Information Now

4 September 2020


Help health and social care services meet your needs
Heritage open days
Are you a budding journalist?
Housing and care for older people with dementia


Prepare for Covid this Winter
Turn your clothes into cash
Urology month


New and updated organisations
Shaw Trust
Loop UK
Northern Head and Neck Cancer Charity

City Council news

Walking and cycling in Jesmond
Leisure facilities

Help health and social care services recover from COVID-19

Our NHS and social care services are doing everything they can to support you and your loved ones, but they need our help to know how they can improve.Recent research shows that 57% of people in the North East say they are more likely to take steps to improve health and social care services since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) by giving feedback on the standard of their care.

Join the national Healthwatch campaign — #BecauseWeAllCare — and share your experiences.COVID-19: health and social care experiences in Newcastle and Gateshead
A priority at both Healthwatch Newcastle and Healthwatch Gateshead has been to invite experiences and stories during the COVID-19 pandemic to help services adapt to patient needs.They ran a survey from May to July and people told them that services have been able adapt to the needs of the population and the pandemic quickly and effectively.  Overall, people were generally satisfied with changes they experienced, but some highlighted difficulties in maintaining physical and mental health.

Heritage Open Days 11 to 20 September 2020

The heritage open days are still going ahead although they will be a bit different this year. It’s a chance to find places you see often, but know nothing about them.Whilst most local events have moved online, there are some that are open including: Crowley Ironworks, Winlaton Mill; Tanfield Railway; Whitburn local history walk; Wheatley Hill Heritage Centre, Durham.  Online includes: The Guildhall; The Lit & Phil; Bensham Grove Community Centre.

Are you a budding journalist? closes 5pm 6 November 2020

With Autumn settling in, perhaps you want to focus on your writing skills or re-start your career.  Hearst Talent Scholarship has been launched again.  This gives 7 budding journalists the chance to write a 500 word story or opinion piece (must be original: voice, tone, subject matter) and win the chance to work with one of over 10 popular magazines for two weeks, probably next February 2021 in London.

Hearst magazines include: Digital Spy, Elle, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health, Runner’s World. You would spend two week’s in accommodation they organise; London Living Wage and travel expenses.

Equal Arts digital story chain is still available if you’d like to contribute. Look at our creative writing section on our hobbies article.

Dementia and Housing


APPG on Housing and Care for Older People inquiry on the housing experiences of people living with dementia.
The 2nd virtual inquiry session takes place on 21 September. While the current call for evidence is formally closed, you can still email examples of innovative practice.Find more on dementia, dementia friendly Newcastle, looking after someone/carers, housing for older people. Hear more on the Housing LIN and APPG on our LLARN podcast #HousingMatters

Prepare for Covid 19 this Winter

Some of us will be feeling anxious about the autumn and winter months.  Is there anything we can do to prepare for our two major enemies: the flu and the Covid 19?

  • the flu vaccine has been extended to a wider range of people, so if you are eligible get your flu jab as early as possible.
  • if you know that you come down with coughs and colds because of lack of sleep; stress; then make sure that you manage those symptoms – mindfulness, meditation, taking control of as much as you can, will help
  • clean your mask regularly if it is reusable.  When removing it, touch the bands around the ears and not the main mask
  • Vitamin D – there is evidence that taking 400iu or 10 micrograms all Winter helps with reducing the symptoms of coronavirus. Don’t take more unless recommended by your GP as it can cause an excess of calcium in the body and weaken bones and damage kidneys and the heart
  • physical activity – keep moving for 10 minutes every hour – housework will help; get into your garden; go for a walk and supplement this with strengthening exercises and cardio exercise to get your heart rate up regularly
  • clean air – keep windows open for as long as possible and then as the central heating kicks in, open them every so often in the day. Steam cleaning also helps.
  • practise breathing exercises to expand lung capacity – sit upright; breathe normally focusing on your breath; take a slow deep breath and hold for three seconds and then exhale for three seconds, repeat three times, but stop if you feel dizzy.  Do this every day.

Want to take part in a national study to fight coronarvirus?   You need to be 16 years and over.

The Covidence UK study has four goals:

1. to learn more about risk factors for coronavirus infection in UK adults

2. to find out how quickly people recover from coronavirus infection, and whether there are any long-term complications of this illness

3. to evaluate the impact of coronavirus infection on the physical and mental well-being of the UK population

4. to establish a database of people who may be interested in taking part in future clinical trials, and to invite selected people to participate in those trials.

Turn your clothes into cash

If you have used Covid 19 as an opportunity to declutter, then you may have lots of clothes that you rarely wear or never wore. Whilst charity giving is a good idea, any means to recycle what you have is part of creating a sustainable society.  If you have been furloughed or on a reduced wage, you may want to consider selling.  Here’s a quick guide to options:

  • Facebook market place is free (but block buyers that have a poor profile for paying)
  • Ebay – takes a 10% cut of the sale from the seller
  • Vinted is free and the buyers pay a cut
  • Depop – takes a 10% fee on sales

Sites such as gum tree do include clothes sales as well.

Another way is to sell clothes amongst friends on Facebook or What’s App without using the Marketplace. Share a photo and let your friends bid for it.  Of course, you may not make as much money.

How to sell online:

  • take photos of the garment and of any details and from different perspectives
  • say something about fitting and size
  • include material and style
  • think about your delivery/postage costs and include in the price

When to sell:

Research shows that October through Winter is popular and 7 pm to 9pm on a Sunday evening

Quick tip – anything smelling a bit musty because of storage in air tight spaces  – wash it on the highest recommended wash and add one cup of white vinegar to the wash – this will kill off mould spores and get rid of the smell.

Urology month

September is urology awareness month and hosted by The Urology Foundation.  Organs under the term urology include: the kidneys, bladder and prostate and the male reproductive organs: testes and penis.

It is estimated that 1 in 2 of us will be affected by a urological condition in our lifetime. Our urology health is vital to our quality of life. Diseases and cancers of the kidneys, bladder, prostate and the male reproductive system are becoming more prevalent and devastating the lives of many men, women and children in the UK.

The aim of this month is to raise awareness about organ and reproductive health. The Urology Foundation website explains about health, conditions and how to avoid them, such as drinking plenty of fluids to avoid kidney stones.

You can keep active by taking part in their challenge Step up for TUF (The Urology Foundation) and raising money by climbing the stairs which equate to: Millennium Dome (21 flights/15 stairs/steps)  and  Mount Everest (3872 flights)  – you don’t have to do it alone, but can sign up as a group.

Walking and Cycling work in Jesmond

New measures to improve walking and cycling facilities will be installed on Osborne Road in the Jesmond area to encourage more people to walk and cycle in their local neighbourhoods.The improvements on Osborne Road, from Lyndhurst Avenue to Sanderson Road, include a new signal junction installed on Osborne Road at North Jesmond Avenue with pedestrian and cycling crossings, as well as segregated cycle lanes in each direction along a section of Osborne Road.Raised footway crossings (kerb to kerb road humps) will also be installed on the adjoining side streets, making it easier and safer for people to cross and for pushchairs and wheelchair users to get around. This includes: Newbrough Crescent, St George’s Terrace, Tavistock Road, North Jesmond Avenue and Back Osborne Road.

Leisure facilities

The following GLL facilities will continue to operate with modified hours: West Denton Leisure Centre (dry facilities), Newcastle Trampoline Park and Gym, East End Pool and Gosforth Leisure Centre. The soccer facilities at Walker Activity Dome will also continue to operate.All the leisure centres are listed on Leisure centres in Newcastle on InformationNOW.

Last updated: October 6, 2020

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