Information Now

InfoNOW news 12 November 2021


Your Equipment Newcastle

Are you having problems carrying out day to day tasks?  Is it difficult to get to the toilet, move around your home or go into the garden?  Are you worried about slipping in the shower or managing the food on your plate?

The Council has launched Your Equipment Newcastle to help you find and buy useful products.  There are three steps to helpful information:

  1.  Choose a topic
  2.  Answer some questions
  3.  Get a personal report on products that might help you.

More information about equipment, adaptations and grants.

Get involved with healthcare

Newcastle Patient Public and Carer Engagement Forum

The next Newcastle Engagement Forum is 13th December 2021 10am until 12pm

Newcastle Gateshead CCG Involvement Team runs the Forum for Newcastle Patients, Members of the Public and Voluntary Sector Organisations. They meet every 3 months to:

  • hear more from the CCG and other organisations on their work
  • explore different themes and topics
  • give patients and members of the public a voice, to help shape the work of the CCG and raise issues that are important to you

They’re looking for new people to join the forum and would love to hear from you.

Pension and Disability benefit claimants to get a Christmas bonus

People who receive pension or disability benefits will receive a tax-free Christmas bonus of £10. The payment will be made before 25 December 2021, and paid directly to customers’ bank or building society based on eligibility. Letters will be sent out to confirm your payment. You do not need to claim.

InformationNOW has a section on on Disability and a section on Benefits

Update on Remembrance Day service, 14 November

Just to clarify that the Remembrance day ceremony we mentioned last week, including a parade, take place on Sunday 14 November and not on the 11th as indicated. More details available o the City Life page

World Diabetes Day: This is Diabetes

14th November: Everyone’s story is different.

Diabetes UK – Northern Whether you’re looking for advice, you’re having a bad day, or you just want to talk to people like you, you’ll find everything you need right here.

Sign up to special tailored emails from Diabetes UK, packed full of information and advice to help you live well with diabetes. Plus receive free Diabetes ebook with your first email, and find everyday tips and inspiration from the people who know best – other people with diabetes.

They’re celebrating with their ‘Friends in the North’ virtually this year. Contact the Diabetes UK – Northern team for more on how to get involved


Designing Devices for Care

Help to shape the design of devices to improve wellbeing of people receiving palliative care. The National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) is seeking volunteers to assess the usability of a new medical device by taking part in a number of short simulated activities and a workshop discussion. The device, called Releaze, is designed to drain fluid from the chest cavity of people who suffer from fluid on the lung due to late-stage cancers. One of the core aspects of the device, is to improve the well-being of people receiving palliative care by enabling them to be more independent and stay mobile during treatment compared to alternative devices. Please note that the testing is simulated and is non invasive.  Take part on 6 or 7th December

InformationNOW has articles on: dementiaAge Proud Newcastlepalliative care

NHS Advocacy Project

Are you a family carer of an adult with learning disabilities or autism, who is currently or has been an inpatient in a mental health, learning disability or autism specialist hospital?

As part of an NHSE funded project reviewing advocacy for autistic people and people with learning disabilities in hospital settings, the CBF are exploring family carers’ experiences both acting as an advocate for their relatives and also of advocacy that is provided to their relatives. They want to know:

  • family carers’ experiences of advocacy.
  • how family carers have supported their relative to be listened to and understood.
  • how they have, or could have been, supported in doing this.
  • family carers’ ideas about how advocacy for individuals in hospital can be improved.
  • what support and information would be helpful, both for family carers as advocates and their relatives.

Please complete the survey here to share your experiences of advocacy and how you think the advocacy system could be improved for inpatients.

InformationNOW has an article on advocacy, learning disabilityautism and local support services

CNTW 2030 – imagining our future, together

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Trust (CNTW) is the main mental health provider for our region and Newcastle.The CNTW2030 campaign is a conversation about how they want the experience of working with CNTW to be for service users and carers, for staff and for partner organisations. This is a chance to:

  • create a shared vision for the future
  • to co-produce a set of guiding principles and ambitions
  • consider how CNTW can better play its part in meeting the needs of local communities
Deputy Chief Executive, James Duncan invites you to watch this short video and then think about your answers to these four questions:
  • what matters to you?
  • what must we protect?
  • how would you like us to work together?
  • would make the biggest difference to you?

Share your answers in the survey on their web page:

Online events

Tuesday 16 November 3.30 to 5pm Newcastle

Tuesday 30 November 2.30 to 4 pm Gateshead 

InformationNOW has articles on: mental health and a number of wards and departments of CNTW listed.

North of Tyne volunteering Survey

The Volunteer Centre Newcastle want you to help them develop services to support volunteering across North of Tyne.  They recently conducted interviews with 35 organisations and they now want to get some wider input.   The survey will help inform the way services move forward and make sure you get the best possible assistance with your work. Complete the North of Tyne Volunteering Survey here.  The partnership across North of Tyne includes VodaConnected Voice and Northumberland CVA. Deadline 30 November.

InformationNOW has an article on volunteering.

Carers Trust survey

Carers Trust is a campaigning organisation and they are keen to improve funding for social care across the UK. Are you an adult providing unpaid care for a family member or friend?  Do you want to help shape future government support for unpaid carers?
Take part in an anonymous survey to help the Carers Trust campaign for the services and support that you need when you provide unpaid care.
This survey is for people over 18 years old and a young carers survey will be available in 2022.

Read our looking after someone article


Talk Money Week, 8 to 12 November

It’s Talk Money week this week and the Money and Pension Service (MAPS) are keen to get us all to talk about money and develop our key financial skills.  They want you to become:

  • more confident about managing your money;
  • know where to get good information and advice
  • know what financial support is available and how to get it
  • get the best deal on your gas, electricity and internet bills
  • find good debt advice.

They want you to talk to your children and family so that they learn money habits early.

Here is the link to  MoneyHelper’s Couch to Financial Fitness – Money Helper.  You can take their step by step guide to thinking about your money or take part in a live chat or ring 0800 138 7777.

Listen to Karleen from MAPS talking about Talk Money Week and how to manage conversation about money on our news page

Look out for our Tweets about the help that Citizens Advice Newcastle can give you.

Staying on top of bills and payments

It’s really important to look at your income and expenditure on a regular basis.  You can look through your monthly income and payments online by going through your regular payments through your bank account.

Use a Budget Planner to track your finances and identify simple changes you can make. Start by listing your needs – these are your rent or mortgage, and other essential bills such as gas and electricity.Dividing your money into separate pots for different expenses is a great way to make sure your bills are covered and your money goes exactly where you want it to. Find more information about Living on a budget

Is your household income feeling squeezed?  Check you’re getting all the benefits or grants you might be entitled to.This can include child benefit, tax credits, bereavement benefit and many more listed on InformationNOW.

There are a range of benefits that people can apply for to help in different circumstances.  Use an independent benefits calculator to find out:

  • what benefits you could get
  •  how to claim
  • how your benefits will be affected if you start work

These are free to use and anonymous. Benefits calculators (GOV.UK)

Help cut your gas and electricity bills

If your home is draughty and your household income’s low, there may be grants and support that you can access.

Comparing and switching supplier or energy tariff can make a big difference to your gas and electricity bills. Follow these steps and see what you can save.

Struggling to pay all your bills?
Are you getting all the support and benefits you’re entitled to?

Read this article and see the local organisations listed.

How to cut your costs

The first rule is to shop around and focus on your key expenditure each month. This will be your Council Tax, mortgage or rent, utility bills including broadband, home and perhaps car insurance and grocery shopping.

However, difficulties often arise with unexpected bills and payments or a change in income, such as the recent furlough scheme or changes in Universal Credit.  So, it is worth thinking about contingency planning and how you would pay for a washing machine that has to be replaced, or an unexpected repair.  It’s worth thinking about affordable credit and credit union schemes.

Citizens Advice say that before you borrow money, take out a loan or use credit cards:

  • spend time shopping around,
  • work out your budget
  • never borrow money on the spur of the moment.
  • be careful about borrowing more money to pay off existing debts.
  • avoid going overdrawn on your bank account without agreement.
  • don’t borrow from Loan Sharks – speak to a Credit Union instead.

Check out this Citizens Advice guide for more
Contact your local Citizens Advice

InformationNOW has an article on: Dealing with debt

Building up savings

Saving smaller, regular amounts lets you budget your spending from week to week or month to month more effectively.  Every bit makes a big difference.  Setting a savings goal is a great way to start. Find out where to start and what a suitable savings goal is for you.  Or check out Help to Save. It pays a 50% bonus on the amount saved, up to £1,200 over 4 years.

You can set a goal to help you through your unexpected needs, to pay for a holiday or to pay for decorating.  It’s really up to you what you want to save money for.  Beyond that, you can save for your future needs by creating savings and investments, saving into a pension fund or setting something up to help your children with university costs or a mortgage.

Credit unions are financial cooperatives that offer a safe and secure place for people to save and borrow. You can join credit unions to save regularly or apply for legal, affordable loans, when emergencies arise.  Contact our local Moneywise Credit Union.


Safeguarding Adults Week, 15 to 21 November

Safeguarding Adults Week takes place from 15 to  21 November, where people and organisations from across the country come together to raise awareness of important safeguarding adults issues.

Safeguarding adults means protecting adults with care and support needs from abuse and neglect. It also means doing as much as we can to prevent abuse occurring in the first place.  In Newcastle, the Safeguarding Adults Board brings together all the key agencies to ensure there is a co-ordinated and consistent response to abuse and neglect. The Board wants to ensure that Newcastle is an increasingly safer city for adults at risk of abuse and neglect. Covid-19 has increased some risks associated with abuse and neglect. This has included increased reports of domestic abuse and self-neglect, increased scams and the potential that abuse and neglect might be more hidden during lockdowns

There is no excuse for adult abuse.  Stopping adult abuse or neglect is everyone’s responsibility and anybody can raise a concern. You can report concerns to Adult Social Care or tell someone that you trust (such as a social worker, nurse, carer, police officer, doctor, housing officer) and they will pass these concerns on to Adult Social Care. If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.

Find more information about safeguarding adults in Newcastle

Self Care Week, 15 to  21 November, 2021

The Self Care Forum has produced more resources to help organisations empower people to take better care of their own physical health and mental wellbeing. This national awareness week focuses on embedding self care across communities, families, and generations. It is the one time of year when many organisations can own the same empowering message at the same time. Why not get involved and help your service users to practise self care for life?

InformationNOW has articles on: self care and disability10 tips to good health

Events & Activities

Search Newcastle are running weekly events including:

Quiz on Zoom
Tai Chi
Singing for the brain
Gentle seated exercise
50 plus exercise and much more more

Other Events this week include:
Tai Chi beginners classes
Serene Reflections Meditation meeting
Spanish conversation
Misogyny, Women’s Safety and the Police online event
Keeping communities safe during the Winter

Christmas Events
Hazelrigg Community Centre Christmas Fair
Medieval Babes at St Nicholas Cathedral

The Death Positive Library

The Death Positive Library collaboration between Redbridge, Kirklees and Newcastle Libraries, in partnership with a research team from Northumbria University is coming to an end. Since early 2020 we have held online author events, a death café and film screenings to promote the role of libraries as safe, compassionate spaces to support conversations around death, dying and bereavement. An interactive digital experience Tickets for the Afterlife is available to view online until 19 November at taking people on a journey, exploring a range of choices for what to do with your body, memories and legacies that span the past, present and future of death and dying.

The final event for the Tickets for the Afterlife project will take place online on 18 November at 6.30pm.

A panel of speakers, Dr Patrick Randolph-Quinney, Dr Khyati Tripathi and Dr Elaine Kasket will delve into our deep pasts by exploring deaths across time – how rituals from past, present and future of death and dying continue to shape us as human beings. Chaired by Dr Stacey Pitsillides and Dr Claire Nally from Northumbria University who have contributed greatly to the project.  Book your place 

Articles Updated
Having your say about health services
10 tips to good health
Organisations Updated
Lishi Newcastle
English Unlocked
Money and Pensions Service

Last updated: November 12, 2021

Recent newsletters