4th September 2023 InfoNOW News

4th September 2023 InfoNOW News

Find your nearest community centre on InformationNOW

Did you know that you can find your nearest community centre on InformationNOW? Use our handy organisation search in the article
Read more on Community Centres and Hubs on Information Now

InfoNOW at EPiC Family Fun Day

InformationNOW joined a host of Newcastle Council, Health, VCSE and business organisations at the Elswick EPiC family fun day on Friday 1st September.

(EPiC Empowering People in Communities) is a project from the Better Lives, Safer communities anti-social Behaviour programme, provided by Newcastle City Council.

EPiC involves residents, businesses and others in local communities to come together to tackle anti-social behaviour, offer youth opportunities, tidy streets and public spaces and improve relationships. They are running in Elswick, Walker and West Denton

Check out some of the work EPiC has been up to on CityLife

Read more on support with Anti-social behaviour on Information Now

Newcastle Neighbourhoods Network new dates

18 October 1 to 3pm and 24 October 1:30 to 3:30pm

The quarterly Neighbourhoods Network events are opportunities for organisations working towards the wellbeing of their communities  to get to know one another, share good practice, explore links, reduce duplication, and collaborate with those communities to help them to flourish.

Workers and practitioners from organisations working in healthcare, social care, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, housing provision, sports and leisure, uniformed services, and more are welcome to eattend Neighbourhood Networks.

The next Neighbourhood Network on 18 October is for Outer West Newcastle – made up of the Lemington, Callerton and Throckley, Kingston Park South and Newbiggin Hall, Denton and Westerhope, and Chapel wards.

Book a space on InformationNOW for Newcastle Neighbourhoods: Outer West Network Event

On 24 October there will be a Newcastle East Neighbourhood Network  – made up of the Monument, South Jesmond, Ouseburn, Byker, Heaton, Walker and Walkergate wards.

Book a space on InformationNOW for Newcastle Neighbourhoods: East Network Event 

All Neighbourhood networks are free to attend and light refreshments will be provided.

Read more on the City Council website about Newcastle Communities and Neighbourhoods  

City News and Views Podcast

The September edition of City News and Views is out now, featuring talks with:

  • Brian Graham from the Forces Charity, SSAFA,
  • Drew Graham about a great facility on Tyneside to help wheelchair users to keep fit.
  • Karen Watson from the Newcastle Volunteer Centre about this year’s Great North Run.
  • Richard White from InformationNOW about some of the events and activities taking place this month
  • Moyra Riseborough about more hints and tips to help with the cost of living crisis

Listen to City News and Views September 2023 on Later Life Audio and Radio Co-operative 

Listen to Community Radio updates on Radio Tyneside and the latest LLARC shows on InformationNOW

Recoco Autumn prospectus

ReCoCo: The Recovery College Collective run a variety of creative, educational and support-based classes. All courses are free and open to anyone who would find them helpful in their recovery from mental illness, substance misuse, trauma or distress, or to anyone who might find them beneficial to their wellbeing.

Download their new Autumn prospectus for Newcastle and Gateshead to read articles, find out more about their groups, courses, art, activities and information.

If you would like lovely hardcopy newspapers contact ReCoCo to arrange delivery. They come in bundles of 50.

Read more on InformationNOW about Mental Health

Newcastle Allotment & Garden Show 2023

Entries close on Friday 8 September.

The Newcastle Allotment & Garden Show is back in Leazes Park for 2023! This September, Urban Green Newcastle are bringing growers from across the region together to show off their best produce, and celebrate with a wide range of activities and entertainment for the whole family.
The competition judging takes place on Friday 15 September, and then the show will open to the public from 11am-4pm on Saturday 16 September.

If you are interested in entering the show you can view the entrants information flyer here  and when youre ready to enter you can enter using the online entry form here

Time spent in allotments and community gardens are known to be good for your mental health from studies. You could join in this year as a volunteer to support setting up and assisting with the Newcastle Allotment and garden show. If youre interested in volunteering please get in touch via: volunteer@urbangreennewcastle.org

Read more on InformationNOW about Parks, gardens, forests and woodlands


VCSE Youth Wellbeing Network

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Connected Voice will bring their fourth Voluntary, community and social enterprise sector networking event this September.

This event will focus on Youth Wellbeing. There will be an opportunity to hear from a diverse panel of speakers from the VCSE sector and ask questions, before taking part in discussions around successes, challenges, volunteering and the local landscape in relation to young people. If your organisation works with mental health and wellbeing in relation to children and young people and their families, then this event is for you!

Book a space on InformationNOW for VCSE Networking event – Youth Wellbeing

Community Cost of Living Fund session

Wednesday 13 September at 11am to 12:30pm

Equally Ours are running an open online session titled: Applying for the Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund

In this September meeting  Ruth Bamford from the National Lottery Community Fund, will talk through the government’s new Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund. The fund will provide £76m to front-line organisations that offer critical services for people and communities in England under severe pressure because of the increased cost of living.
Join to get an overview of the fund, learn more about who can apply and what the funding can cover, and get your questions answered.

You can View the Meeting Agenda here

If you are interested you can join the Online meeting using the details below:
Click here to join via Zoom link
Passcode: members21

If you have any accessibility requirements, please contact us at members@equallyours.org.uk

Read more on InformationNOW about Struggling with debt due to cost of living

HealthWorks Health checks and Staying Steady

HealthWorks offer a free Staying Steady programme starting on 6th September at the Health Resource Centre, Adelaide Terrace, Benwell. It’s a 28 week course scientifically proven to improve strength and balance, to reduce falls and enable people to live independently longer. The classes will run in different locations across Newcastle

They have also developed Staying Steady programme booklets and videos to help people exercise at home. It includes stages on mobility, strength, balance, cardiovascular and relaxation.

Access the Staying Steady home programme here: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4

HealthWorks also offer free NHS Health Checks at different Newcastle locations. The Health check is a check-up for adults in England aged 40 to 74.  It’s designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia.

If you are eligible, you can self refer for a NHS Health check here

Read more on InformationNOW about Falls prevention  or 10 Tips for good health 

Newcastle Careers Fair

Friday 22 September 10am to 2pm

Looking for a new Career? Looking for your next Hire? The UK Careers Fair returns to Newcastle this September at St James Park. Come to this event to see career opportunities available, talk to employers and get insights into how to land your dream role.

Book a space on Newcastle UK Careers Fair on Information Now

Healthwatch Newcastle & Gateshead AGM

28 September 1.30 to 4.00 pm, Auditorium @ Mea house

Join Healthwatch for their joint Annual general meeting to learn more about their work and celebrate their achievements made in 2022-2023.

Book your place on EventBrite

Read more on InformationNOW about Healthwatch Newcastle 

Kick Off with Nissan

Are you 18 to 24? Kick Start your career with Newcastle United Foundation (NUF) and Nissan. Apply for a three week course starting Monday September at NUCASTLE, Diana street, NE4 6BQ. You can get support, gain insight and experience from NUF Employability team and Nissan.

The course includes:

  • Guaranteed job interview for a manufacturing staff role
  • one week pre-employment training with NUF with accredited qualification.
  • Bootcamp with Nissan to gain industry insight and prepare for job interview

If you or someone you know is interested please email daniel.hancock@nufc.co.uk or carl.robson@nufc.co.uk

Read more on InformationNOW about Apprenticeships, adult learning, skills and training

Community Health Bus survey

NGPS (Newcastle GP Services) are an organisation who work with GP surgeries and other healthcare providers across Newcastle. They will soon be running a Community Health Bus in your local area! This bus aims to make healthcare and health information more accessible.

They want to know:

  • what services you think the bus should offer
  • where you think it should visit
  • when you think it should operate.
  • how they can make it easier for you to use the bus.

You can share your views through this short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NGPSBus

Read more on InformationNOW about How to use your GP surgery well

YHN proposal consultation

Newcastle City Council have been reviewing the way they deliver housing services in the city. One of the main changes  proposed is to bring Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) services back into the council alongside other council ran housing services.

A consultation is due to start this week and if you live in the city we want to hear your views.  If you are a council tenant or leaseholder you will receive an individual link which you should use to respond to the consultation.

If you live in the city but aren’t a council tenant or leaseholder and want to take part in the consultation visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/housing-review from today to find out how you can have your say.

Following the consultation, which runs until 5pm on Sunday 15 October, the cabinet will decide whether or not to go ahead with the proposed changes.

More information on the proposals and the current consultation will be available at www.newcastle.gov.uk/housing-review from Monday 4 September.

Read more on InformationNOW about Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) 

Drug and Alcohol Carer service

Newcastle City Council is hosting two engagement events to discuss Specialist Drug and Alcohol Carer services. This service will work to provide practical and emotional support to family members and carers impacted by someone else’s drug or alcohol use, promoting whole family recovery. The service will be available to people of all ages, including children, young adults and adults

If you use or have had experience with current service provision, come share your thoughts and views. What has worked well? Can you identify any gaps in the support provided? How can the service be improved? Share your views and experiences at an engagement session.

Two sessions are being held on the following dates

Friday, 8 September, 10am to 12pm at Brunswick Methodist Church (Brunswick Place, Newcastle, NE1 7BJ)

Monday, 11 September, 5 to 7pm at George St Social (George St, Newcastle, NE4 7JN)

Please email Michael.cave@newcastle.gov.uk for any questions or to confirm you would like to attend.

Read more on InformationNOW about Services for carers effected by drug, alcohol and substance abuse

Best Summer Ever Survey

Newcastle’s Best Summer Ever program offers a great choice of things to do to keep children and young people active, having fun, being entertained and learning new things.

If your child has participated in any of the activities on offer this summer, please take the time to complete their feedback form using the links below so that they can develop the programme and improve our offering to participants.

Parent feedback: Newcastle’s Best Holiday Ever- Leaders, Parents, Guardians Feedback (office.com)

Participant feedback: Newcastle’s Best Holiday Ever- Participant Feedback (office.com)

Read more on InformationNOW about Childrens and Families Newcastle Support Directory 

Improving Muslim women’s cancer screening uptake (IMCAN study)

A group of researchers from the University of Sunderland and the University of Glasgow, supported by Cancer Research UK, are looking to recruit a group of Muslim women to support their research. The women will form an advisory group that will help the researchers with their work to improve the uptake of breast, bowel and cervical cancer screening among Muslim women in the North East and Scotland. The advisory group will meet up to six times a year until December 2025. The meetings will be done online

For more information see leaflet or contact Fozia Haider, Research Assistant at the University of Sunderland at Fozia.Haider@sunderland.ac.uk

Read more on InformationNOW about Cancer 

Physical and non-motor Parkinson’s symptoms survey

A PhD study wants to know about how common Parkinson’s physical symptoms and non motor symptoms (such as low mood, feeling anxious, seeing things that are not there, memory and concentration problems) are linked. Although we know that they are common and can have a significant impact on quality of life and day to day activities, we do not understand the relationship between these different types of symptoms.

To help increase our understanding of these symptoms, Philip has designed a survey to gather the opinions of people with Parkinson’s, and the family, friends or carers of people with Parkinson’s. There is also a second survey for physiotherapists to understand their thoughts and opinions.

To take part in the study, you will be aged over 18, have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, be a family, friends or carers of someone with with Parkinson’s, or are a physiotherapist (any specialism).

Survey for people affected by Parkinson’s can be found here 
Survey for physiotherapists can be found here

The surveys will be online until 15 June 2024

For more information, please contact: Philip Hodgson philip.hodgson@nhs.net or philip.hodgson@yorksj.ac.uk.

Read more on InformationNOW about Parkinson’s Disease 

Newcastle Sanctuary Scheme domestic abuse support

Newcastle Sanctuary Scheme helps people at risk of domestic abuse to remain safely in their own home. They can provide enhanced security measures on your property and specialist support.  YHN (Your Homes Newcastle) can support their tenants of all tenures and home owners. To use this scheme you need to be referred by a support service such as:

Read more on InformationNOW about Domestic abuse

Skills Hub – Supporting Employees Facing Redundancy 

With recent news of Wilko going into administration, Empire conemas going into administration earleir and Clintons cards closing stores, getting support with redundancy could be useful. Skills Hub Newcastle can offer support to Newcastle residents facing or worried about redundancy.

Support Available:

  • The National Careers Service can provide advice and guidance – Find out more
  • Flexible funding can be accessed to pay for retraining or essential steps into a new role, depending on the circumstances.
  • Basic information about redundancy and wider support available can be found on Information Now
  • Skills Hub partners can help people to improve their CV, rebuild their confidence, assess their options, explore the self-employment route and more. To make a referral, customers can drop in to see us on level 2 of Newcastle City Library, opening times 10am – 5pm. They can be contacted on: 0191 2774125 or skillshub@newcastle.gov.uk

When making referrals for people facing redundancy, please highlight their circumstances so that the Skills Hub can make the appropriate referral and track how their partners are responding to any redundancies.

Read more on InformationNOW about Looking for a job or work

St. John Ambulance Youth Programmes

The Young Responders programme is the latest initiative developed by St John Ambulance to provide young people aged 11 – 25 years with the first aid skills and knowledge they need to respond appropriately to health-related incidents. St John Ambulance is keen to reach more young people and help them to gain vital knowledge and skills

View the Young Responders Flyer to find out more

NHS Cadets is another programme created by St John Ambulance, in partnership with the NHS. It’s designed to provide young people with the opportunity to explore roles in healthcare and prepare for volunteering. It is a free programme consisting of 2-hour weekly sessions over 36 weeks. There are virtual and location based options, if there are no nearby locations then you can add your name to a waiting list when a programme is available nearby.
Cadets are supported throughout their journey by the NHS Cadets Team.

View the NHS Cadets Flyer to find out more

Please contact lucy.fisher@sja.org.uk for more details about these programmes.

Read more on InformationNOW about Volunteering

UK opinions and social trends survey

The latest Public opinions and social trends of Great Britain survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been published.

When asked about the important issues facing the UK today, the most commonly reported issues continue to be the cost of living (92%), the NHS (85%), the economy (78%), climate change and the environment (62%) and housing (55%).

The data from ONS surveys is also broken down into data trends on household finances, personal wellbeing and loneliness, shortage of goods, water usage and restrictions, GP practice access

Read more on InformationNOW about Emergency finance funds and Wellbeing and Mental Health

The state of integrated care systems 22/23

As integrated care systems (ICSs) in England mark their first anniversary, this NHS report looks at the progress that local systems have made, and opportunities for further development.

You can read the full report here: The state of integrated care systems 2022/23 | NHS Confederation

Read more on InformationNOW about North East North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB)

Transforming Services for Women’s Futures

Transforming Services for Women’s Futures: Final Report – Agenda Alliance and Changing Lives final report launched.

On Monday 10 July, Agenda Alliance and Changing Lives launched the final report for the Transforming Services for Women’s Futures project at the House of Commons.

The launch brought together decision-makers and women with lived experience to share the report’s key findings and consider how the Levelling Up agenda presents an opportunity to improve public services for women with multiple unmet needs.

The final report, ‘Dismantling Disadvantage’, was published last month, with recommendations for change centred on the following key areas:
•    Prevention and early intervention
•    Gender-, trauma-, and culturally responsive support
•    Services working together
•    Co-production and responding to power dynamics
•    Long-term and sustainable funding and commissioning

See the full report here

Help Through Crisis

Help Through Crisis works with anyone living in Newcastle who is experiencing crisis and hardship. The service is national lottery funded and delivered in partnership with North East Law Centre, Connected Voice Advocacy and Changing Lives.
They provide:
•              Emotional and practical wrap-around support to address everyday issues, such as housing, food, and other essentials, delivered by Changing Lives
•              Advocacy to help people have their voices heard and access services, delivered by Connected Voice Advocacy
•              Specialist welfare rights advice, delivered by the Northeast Law Centre

Amy McLackland is the new Family Link Worker for the Help Through Crisis project based at Ridley Villas. They can be contacted via email on amy.mclackland@changing-lives.org.uk or 0191 232 9181.

Read more on InformationNOW about Cost of living help and support 

On Our Radar – participatory co-production media toolkit

On Our Radar works with people to tell their stories in their own words. This new toolkit is aimed at media and content producers, journalists, documentary makers and media/comms roles within VCSE who want to use participatory practices in their work.
The toolkit suggests co-production tools for every part of the production process, from story-gathering through to the final edit

You can view the co-production media toolkit at On Our Radars website here 

An Older LGBTQ+ groups inclusion toolkit

Making LGBT+ older people feel comfortable in your groups: a toolkit for people organising social groups and activities for all older people has been developed by Leeds Older peoples forum.
The report and toolkit is to ensure LGBT+ older people can feel confident about joining local groups by changing the way those groups include people. This holds especially true as people age further and lose the ability or desire to travel distances to meetings and activities.

You can view the toolkit on their website here: 

Read more on InformationNOW about LGBTQ+ Older people support and groups in Newcastle

Visit our Events & Activities section to see what’s happening near you this week on our calendar. Or search by location or postcode.

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open days are back this month. Every September thousands of volunteers across England organise events to celebrate our history and culture. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore.
Some highlights of the open days include:

Farrell Centre Open Day on Friday 8 September
Ballast Hill Walk Open Day on Tuesday 12 September
Betty Surtees House Open day on Saturday 16 September
Heritage Open Days: Dickensian Newcastle on Saturday 16 September

View more Heritage Open Day events in Newcastle on InformationNOW

Meet & Mend

Monday 11 Sep 2023

A group that meets at the Newbridge project to mend and sew alongside others, sharing techniques to extend the lifespan of our clothes & other textiles. Meet others and listen to music, have a cuppa and a biscuit while you mend!

Read more on InformationNOW about Meet & Mend 

Age UK in Newcastle events

Age UK Gateshead (in Newcastle) have a number of groups and drop ins in Newcastle for people over 50 this September including:

Newcastle Reconnects (Stroke Rehab Service) is a free weekly service for people recovering from a stroke.

Info and Advice drop-in Elswick The next groups are on 7, 11 and 14 September

Info and Advice drop-in Byker The next groups are on 11, 18 and 25 September

LGBTQ+ 50+ support group a friendly environment where aged 50+ members of the LGBTQ+ community can come together and have a chat. Next group is 7 September.

Read more on InformationNOW about Finding friends 

Creative Knitting group

BalletLorent a North East based touring dance theatre company,  are looking for keen knitters aged 65+ living in the West End of Newcastle to join their free friendly group.

The group are currently busy working on wool creations for the production of The Velveteen Rabbit, which will premiere later this year (with tickets available now)

The group meets most Friday mornings at the John Marley Centre, Scotswood.

Read more on InformationNOW about the Creative Knitting Group

New groups at Newcastle Libraries

There are a range of new reading and craft groups across Newcastle Libraries for September:

City Crochet Club at the City Library Mondays 10:30am to 12pm 

A friendly crochet club where you can practice and chat.
City VIP Reading Group at the City Library, first Monday of the month, 1 to 2:30pm

A VIP Reading group at Newcastle City Library.

High Heaton Canny Crafters at High Heaton Library, Tuesdays, 11am to 12pm

A session where you can enjoy some arts and crafts and have a chat.

Gosforth Tuesday Reading Group at Gosforth Library, first Tuesday of the month, 4:45 to 5:45pm

A monthly reading group at Gosforth Library.
City Graphic Novels Reading Group at the City Library, Tuesdays fortnightly, 6 to 6:30pm

A graphic novel reading group at Newcastle City Library.
Gosforth English Learners Reading Group at Gosforth Library, Tuesdays fortnightly, 10 to 11am 

A bi-monthly reading group for people who are learning English as a foreign language.

City “Chapters and Chatters” YA Reading Group at the City Library, 3rd Tuesday of the month, 5:30 to 6:30pm

A Monthly reading group for young adult books at Newcastle City Library

If you would like additional information about any of the groups please call 0191 287 8787 or email readinggroups@newcastle.gov.uk

Read more on InformationNOW about the Newcastle Libraries 

Bill Quay Community Farm

New organisation on InformationNOW

Bill Quay Community Farm is a 27 acre farm overlooking the river Tyne. They have a range of animals including: goats, pigs, alpacas, chickens, ducks, lambs and more. It’s free to visit farm. They run:

  • family activities
  • a day service for adults with learning disabilities, autistic people and adults with special educational needs (SEND)
  • placements for adults with learning disabilities
  • alternative education sessions for home schooled children or children not in mainstream education. Children can work towards qualifications in maths, English, animal care and facilities management

Day services and placements are where individuals and groups are supported to spend time on the farm. You can help to look after the animals and with the daily running of the farm. Staff and volunteers can help you to learn life skills and to arrange your travel, if needed.

There is a cost for day and educational services. The farm is ran by a team of staff and volunteers.

Read more on Learning disability local support services – Information Now


New organisation on InformationNOW

Bernicia is a social housing provider that provides homes to rent at an affordable rate to people in the North East. Visit their website to find homes available at the moment. They run a supported living scheme in Newcastle called Bowmont House. This is a extra care housing to help you live independently in a flat with personalised support. There is a care staff on site to provide additional support.

They provide help and support to their tenants. You can get help with:

  • home repairs and maintenance
  • money, debt and benefits advice
  • personal and home safety
  • finding work or training
  • paying your rent in a way that suits you

Read more on Buying or renting a house

Newcastle Council Private Rented Service

Updated organisation on InformationNOW

Newcastle Private Rented Service is part of Newcastle City Council. They offer offer free help and advice to people who rent or would like to rent a home in Newcastle. They also give advice and support to private landlords.

Their free tenants support service can help you:

  • check your tenancy agreement
  • get references
  • look after your home
  • pay your rent if you are struggling
  • debt and budget advice
  • rent deposit scheme
  • eviction advice
  • dispute resolution
  • find a home that meets Newcastle Housing accreditation standards
  • online tenants toolkit with information and advice

Help for private landlords includes:

  • online and face to face training
  • free advice and support to help you manage your property
  • advertising properties
  • tenant referencing
  • Tenant Finder Service
  • empty Homes grants to help bring properties up to the Newcastle Accreditation Scheme standards
  • Landlords information and advice toolkit

Read more on Getting advice about your landlord or housing issues


New organisation on InformationNOW

Gympossible is a disability friendly gym space, purpose built for wheelchair users with physical disabilities, aged 16 years or older in the North of Tyne area. Family, carers, support workers or others who may support someone to access the gym are also welcome.

Read more on InformationNOW about GymPossible 

Your rights as an LGBTQ+ person

New article on InformationNOW

Identifying as a LGBTQ+ person can sometimes lead to harassment, bullying, hate crime or discrimination. This article looks at key legislation to protect your rights, places this may affect such as health services, workplaces and schools as well as local support available

Read more on InformationNOW about Support for your rights as a LGBTQ+ person

Having problems with home maintenance

Updated organisation on InformationNOW

If you own or rent your home and you’re having problems with repairs, damp, staying warm, electrics, rats, noisy neighbours or more, help is available.

Read more on InformationNOW about Having problems with home maintenance? – Information Now

Last updated: September 4, 2023