Information Now

InfoNOW news 24 September 2021


Age Proud Newcastle supported by InformationNOW

The 1st October is older people’s day and we are delighted that, working with partners, we have been able to support and coordinate so much activity on that day and for the rest of the month.  Age Proud Newcastle is part of a movement towards Newcastle becoming an age-friendly city.  An age friendly city is a place which is good to grow old in and a place where older people feel valued.  The month of October gives us the opportunity to celebrate the many and varied contributions of older people to the life of the city, starting with our event at the City Library on 1st October from 10.30 to 3.30 pm.  As you can see from the variety of events taking place, we have worked with many partners, including the Elders CouncilTyne and Wear Museums and Equal Arts to make this celebration happen.  Find all the events and booking details on InformationNOW.

We are delighted that the Lord Mayor has agreed to launch our celebrations at mid-day on Friday 1st October during a packed timetable of activities.  Most events should be pre-booked to keep everyone safe though you can sign up to the Curious Caravan on site.

  • Curious Monkey Caravan and arts activities on an environmental theme
  • Beyond the Waves, an arts workshop on bereavement and grief
  • A trip down memory lane, a digital reminiscence workshop
  • Words and Worlds, a spoken word event showcasing the work of a creative writing artist residency
  • A dance event led by Dance City
  • The launch of ‘Managing the Home Care Circus’ animation from the Elders Council
  • Viva las Cruddas,  a film from an artist residency in Cruddas Park
  • A to Z of ageing,a GIF wall of ideas and contributions about what makes an age-friendly city.

Later in the evening, there is an opportunity to join Home Alone at the Catalyst.

Further afield, Dwellbeing Shieldfield  has a community walk from 10 am to 11.30 am.

The UK Network of Age Friendly Communities has adopted the theme of Older Greener for 2021, demonstrating that older people do also care about climate change.  We have also adopted this theme in Newcastle with a range of events focused on environmental issues including a Climate writing workshop and Equal Arts have drawn together a lovely creative brochure which includes a Foreword from Deputy Leader, Karen Kilgour.

15 minutes of meditation a day ‘slows down memory decline’ that accompanies ageing

A new study suggests mindful activities are good for our mental health,as well as our memory and concentration. Researchers say daily meditation, mindful movement, ‘body scans’ and other mindfulness exercises give a ‘modest’ but worthwhile boost to our memory, concentration and problem solving abilities – helping to stave off the natural effects of ageing on these processes, especially in the over 60s.
Read the article in full on iNews

Want to take part in a course on Meditation – why not contact Just Meditation and join a free drop in session or pay for a short course.

InformationNOW has articles on:  Mindfulness and meditation

Step It Up this Recycle Week

This week is Recycle Week, a celebration of recycling that aims to encourage the public to recycle more, by demonstrating the benefits of recycling items from all around the home. Now in its 18th year, it sees retailers, brands, waste management companies, trade associations, governments and the media come together to galvanise the public into recycling more of the right things, more often.  If you live in Newcastle, you should receive recycling information guidance through your door.

The 5 R’s of Zero Waste

The 5 Rs are essentially the order in which to reduce waste. Think of them as plans A, B, C, D, and E.  If you can’t do step one, move on to the next, and so forth:

  • Refuse what you don’t need (single-use plastic, plastic grocery bags, non biodegradable trash bags, plastic razors, coffee cups etc.)
  • Reduce what you do need (stop buying new clothes, cut back on how often you do laundry, don’t always upgrade for the latest smartphone)
  • Reuse by either buying secondhand or repurposing things
  • Recycle only that which can’t be eliminated by the former three
  • Rot what’s left

Takeaway lovers urged to be allergy aware

Even as the chance to dine out has returned, demand for home deliveries has continued to grow, with national research finding nearly a quarter of people are spending more on them now than before the pandemic.

However, the Food Standards Agency fears that some food allergy sufferers, particularly teenagers,  feel embarrassed by their intolerances, and are risking grave consequences by not making sure what they order is safe. Food allergies are wide ranging: celery, cereals containing gluten (such as barley and oats), crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs and lobsters), eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs (such as mussels and oysters), mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, tree nuts, sulphur dioxide and sulphites.

Now, as thousands of students arrive in the city for the autumn term, Newcastle City Council is working with Newcastle and Northumbria universities and the North East Ambulance Service to make sure that awkwardness doesn’t lead to someone being put at risk.   Food allergies and intolerances may have severe consequences and if someone has an allergy they may be carrying an auto adrenaline injector.  But some people will be trying new foods for the first time. The majority of the allergy reports to the council’s food safety team relate to 17 to 30 year olds ordering takeaways or food in bars and nightclubs.  Top tips are:

  • Be allergy aware  Find out if anyone in the group you’re ordering for has a food allergy.
  • Speak to the restaurant every time  If ordering by app, don’t rely on the in-app messaging service. Call the restaurant directly and make sure they understand the allergy. Remember to ask, even when ordering the usual, because the recipe, ingredients, chef or kitchen staff may have changed.
  • Be clear  Give examples of food that could cause a reaction and be clear about the allergy.
  • Ask the restaurant to label the allergy-safe meal  Make sure the container will be labelled so that it’s clear when the meal arrives and there’s no risk of cross-contamination.
  • Follow your instincts  If the person you’re ordering from doesn’t understand the allergy or intolerance, ask to speak to the manager. If you still don’t feel confident, consider ordering elsewhere.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed  There is no need to feel awkward asking about allergy. Food business are legally required to make allergen information available when you order and when the food is delivered.

Find out more at

Health and Care Bill

The Health and Care Bill will be debated over the next six months in Parliament.  The King’s Fund take you through six key questions to help you understand the potential legislative framework.

InformationNOW has sections on health and care

Opportunities for Action

Black History Month  Proud to be  October 2021

Connected Voice is collating a list of events and activities taking place across the month. Find out more on their website.

If your organisation is planning an event or campaign then let them know and they’ll share it here and on social media.
Email with the subject BHM2021 or tag them on Twitter @ConnectedVoice) or Facebook

Senior job vacancy Newcastle Mental Health Transformation

An opportunity has arisen for a Band 8a Project Manager for Community Mental Health Transformation in the Newcastle system. This is initially a 2 year secondment / fixed term contract within Newcastle Gateshead CCG with a possible further 1 year extension. The post holder will play a pivotal role in designing and transforming mental health services as well as further developing system-wide collaborative relationships across the Newcastle system. The work will closely link with Collaborative Newcastle’s agenda and work streams. The post holder will take the lead responsibility in using new transformation funding to drive improved mental health outcomes for children, young people, adults and older adults with more serious mental health needs that can be addressed in the community, including prevention of increasing or worsening mental health.

For further information see the online job vacancy and contact Tara Case Associate Director for Newcastle System Newcastle Gateshead CCG, Email:  Interviews will take place on Monday 18th October 2021.

Get Online Newcastle Champion Volunteers

Would you like to join an amazing team of volunteers who support residents in Newcastle to access the internet and get online?
They are looking for individuals who would be happy to provide telephone support from home or join an existing team of in person sessions across the City.  Some of the Get Online Champion Team members have been involved for 6 years now and have enjoyed the training and development opportunities that have been made available to them.  Training will be given and mentorship from other team members will be put in place for you.
If you are passionate about helping people to get online, and can offer us at least 3 hours per week of your time, drop  an email to Get Online Newcastle or call for a chat.

InformationNOW has a section on: Getting online and computer classes.

Spotlight on …

Energy changes and scam alerts

Energy prices are due to increase dramatically. Combined with high inflation, the universal credit uplift and furlough and self-employment support ending many people will struggle to cope with these new energy prices.  Emergency measures put in place due to coronavirus are still ongoing. Your supply won’t be cut off – disconnections have been suspended, while prepayment customers can get emergency credit to ensure they have the energy they need.  Suppliers can also offer payment reviews, breaks or reductions. This is all case-by-case, so contact your firm as soon as you can if you start to struggle and let it know if you’re vulnerable.

Those on lower incomes may also be able to apply for £140 towards bills through the 2021/22 Warm Home Discount. Other support includes the Winter Fuel  payment

Turn 2 Us has useful information on fuel poverty and rising prices.

If you need extra help, try Citizens Advice or get support from the Money matters team or energy team


Keep in touch with ActionFraud as they will alert you to scams and cyber scams during this period.

Research & Reports

Healthworks award and Impact Report 2020/21

Congratulations to Healthworks winner of the the GSK IMPACT Award 2021. Awarded by The King’s Fund/GSK, watch their short film to see more about their work which features their Patron, Professor Michael Marmot.

Throughout the pandemic, Healthworks has continued to deliver through  non-direct contact ‘engagement and maintenance’ services and fully embraced the digital world. The work Healthworks does is evidence based and directed at health risks and inequalities through services that impact most directly on people’s life outcomes. They have continued supporting physical activity, smoking cessation, cancer awareness, breastfeeding, antenatal support, nutrition, diabetes, health checks, life skills training and social prescribing. Read the Healthworks Impact report 

InformationNOW has articles on: fitness and benefits of being physically active

Resources & Training

Stop Loan Sharks training

Loan sharks are unlicensed money lenders who often charge very high interest rates and sometimes use threats and violence to frighten people who can’t pay back their loan.  Stop Loan Sharks investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders and provides support for borrowers in the UK. If you have borrowed from a loan shark or are worried about someone else, they are there to help and keep you safe.

Stop Loan Sharks are offering two opportunities for training:

New to the training?  Then sign up for their awareness sessions later in October and November.

Want to enhance your learning?  Sign up to Understanding the Victim Journey

Building Futures East are also working with Stop Loan Sharks and have an awareness event on 12th October.

InformationNOW has articles on: Loan sharksmanaging debt and low income supportcredit unions and affordable credit

Training on gender based violence and abuse in children and young people

AVA (Against Violence and Abuse) offer training on gender based violence and abuse, with particular expertise in children and young people and multiple disadvantage. Whilst not a front line organisation that support victims, they draw on a range of expertise to deliver a range of courses both virtual, blended and classroom based for people who support victims.  There is a cost to most courses.

InformationNOW has an article on: abuse and domestic abuse

Are you looking for a job, training or advice about setting up your own business?

The Skills Hub, based on level 2 of Newcastle City Library, is open again and is welcoming residents who are looking for careers advice and guidance and help getting into work.

Next steps events for 16 to 24 year olds

The Skills Hub (in partnership with YHN, Reviving the Heart of the West End, NTCA and JCP) is organising a series of community events for young people aged 16-24 to inform them about their career options and next steps.

Galafield Centre Tuesday 28  September 11am to12:30 pm

Pottery Bank Community Centre Thursday 30 September 11 am to 12:30pm

Reviving the Heart of the West End  (RHWE) Wednesday 29 September 11am to 12:30 pm

Street Zero Project – Building skills and learning

Street Zero have been working in partnership with Newcastle College to develop a range of (free, subject to eligibility) short study courses to learn new skills and enhance life opportunities.

InformationNOW has articles on: support to prepare for work and looking for work

What’s new on InformationNOW this week

Articles Updated

Museums and attractions
Concessionary Travel
Benefits for maternity, paternity, adoption and other parental pay

Organisations Updated

Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre
Junction Point
Citizens Advice Newcastle

Last updated: September 24, 2021

Recent newsletters