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InfoNOW News 22 October 2019


• Online resources to help you
• Thomas Cook ATOL refunds open
• Flu vaccinations
• Slow shopping venues
• Half price bus tickets for jobseekers
• NHS 111 – Help Us Help You

Research & Reports

• Retirement Living Standards

Opportunities for Action

• Do you want to shape how public money is spent
• Exploding the myths conference
• Older and wiser – join a national consumer panel
• Clean Air Consultation – Round 2 Have your Say


• Listening Ear Free Membership Offer
• Ward committee grant applications
• – stay connected across the world

New on InformationNOW this week


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

Thomas Cook ATOL Refunds now open

Thomas Cook stopped trading and entered compulsory liquidation last month, resulting in 100,000s losing holidays and redundancy for 1,000s of members of staff. If you had a future booking which was protected by ATOL, you can now apply for a refund via a new website

Read more from Moneysavingexpert

Flu vaccinations: supporting people with learning disabilities 

Flu is an infectious virus and there are groups of people, including those with long term conditions and respiratory conditions that will benefit from the flu vaccination.

Last year, the take up of flu vaccinations in Newcastle was below 50% amongst people with a learning disability despite guidance that they are a priority group from NHS England.

Several studies, including numbers emerging from the current Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme, have shown that respiratory problems are a major cause of death of people with learning disabilities.

Tips and guidelines for surgeries include:

  • GP surgeries should give a clear message that people with learning disabilities, their family carers and paid supporters are entitled to a free flu vaccination.
  • people on the learning disability register should have it recorded in their notes that they “need a flu immunisation” – there is a specific Read code for this.
  • talk to people at their annual health check about why it is important that they have a flu vaccination.
  • put reasonable adjustments in place to help people with learning disabilities have flu injections.

Read more on Public Health England’s website

If you have a family member who has a learning disability, run a service for people with a learning disability or know someone, then please let them know that the flu vaccination is available, free and will prevent them from becoming ill.

Slow Shopping new venues added

Slow Shopping is for anyone with visible, invisible or intellectual disabilities who may find shopping stressful or challenging.

Slow Shopping provides a time each week when stores or supermarkets offer an enhanced service to customers who may need a bit more time or support to do their shopping. There are chairs if you need them, as well as a quieter and calmer shopping experience.

John Lewis are gently introducing Slow Shopping into their branch in Newcastle. In ‘The Place to Eat’ they will lay the tables in part of the restaurant and use table runners to mark out the tables. There are also chairs in various departments to use if you need a break during your visit. They are starting by offering it once a month until all the Partners are trained. The times are as follows;

  • Tuesday 5th November 9-11 am and Sat 9th November 9-10 am then same times, first Tuesday and Saturday of the month after that.

The Newcastle Building Society are also offering Slow Shopping at all their branches starting the week of 04/11/19, it is best to enquire at each branch the exact times as they are responding to the needs of the local community.  Gosforth times are here.

Read more about Dementia Friendly Newcastle

Half price bus tickets for jobseekers

Stagecoach is proud to offer jobseeker discounts to help you get back on board and back into work. If you’re a jobseeker who has a Jobcentre Plus travel card, you can get half price single and return tickets.
InformationNOW has an article on looking for work.

NHS 111 – Help Us Help You

People can use NHS 111 to find out what to do and where to go when you have an urgent but non-life-threatening medical concern. Please call 111 or visit online to get the best information on what you should do when you are unwell

Research & Reports

Retirement Living Standards

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has published Retirement Living Standards to help paint a picture of what kind of lifestyle we could have in retirement.  Research showed that 77% of savers don’t know how much they’ll need in retirement and only 16% of savers can give a figure.  The key headings include: house; food & drink; transport; holidays & leisure; clothing & personal; helping others.

InformationNOW has a section on work and retirement.


Opportunities for action

Do you want to shape how public money is spent?

Every six months the Council publishes its commissioning intentions. This list of upcoming commissioning activity shows when engagement and consultation is planned and allows providers and residents to get involved in the early stages of designing services, goods and works for Newcastle.

Under the social value commitment, the Council seeks the views and experiences of residents.  Social value is value that builds up in our local communities.  It is what residents say is valuable to them, for example: a stable job, a good place to live, and equal access to a range of quality services in the local area.

Find the current commissioning intentions online.  Get in touch with the Council lead who is identified on the document, if you want to get involved.

Exploding the Myths Conference, 13 November

Volunteering Matters is holding a full day event to promote inclusive volunteering in the mid to late life and dementia sector. Through guest speakers, round table discussions and workshops, you will explore some of the obstacles that may prevent potential volunteers from getting involved and develop actions to address these issues.  The event is free to attend and includes refreshments and lunch.

Read about volunteering here.

Older and wiser – join a national consumer panel

Use your knowledge and experience as an older person to improve things on the ground. RiDC was the first UK charity to develop a consumer panel specifically for older and disabled people. The charity, run by disabled people, is really keen for more older people and carers to join.

The RiDC panel consists of people who help RiDC research, review, mystery shop services and carry out product usability testing. When you join the panel, you will

  • make your views count
  • know that you’re making a difference
  • get entered into prize draws by taking surveys
  • get offered mystery shopping to suit you and in your area
  • often get a payment to do practical research or attend focus groups

You don’t have to sign up online.  Give RiDC a ring using the telephone on 0207 427 2460 or email.

Clean Air Consultation – Round 2  Have your say, closing date 25 November

Consultation on final proposals for tackling poor air quality in our area is now under way.  Together with Gateshead and North Tyneside councils , Newcastle City Council are seeking people’s views on the final plans before they submit them to government.  The proposals take into account public feedback from the initial consultation earlier this year, as well as, updated predictions on pollution levels.  Plans include a city centre Clean Air Zone, affecting non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, HGVs and vans, as well as some traffic restrictions on the Tyne Bridge and Central Motorway. At this stage they are not intending to charge private cars.  They are also setting out proposals for supporting those affected by charging and investment to improve public transport, walking and cycling routes.  The consultation is open to all residents, businesses, workers, students and commuters from across the region.

Read more about the proposals and take part in the consultation.

You can fill in the questionnaire online or, if you are responding on behalf of a group or organisation, you can also email your comments.  You can have your say until midday on Monday 25 November 2019.


Listening Ear Free membership offer

This is a national charity providing an audiobook library service for anyone who finds that an illness, disability, specific learning difficulty or mental health condition impacts on the ability to read or hold a book.   They currently have free memberships available for people living in
Newcastle who would find it difficult to cover the membership fees for any genuine reason (usually between £20 and £45 per year). They have over 8,000 fiction and non-fiction audiobooks in their library for adults and children, many from best-selling authors. Members can borrow titles in three easily accessible ways:

  • sent directly through the post on MP3 CD with no postage costs or late fees
  • downloaded to an app available for smartphones or tablets
  • streamed online through a desktop or laptop computer

Apply for a free membership

Read the InformationNOW article on sight loss and visual impairments.

Ward Committee grant applications, closing date 1st December

Ward Committees are currently accepting grant applications for ideas/projects linked to their ward priorities.
For 2019-2020 the priorities are:

  • employment – creating more and better jobs
  • education and Skills – the best learning opportunities for all
  • environment – a clean, green, safe Newcastle
  • health and Social Care – a healthy, caring City
  • housing – building more, and better, homes

Each ward may have adopted different wording for their priorities. The

Please check the neighbourhoods page to check the ward boundary changes.For more information and to apply for a grant visit their website.  this page shows the monies available, phone: 0191 2777523  or email


Radio.Garden offers you the chance to hear local radio stations across the world.  Rotate the globe and select a radio station. It’s fun and there is something for everyone.  Stay connected.

Information NOW events and activities

  • Energy advice at the City Library – drop in service
  • C U Wednesday – support group for people with macular disease
  • Project ICE – computer, table and smartphone support
    Watercolours for older people – beginner and improvers welcome at Spital Tongues
  • Men’s Pie club in Benwell
    King’s Hall lunchtime concert – free music on Thursdays
    Pickleball – at Tyneside Badminton Club – a cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis
    Autumn Fair, St Hilda’s Church, Jesmond

Free Cream Tea world record attempt, 23rd October, Noon till 3pm, Sage Gateshead

Enjoy a free cream tea and help  break a world record!

Join the world record attempt at Sage Gateshead.  Register to join in: Eventbrite

  • Bring together 1,500 people from across the UK to sit down together to break a Guinness world record for the largest ever cream tea party.
  • Celebrate The National Lottery’s 25th birthday, and 25 amazing years of bringing people together to help communities thrive.
  • It’s going to be great fun, but also a brilliant opportunity to meet people from different groups and communities both from the North East and across the UK to share experiences, support and ideas.
  • Because it is an attemp to beat a world record, there are some requirement

Full details of transport options and car parking facilities at Sage Gateshead can be found here.

What’s new on InformationNOW this week

Articles Updated
Swimming pools in Newcastle
Support for asylum seekers and refugees
Bank accounts

Organisations Updated
Elswick Community Leisure Centre
Shout – crisis text service
NHS Business Services Authority

Last updated: October 28, 2019

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