Information Now

InfoNOW news 15 May 2020 corona 8


Action for happiness
Covid 19 Updates


Dementia Action Week
Living with a long term condition during Covid 19  – who can help?
The importance of sleep and managing sleep problems
Deep clean your home


Get involved – surveys, radio, mindfulness and knitting
Digital Story Chain



We have updated our food banks page to include the voluntary sector shopping and essential support services.

Jesmond library is re-opening for a short, trial period from 14th May.  3- 4pm on Thursdays, Saturdays and Tuesdays. Social distancing and quarantine of books will be observed.
Mental Health Concern is helping with shopping and telephone befriending
Edge North East are helping with shopping
Throckley Community Hall food packs and telephone befriending

Updated articles
Give up Smoking

Radio Tyneside has launched Primetimers – information, advice and exercise related to lockdown. Richard Finch also interviews Kate at InformationNOW (now a podcast) about coping with grief, deaf awareness during the lockdown and gardening as therapy.  Other items on MixCloud include Julie, Age UK talking about how they are helping during lockdown and the Elders Council Older People Radio Show.

Action for happiness

Action for Happiness is a movement by Inspiration North and they are hosting a happy cafe every two weeks during the lockdown. Their next one is on Saturday 16 May and 10.30 am and it is aimed at people who want to spread the word about being happy and  encouraging a kinder world.  Since its launch in 2011, millions of people have engaged with the idea and learning science-based skills for enhancing mental wellbeing.  Interested?, Register.  It’s free to join.

Covid 19 updates

Allotment holders can tend to their sites as much as they want, subject to any specific guidance from individual Allotment Associations. Social distancing guidelines should be observed by keeping two metres apart from people outside your household.

Car Parking
Payments will be re-introduced from Monday 18 May in Newcastle though there are still reserved spaces for NHS workers, social care workers and NHS volunteers at:

  • Claremont Road – 183 spaces
  • Morden Street – 84 spaces
  • Leazes Park Road – 50 spaces
Care homes
An  online portal that makes it easy for care homes to arrange deliveries of coronavirus test kits has been launched.
Department of media, culture media and sport survey 
DCMS invites you to take part in a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors as a business or voluntary sector organisation.

Food and shopping
InformationNOW has updated the food banks and emergency food article with organisations that will provide food parcels and undertake shopping and prescriptions for those who are vulnerable.

Take advantage of this offer.  Good Housekeeping is £3 for three issues.

You should only make essential journeys by public transport if you have no choice and do not have access to a bike or car or are unable to walk. If you do need to use their system Nexus want to make sure you can do so with confidence.  Passengers should continue to keep two metres from other people as much as possible, with face covering – such as a scarf or mask – providing an extra layer of protection when it is not always possible to do this.

Pension fraud
According to Action Fraud, there was a 400 per cent increase in coronavirus-related fraud reports from February to March as opportunistic scammers attempt to exploit savers experiencing serious financial strain and looking to access their savings.

Aviva has launched an online Fraud Hub scam reporting service in response to the influx of fraudulent activity by those exploiting the coronavirus crisis and people’s vulnerability at this time.

The tool, launched on Tuesday, will allow people to report suspected fraud in order to receive personal guidance on what action they should take.

Look at our scams and fraud article for updates from the police.

Uber and private licensed vehicles will be fitting temporary safety partitions/screens for hygiene reasons.

YHN Community Spirit Fund is offering grants of up to £250 to community groups to help them respond to COVID 19 in a way which helps their local community. You can find more details here. 


Dementia Action Week

This week would have been Dementia Action Week. And while it’s been postponed until later in the year, it’s more important than ever that there are organisations around to support people affected dementia.

Right now there are 700,000 people with dementia whose lives have been turned upside down by coronavirus. More than two thirds of people affected are feeling lonelier and more isolated.  Read Dementia Friends Teresa’s story

Alzheimer’s Newcastle and are still taking calls and offering support. Why don’t you sign up to raise monies at free Cupcake Day fundraising kit .

Equal Arts  has a creative pack for home.  Each monthly pack (£8 includng P&P) contains four arts activities created by the professional artists who usually deliver their arts workshops with older people and those living with dementia.

As with so many events, the Age of Creativity Festival has been postponed until October.  They have, however, published lots of creative ideas for you, your loved ones, to do virtually and to use in care homes.

Read our article about dementia and contact the organisations listed for help and support by phone or online chat.

Living with a long term condition

For those of us with a long term condition – anything from diabetes to arthritis or multiple sclerosis, stroke or Parkinson’s – these are challenging times.  Throughout May 2020 the team behind MyLife tool, are running live online group sessions to help people with long term conditions cope with the stress and anxiety caused by Covid 19.  People with long-term conditions, family members, friends and carers are all are welcome to join the sessions.

During the sessions, people will be supported to reflect upon their self-management and wellbeing by taking part in some simple creative activities.

Other ways of  learning about how coronavirus may affect you, coping and keeping in touch are available from all your national charities online. Some are noted below:

Escape pain – films with exercise related to arthritic pain

Cancer Research UK – are helping by using their labs for testing relating to the coronavirus. However, they are still advocating that you check for cancer, seek advice if you had an abnormal screening result from your doctor or hospital if you have a delayed follow up. May updates are here.

Diabetes UK has online resources and information about medication and how it works with coronavirus symptoms.  They also have a learning zone. Regional officers are still available by phone.

MS Society has online resources, such as managing anxiety and a survey into the effects of coronavirus so they can advise the Government.

MND Association has ask the expert films and a campaign to get people with MND on the extremely vulnerable risk group.

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society has an FAQ section and information about the importance of exercise.

Stroke Association – has a chat line and online information on health, loneliness and recent discharge from hospital.

Read the InformationNOW articles on self care and disability which covers rehabilitation, reablement, roles of different NHS professionals and the importance of keeping fit.

The importance of sleep and managing sleep problems

Sleep is an essential process that our bodies and minds need in order to function. Strong associations have been found between poor sleep and poor physical and mental health. In a society with 24/7 demands, it is becoming harder and harder to get a good quality and quantity of sleep.

Sleep maintains normal levels of cognitive skills such as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking. In other words, sleep plays a significant role in brain development.  Working with Alastair Paterson, a specialist clinical pharmacist at CNTW NHS Foundation Trust, we have written an article on sleep that gives information about the importance of sleep, cycles of sleep and what to do if you have trouble sleeping.  Organisations that can help are listed on the article and below:

Sleep matters helpline
The Sleep council

Deep clean your home

Since the coronavirus pandemic, we have become increasingly concerned with hygiene.  The absolute rule is to wash your hands thoroughly, particularly before eating and drinking, bearing in mind singing Happy Birthday to yourself twice.  An additional precaution is alcohol based hand sanitizer. But what about our homes?

Clean, then disinfect
Tackle surfaces such as kitchen counters, table tops and bathroom surfaces to remove residues of food and scum.  Clean with white vinegar and then wipe down with a clean cloth or use detergent.  To fully disinfect, use a disinfectant that is 70% alcohol based or use bleach.  Wear gloves and protect your hands.

Leave your shoes by the door
Shoes carry dirt and potentially germs.  Keep your shoes by the door and then they won’t carry either around the house.

Clean floors and high to reach surfaces 
Sweep or clean to loosen dirt and then follow a similar regimen as above but use a floor mop or steamer.

Shared devices
The whole family is using mobiles, tablets, sharing remote controls, laptops and keyboards.  Use a microfibre or cotton cloth to wipe and then gently spritz with disinfectant or an anti bacterial wipe. Don’t soak screens or keyboards.

Steam is an ally which helps to kill germs and dirt.  Use on sealed and waterfproofed surfaces. With the right attachments they can clean ovens and hobs.

Cleaning cloths
Don’t use one cloth for all the surfaces in multiple rooms. One cloth per item or at least per room is best. When you have finished, clean at the highest temperature recommended on your washing machine.  Usually 60 degrees.

Make your disinfectant work harder by leaving it on a surface for 1 – 3 minutes to make it most effective.


Get Involved

VOICE survey Uncertainty in relation to the Coronavirus – take part by 1st June.

Ageing 2.0 are asking How do we help older adults stay home, healthy and hopeful as we begin to look towards the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic?  Visit Ageing 2.0 to view existing ideas and useful resources. They have a webinar next week on personalised health during the coronavirus, Register here.

Connected Voice has been nominated for the community organisation multi strand category of the National Diversity Awards. Please support the nomination by 8 June 2020.

Elders Council Older Voices Radio the next broadcast is on Friday 15th May at 2 pm.  You can find this on your radio by tuning in to 102.5 fm or on the Nova Radio North East website here.  For the first time this will be live streamed on the Older Voices Facebook page

Try a Mindfulness session through ReCoCo or use their other resources.

St Oswald’s Hospice has a knitted rainbow yarn-bombing project on the go.
If you have any coloured wool to donate or would like to help by knitting strips, please contact Diane Carter

Digital Story Chain

Equal Arts is launching its Digital Story Chain, an online story shared and shaped by everyone’s different ideas.

Setting the scene for the digital story chain is Kate Mosse, author of the Burning Chamber and 2005 bestseller Labyrinth.

In the blue hour at the end of a day in spring, when the hawthorn was white in the hedgerows, two people stepped out of the abandoned cottage. Standing alone at the end of a narrow lane, banked high on both sides with cow parsley and brambles, it had been derelict for years. In the distance, the sound of a car on a tarmaced road, blackbirds quarrelling, a tractor in a furrowed field.

Read on and contribute –  what happens next?

Take part in the digital story chain. Here you will find the first paragraph of the story (above) and the last approved paragraph in the growing tale. All entries are subject to approval.

The charity aims to publish the collaborative piece of writing before the end of summer. For more details email or ring 0191 261 1619.

Last updated: July 16, 2020

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