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InfoNOW News 18 March 2022

InfoNOW News 18 March 2022


Support for Ukraine – how to make a donation

New article on InformationNOW

We published a new Support for Ukraine article on InformationNOW to signpost to local and national collections that support the Ukrainian refugees.

If your organisation has a collection and you would like to be added to this article. Please let us know.

If you choose to donate to local collection points, please check in advance what they need; and that the organisation has arrangements in place to transport the items to where they are needed.

Deadline to move HMRC payments from Post Office Card Accounts (POCA)

HM Revenues and Customs have reported that around 7,500 people nationally are still receiving tax credits, child benefit or guardians allowance paid into a POCA. The deadline for HMRC to stop payments into POCA’s has been extended from 30 November 2021 to 5 April 2022. After this date, HMRC will suspend payments for anyone who has not provided alternative details. Further information is available here. Please note that this does not apply to the DWP benefits which can continue to be paid into POCA’s until November 2022.

Read more on InformationNOW about Bank accounts and MoneyWise Credit Union

Energy Support Payments

The government is providing £150 for most households living in properties in council tax bands A to D to support with increasing energy bills.  Customers will not need to repay this support payment.

In Newcastle, those who pay their council tax by Direct Debit will receive their support payment directly into their bank account. This will be the quickest and easiest way to receive the payment.  Payments will be made after the first council tax direct debit payment of the year has been received.

If you live in Newcastle and don’t already pay by Direct Debit, you can set one up on using the Council Tax Direct Debit form  and your payment will be made direct into your bank account.

If you do not pay by Direct Debit, the Council will contact you to advise how you can claim, this will likely involve an application process and therefore will take longer to get the payment to you.

If you do not have a bank account, you will be able to ask the Council to make the payment on to your council tax account to reduce your balance.

Read more about Cost of living increase – managing on a low income and Council Tax Support

New jobcentres and Youth Hubs open

Towns and cities across Great Britain are now home to over 150 new temporary jobcentres and Youth Hubs which will support the Government’s new Way to Work campaign to get 500,000 people into work by the end of June.

Read more on Way to Work on

Read more on Support to prepare for work in Newcastle on InformationNOW

Get Involved

Newcastle Community Champions Network

Newcastle is an international city and appreciates all that people from across Europe and the wider world bring to the cultural, business and educational life of the city.

They recognise that people want to connect to where they now live; to ‘do their bit’ and add to the vibrancy of the city. But sometimes, people need support and information, say in another language, from a trusted peer or someone like them. With this in mind, the City Council established a Community Champions network. This network includes ordinary people from across the city who volunteer to keep people up to date. The network was established to help our response to the Covid pandemic and whilst it is still focusing on supporting the vaccine rollout in Newcastle, they are beginning to consider widening the focus to other areas of health and wellbeing. Training and support is provided. A weekly email bulletin goes out.

They already have volunteers bu they want to raise awareness of the network amongst people and communities that aren’t yet aware of it. Could you help promote it please ? More information on what’s involved and the commitment to Community Champions is available on the website. If you, or anyone you know, has a question, they can email: or

Read more about volunteering  on InformationNOW

Carers Wellbeing Fund

Do you know someone or are you working with an adult who cares for someone in Newcastle who cannot manage without their help because of illness, disability, frailty, mental health problems or alcohol or drug related problems?  Could they benefit from a small grant to help them in their caring role?

Carers and/or the people they care for do not have to have be engaged with the Council’s Social care services or have had a statutory carer’s assessment to apply to this fund, managed by Newcastle Carers. 

The Carers Wellbeing Fund may be able to provide a small grant to help them as a carer.
The fund is open to all adult carers and is intended to help maintain and improve a carer’s health and wellbeing and grants can be used in many ways, for example:

  • garden maintenance,
  • a holiday or weekend break in the UK
  • gym membership, exercise classes
  • driving lessons
  • buying items for an activity or hobby such as a bicycle or craft supplies
  • household items such as a washing machine, cooker, a fridge or a bed/mattress
  • electrical goods such as tablets, laptops or mobile phones

Read more on InformationNOW about Looking after someone and carers wellbeing fund

Still have questions? Contact Fiona Richardson, Carers Lead Officer on 07970 626 326 or email or contact Newcastle Carers.

Make a difference – Become a CNTW NHS Foundation Trust Governor

This is an exciting opportunity to represent the interests of CNTW NHS Foundation Trust members and partner organisations making sure that the views of the wider community are considered in developing their services.

They are holding elections to Council of Governors in the following constituencies:

  • Carer: Adult Services (1 seat)
  • Carer: Neuro-Disability Service (1 seat)
  • Public: Sunderland (1 seat)

If you would like more information on how to apply to become a Governor, please email:

Complete a nomination form to stand for election to these positions and can be obtained from the Returning Officer in the following ways:
Telephone: 0208 889 9203
Text: Text 2FT NW and your name and address to 8802
Post: Civica Election Services, The Election Centre, 33 Clarendon Road, London, N8 0NW

Deadline for completed nomination applications is 5pm, Tuesday 29 March 2022

Should any nominee wish to withdraw their nomination, they must put this in writing to the Returning Officer by 5pm, Friday 1st April 2022.

Voting will open on Wednesday 20 April 2022.  Voting will close at 5pm on Wednesday 11 May 2022.

Read more on InformationNOW about care and support  


Help shape Carer Support services, 30 March 2022

Newcastle City Council is working in partnership with NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group to review and recommission the provision of services for unpaid carers, of all ages who are providing care and support to someone living in Newcastle who couldn’t manage without that support because of disability, illness, frailty, mental health problems or alcohol or drug related problems.

They want to build on local, regional and national learning, experiences and research to better support and enable carers in their caring role by:

  • identifying and improving access to opportunities, services and support that enhance and improve a carers social, emotional and physical health and wellbeing
  • supporting and enabling carers to live safely and confidently in their caring roles

Either you or a representative from your service/organisation is welcome to our service provider event on Wednesday 30 March 2022 from 1pm until 2.30pm where they will share with you what they know and offer you the opportunity to share your views, thoughts and opinions from a provider or professional perspective about what should be included in the future offer to carers

Please book by emailing

Newcastle Fund consultation

Newcastle City Council is reviewing the Newcastle Fund and are seeking views and experiences as part of a wider review. Please respond by 30th March.

The Newcastle Fund is the Council’s discretionary grant fund for voluntary and community sector organisations in Newcastle. Since it was introduced in 2011, the Fund has supported hundreds of local organisations to deliver vital community activity through annual rounds of funding and a competitive application process. The average award given in Round 12 of the Fund was £21,203. You can find out more about awarded grants on the Council’s Newcastle Fund webpage.

They are seeking your views and experiences as part of a review of the Fund’s priorities and processes. They know that the regional funding landscape is changing for community organisations and that learning the pandemic  has given important lessons; they want the Fund to deliver the right support to the city’s most vulnerable people. The following questions ask for your views on how the Fund could be delivered to best support local organisations in their essential work.

The results of the consultation will be published on Let’s talk Newcastle Online. If you have any questions about this or you need this information in a different format, such as large print, please email :

Read more on InformationNOW about care and support 


Events and Training from Connected Voice

You can see the entire programme of free training, events and network meetings on the Connected Voice website

Upcoming events:

  • VCSE Networking Event: Food – Access, poverty, education and employment, Wednesday 30 March, 1pm to 3pm Book
  • VCSE Networking Event: Volunteering, Wednesday 25 May, 1pm to 3pm Book
  • Connected Voice Newcastle and Gateshead Funding Fair 2022, Wednesday 22 June, 1pm, Book
  • VCSE Networking Event: Digital Inclusion, NOTE date change: Wednesday 21 September, 1pm to 3pm
  • Advocacy and the Mental Capacity Act: Empowerment and protection, Thursday 31 March, 1pm Book
  • Cultural Competency: Working with ethnically minoritised communities – Wednesday 6 April, 10am Book

Find more training on InformationNOW

Neurodiverse Autism Awareness Training

Moving On Tyne & Wear (MOTW) is inviting staff members from any business across Tyne & Wear to attend their free Autism awareness training. Up to 2 staff members per organisation can attend which could include your business leaders, HR staff and/or Corporate Social Responsibility members.

Read more and book for 8th April

Spotlight on

Trans Day of Visibility

Thursday, 31st March 2022

You are invited to a Trans Lives North-East event, celebrating Trans Day of Visibility on Thursday, 31st March 2022.  This is a face-to-face event, offering the opportunity to come together, celebrate and socialise. There will be online options to join in if you are unable to attend in-person.  Refreshments will be available during the event and thy aim to offer a safe space for the community, family and allies.

The celebrations start at 3:30pm, at the Civic Centre Banqueting Suite in Newcastle-upon-Tyne with workshops led by local transgender/non-binary artists, offering the chance to get creative.
Artists Leo Mateus (he/they) and Melody Sproates (they/them) will lead the workshops, plus there will be an online art workshop with artist Lou Brown (they/them).

From 5.30pm, there will be a series of short talks from local support providers and the opportunity to ask questions. The event will be opened by Lorna Smith, Deputy Director of Public Health, Newcastle City Council.

There is no charge to attend, but you will need to book in advance through this link:

Use this Eventbrite link to register the free online art workshop with artist Lou Brown (they/them) on the 31st of March 2022, 5 to 6:30pm:

You can contact them confidentially on  or by phone: Mesmac Newcastle and Shine 0191 233 1333


Fall in living standards predicted

A new report from the Resolution Foundation predicts that household incomes across Britain will fall by 4% over the coming financial year. The report also suggests that the proportion of children living in absolute poverty will be higher in 2026 to 27 than it was at the start of the decade.

Read more on InformationNOW about money and debt 

Events and Activities


Last updated: March 18, 2022

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