Information Now

InfoNOW News 21 November 2019


InformationNOW films
Online resources to help you
NEAS launches accessible fleet of ambulances
Carers Rights day
World Aids Day

Research and Reports

UK -Let’s make it the best country to grow old in

Opportunities for Action

Have your say about special education needs and disabilities provision in Newcastle, closes 28 November
Autism Friendly Newcastle Art Exhibition – book your space now
Keeping warm this Winter
Accessibility guide for curators

New on InformationNOW this week

This week’s events & activities at a glance
Opportunities to volunteer with VOICE
Get involved in Chinese community activities

Updated articles and organisations
Looking after someone
Food banks in Newcastle
Libraries, reading and audio books
Newcastle Chinese Healthy Living Centre
Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland


InformationNOW films

We’d like to say thanks to members of the voluntary sector and public who have been championing InformationNOW over the last few weeks.  Look out for our films on the Facebook page.  Thanks to Newcastle Carers, Citizen’s Advice Newcastle and TWAM.  Special thanks to the South Mountain Chinese Association and Newcastle Chinese Healthy Living Centre who explain about how Recite Me enables translation of the website to other languages, including traditional Chinese.

Online resources to help you

The InformationNOW team are responsible for Your Equipment Newcastle and a ChatBOT that works 24/7 directing you to helpful information and services related to equipment, aids and adaptations.  We would love you to use the website and ChatBOT and let us know if they are working well for you.  Email us.

Your Equipment Newcastle
Services and Equipment ChatBOT

NEAS launches accessible fleet of ambulances

44 ambulances and 43 Patient Transport Service vehicles have been adapted to make them more accessible to disabled people, including people with sight and hearing impairments and people living with dementia.  NEAS is the first ambulance service in the country to completely re-design some of their vehicles to meet the needs of all of these patients.

Among the changes are a new look interior, an improved colour scheme, better signs and handrails.  The colour contrast between the walls, floor and cabinets has also been changed to improve access for patients.

The vehicles have been approved by the Alzheimer’s Society as dementia friendly vehicles and the outside of the vehicles will display a sign indicating the new vehicles are dementia friendly spaces.

Carers Rights Day, 21 November 2019

Carers Rights Day is an annual awareness event run by Carers UK.  It aims to reach as many of the 6.5 million carers in the UK as possible with information about their rights and the financial and practical help they are entitled to, including: benefits, such as Carer’s Allowance, Attendance allowance, breaks and access to equipment and technology which can help them in their caring role. This year the charity is encouraging people to think about how caring might affect them now and in the future and what support they might need.

If you are looking for information and support in Newcastle, contact Newcastle Carers.

Information NOW has a series of articles to help carers.  These include: care and support, carers allowance and looking after someone.  You may find equipment to help you in the home on Your Equipment Newcastle.

World Aids Day, 1st December

World Aids day is on 1st December each year and the symbol of support and to raise awareness is a red ribbon.    This day offers an opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.  Over 101,600 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Leading up to World Aids Day, the North East is the first area to hold a  #letsnailHIVstigma campaign. EyesOpen are supported by Newcastle City Council, the NHS, Shine, MESMAC and Blue Sky Trust. The plan is to paint a nail red on Friday 29th November in schools and work places to encourage conversations about HIV – both how to protect yourself from the virus, and to remove the stigma attached to being diagnosed with it.  InformationNOW has an article on sexual health.


Research and Reports

UK – Let’s make it the best country to grow old

Ageing Better and Public Health England (PHE), along with over 60 organisations, will work together to make England the best country in the world to grow old.

High profile organisations in the UK’s health, housing, employment, research and voluntary sectors have today launched a landmark shared vision on healthy ageing
Organisations including:  Age UK England, Independent Age, Alzheimer’s Society are committed to five principles.

  • prioritising prevention and public health
  • creating opportunities for people to contribute to society as they age
  • fostering accessible and inclusive homes and neighbourhoods so everyone can live where they want
  • narrowing inequalities in healthy ageing
  • challenging ageist language, culture and practices

Organisations can get involved in this work by championing the 5 principles across their workplaces and networks, which we hope will inspire action for change. For queries relating to this document and to become a signatory please email.

Opportunities to get involved

Have your say about special education needs and disabilities provision in Newcastle, closes 28 November 2019

The Council want to hear what you have to say about our proposals for Special Education Needs and Disabilities provision in Newcastle for the next three years. Watch a short video clip introducing consultation:
They want to ensure that the Council:
  • can meet the demand for appropriate (secondary) places, including consideration of capital investment where appropriate
  • develop effective channels to deliver early intervention with specialist support, as part of the city’s agreed graduated response to support children and young people with special educational needs
  • develop expertise in schools, settings and support services which will enable all settings to meet the needs of children and young people with ASD (autistic spectrum disorder) and SEMH (social, emotional and mental health) needs, including consideration of capital investment where appropriate
  • address the gap in mental health support for young people aged 16+.

You can take part by:

Ann Banks, SEND Project Manager
Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Newcastle NE1 8QH

Autism Friendly Newcastle Art Exhibition Newcastle City Library, 2nd to 8th April 2020

If you are, or know, an artist with an Autism Spectrum diagnosis who wants to display up to three pieces of art, please contact Pam Lawrence by Friday 31st January 2020, mobile 07760420251 or email. Confirmation of acceptance will be given no later than Friday 7th February 2020.Autism Friendly Newcastle is a community group run by people who are on the autism spectrum. Spectrum Enterprises helps people with autism (16 years and over) to turn their ideas into micro businesses.InformationNOW has two articles:
Learning disability & Autism
Services for people with a learning disability or autismand events that may be of interest Love Life and Keep Safe Online

Keeping warm in Winter

Keeping warm is important as you are more likely to catch cold or flu in winter. The cold weather (below 8°C) can also cause other serious health problems such as heart attacks, stroke, hypothermia and pneumonia. It also increases the risk of accidents and falls.  The cold can affect those with mental health or long term physical conditions and people aged 65 years and over.

Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes, and aim to keep your home between 18°C and 21°C (or 64°F and 70°F )Information NOW  has a series of articles that may help you this Winter:
Keeping Warm in Winter
Cold Weather Payments
Help with heating problems and how to pay for them
Personal alarm systems and telecare

Accessibility guide for curators

Shape Arts has created a new accessiblity guide for curating an exhibition.  The guide is aimed at curators, programmers and exhibition organisers to give an overview of how to ensure that the exhibition you’re putting on is accessible and inclusive of disabled people.Almost 20% of the UK population identify as disabled and the resources are designed to provide arts organisations and professionals with the knowledge and tools required to help build a more diverse, equal and inclusive cultural sector for disabled people as artists, audiences and workers.

Events and Activities

Christmas activities

Take the opportunity to add your Christmas activities onto InformationNOW. Anything from opportunities to volunteer or donate to attending the Christmas markets and stalls in our communities and in the City centre. Tell us if you are holding a Christmas day event too for lonely and isolated people.

Lunch clubs

Look out for all the lunch clubs to keep connected and make new friends.
Our latest series are:  Fenham over 50s lunch club at FAR


We have added a ‘reading’ category to our events search list. The Lit & Phil events are starting soon and we have added a few reading groups based at the Libraries.  Find reading groups.


Relax and unwind with Shanti Bee sessions or dancing.


Look out for English for speakers of another language events

Opportunities to volunteer with VOICE

We are more and more interested in where our food comes from.  Why not get involved in research on Food Outlet Mapping.
VOICE is a community of patients, carers and members of the public contributing their lived experience to focus health, technology and transport research on real unmet needs and priorities.  VOICE also supports researchers to conduct meaningful, high quality, patient and public involvement.

Get involved in Chinese community activities

We have a number of activities and events for Chinese people over 50 years on our website. You can read the information in traditional Chinese by using Recite Me; click on the white tab with the eye, then select the flags icon to translate the website.

Find Yoga at the North East Chinese Association.

Articles Updated
Looking after someone
Food banks in Newcastle
Libraries, reading and audio books

Organisations Updated
Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland
Newcastle Chinese Healthy Living Centre

Last updated: December 5, 2019

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