with everyday activities such as:

  • cleaning
  • shopping
  • housework
  • help with laundry

Read more on InformationNOW about The Grange Outreach Centre

Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria (HI NENC)

Updated Organisation

Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria (HI NENC) work to improve health services for patients and the public. They link Universities, NHS services, locacl authorities, chariteis and industry together for health innovation. They focus on 3 main areas:

  • Supporting Economic Growth
  • Transforming Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
  • Improving Population Health.

You can watch their video explaining what HI NENC do here 

Read more on InformationNOW about HI NENC

Your Equipment Newcastle

Updated Organisation

Your Equipment Newcastle is an easy to use website that helps you find and buy equipment to improve your daily living in just 3 steps:

  1. Choose a topic
  2. Answer some questions
  3. Get a personal report and advice from occupational therapists on products that might help

Read more on InformationNOW about Your Equipment Newcastle – Information Now

Get involved in your community

New Article

Many people want to be more involved in their local community, volunteer for something they are passionate about or get involved in a group to speak up about issues.

This article gives some ideas on how to get involved in research, share your experiences to improve services or speak up for your your community This may be called activism, involvement, engagement, co-production or collaboration

If you can help people get involved in Newcastle and would like to feature in this article please get in touch on [email protected] 

Read more on InformationNOW about Get involved in your community

Home adaptations, equipment and aids

Updated Article

You can make changes to your home or get equipment to help you with day-to-day tasks and activities when things get more difficult for you. This article gives you a guide of what is available.

Read more on InformationNOW about home adaptation, equipment and aids

Last updated: November 1, 2023