Information Now

InfoNow News 2nd December 2021


Keeping Warm in Winter

There is a winter weather warning for icy patches throughout 1st and 2nd December.  Please take care.

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 attacksstroke, 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:

White Ribbon Scheme accreditation and ONS data

Newcastle City Council and YHN have been awarded accreditation under the White Ribbon Scheme. White Ribbon UK is part of the global movement to end male violence against women and girls. Go to the Council’s webpage to find out more about both our accreditation and how to sign the White Ribbon Promise: to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women and girls. To find out more about our experiences and how your organisation might become accredited, please email

Violence against women and girls can lead to significant and long-lasting impacts such as mental health issues, suicide attempts and homelessness.In the year ending March 2020, the Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated 1.6 million women aged 16 to 74 years in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse, around 7% of the female population.In June 2021, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Survey Opinions and Lifestyle Survey showed that women aged 65% of women aged 16 to 34 years experienced harassment in the last year.In the year ending March 2019, the ONS crime survey estimated 25% of women aged 18 to 74 years, around 5.1 million women, had experienced some form of abuse before the age of 16 years.

InformationNOW has articles on: hate crime and adult abuse

Nominate a Digital Leader

The Digital Leaders Impact Awards celebrates digital technology innovations that improve people’s lives and the world around us.The awards are open to any person, business, government or non-profit that creates or delivers digital products or services for positive social impact.

They are asking you to nominate the people and projects that you know are trailblazers in UK showing tech for good. You can enter yourself or nominate someone else.

The awards are free and easy to enter across 13 categories. Simply enter your project before 11:59am on Friday 4 February 2022.

Interested in issues of digital poverty – why not become an ambassador or sign up to the Digital Poverty Alliance.

InformationNOW has a section on Getting online

Stop Loan Sharks Week

It’s Stop Loan Sharks week and we want to remind you how to cut your costs and manage your debt without using a Loan Shark.  Listen to Karleen from the Money and Pensions Service talking about the dangers of borrowing from a loan shark or what to do if you are in debt to one.

The first rule to managing your money is to shop around and focus on your key expenditure each month. This will be your Council Tax, mortgage or rent, utility bills including broadband, home and perhaps car insurance and grocery shopping.

However, difficulties often arise with unexpected bills and payments or a change in income, so it is worth thinking about contingency planning and how you would pay for a washing machine that has to be replaced, or an unexpected repair.  It’s worth thinking about affordable credit and credit union schemes.

Citizens Advice say that before you borrow money, take out a loan or use credit cards:

  • spend time shopping around,
  • work out your budget
  • never borrow money on the spur of the moment.
  • be careful about borrowing more money to pay off existing debts.
  • avoid going overdrawn on your bank account without agreement.
  • don’t borrow from Loan Sharks – speak to a Credit Union instead.

Check out this Citizens Advice guide for more
Contact your local Citizens Advice

InformationNOW has an article on: Dealing with debt

Coronavirus Key Messages

This week’s key messages are:

  • we must all wear a face mask in shops and on public transport, unless exempt.
  • book your booster and winter vaccinations as soon as possible
  • travel rules have changed for those coming into the UK.
  • you must self-isolate if you are in contact with someone who has the new variant.

Read more about Coronavirus and the current advice on InformationNOW

Opportunities to take action

Crisis Newcastle at Christmas

Crisis is running Christmas support for current members only this year which includes meals and treats delivered and a get together for a limited number on Boxing day.  There will also be entertainment including pre-recorded sessions and online sessions.  Please help if you can. Over 300 will be supported over Christmas.

Check their  Facebook page for updates this December.  Alternatively, you can buy an item or 2 from their Amazon Wish list .

InformationNOW has an articles on support for people with low incomes.

Newcastle City Learning’s new brochure is out now

The new Newcastle CIty Learning brochure is out now Read all about our new courses starting in January 2022. There is information about each subject area with quotes from learners who have used their new skills to secure employment, improve their confidence and much more.  Enrol now to secure your place with NCL, recently graded as a ‘Good Provider’ by Ofsted.

You can enrol online or call  for 0191 2773520 or 0191 2782818.

InformationNOW has articles on: lifelong learning

Are you a carer? Please take part in the Healthwatch and Newcastle Carers survey

Healthwatch Newcastle has teamed up with Newcastle Carers to hear your experiences of caring for someone during the COVID19 pandemic and understand what services you would like in the future.  Your feedback will help to improve your services in Newcastle. The survey takes around 15 minutes to complete. You could win one of three £50 cash prizes as a thank you for taking part.

If you would like support to complete the survey, or need this in a different format, please email or call Freephone 0808 178 9282  and leave a message if nobody is available to take your call.

Celebrating 15 years of InformationNOW
Friday 3rd December at City Library

Please join us at the library tomorrow to celebrate 15 years of InformationNOW. We will be listening to music and having chats with Richard at Radio Tyneside with a few guests who have been friends of InformationNOW for many years.

You can take part in a creative workshop with artist Pui Lee, to make a banner celebrating InformationNOW which will be used for our outreach work in the future. Some lucky people will also receive a discounted drink from the café as well.

Lisa will be showing people how to use InformationNOW along with her digital champions in the library too.

The show celebrating InformationNOW on Radio Tyneside will also be released as a podcast, so you can listen to the broadcasts on Radio Tyneside across the month of December.  Contact for more information.

Research and Reports

Food banks hand out 32 meals every minute

The Trussell Trust’s half hear figures show that their foodbanks supplied 32 meals each minute over the past six months with 935,743 parcels being provided between April and September 2021.   Volunteers are braced for demand to surge to 7,000 a day next month as temperatures plummet and families face a choice of eating or heating over Christmas.

You can help the Food banks in so many ways. Donate at your supermarket or donate online.  The store, has been making donations whilst we shop online since Black Friday. Look out for similar opportunities to make your money go further and help someone in need.

Services for children and young people affected by domestic abuse in Newcastle

As communities emerged from the COVID-19 related lockdowns of 2020—21, one of the concerns about the impact of that period was a recognition that restrictions had made life particularly difficult for families experiencing domestic abuse.

In spring this year, Healthwatch Newcastle had a series of conversations with local agencies to identify emerging issues of concern and has now published a report on this work. This was carried out to help inform future commissioning decisions for services for children and young children affected by domestic abuse in Newcastle. The report focuses on:

  • what is currently provided across the city
  • how provision is resourced
  • how secure funding is
  • how easy it is for families to find and access support

They are grateful to all the organisations who supported them  in carrying out this study.

InformationNOW has articles on domestic abuse and adult abuse


North East and North Cumbria’s Child Health & Wellbeing Network

As a result of a successful NHS Charities Together bid, VCSE organisations are invited bid to become a Youth Mental Health First Aid Strategy Site for their local community.  The Network are looking for 10 organisations to work with to deliver mental health skills directly into the local communities most impacted by the pandemic.  You will need to complete Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training certification. This offer of train the trainer model can then be delivered locally by the successful VCSE organisations to benefit the children and young people (between the ages of 8 and 19) they work with who have experienced the impact of the pandemic on their mental health and wellbeing.

To find out more about this exciting opportunity please see the attached flyer and complete your online applications by 5pm on the 6th December 2021. You can register for the NENC child and wellbeing network too.

Northern Print: ‘Reimagining Digital’ project for community groups

Northern Print is looking for community groups to work with us as part of ‘Reimagining Digital’, a programme of digital activity offering hands-on experiences of printmaking using online and blended (a combination of online and in-person) learning and digital events. Workshops and activities will explore a broad range of printmaking techniques with sessions tailored to the needs of individual groups. Workshops will be suitable for a range of people, from those with no experience at all to people who have engaged with printmaking before. The focus is on creativity and enjoyment, building skills and contributing to health and wellbeing.

Project activity will be delivered by Northern Print staff working with a Printmaking Tutor and a Digital Coordinator. They can offer one-off taster sessions and/or a series of workshops, supported and enhanced where relevant with films and online resources for participants to access between practical sessions. All activity will incorporate an online element – sessions can be run completely online (with materials and equipment sent out) or start with an online introduction which leads into practical workshops led by artists with groups in person. Project activity will run from December 2021 to February 2022.

For further information look at their website or for an informal chat about your group and how we can work with you, please contact:

Events & Activities

Blood Pressure Clinics

Tuesdays and Thursdays

The successful blood pressure clinics are being run by pharmacy students at the Dementia Space in the Grainger Market on Tuesdays and Thursdays. High blood pressure is an indicator for heart disease, stroke and dementia.

The safety net beneath the safety net? Local welfare assistance in the North East

Wednesday 15th December 1pm to 2.45pm

The North East Child Poverty Commission recently published The safety the beneath the safety net? A briefing on local welfare assistance in the North East. This set out that local welfare assistance schemes  delivered by councils across England should provide accessible, timely and dignified support to people facing a financial emergency shielding them from harm.

Join  them and their guest speakers from Greater Manchester Poverty Action and IFAN (Independent Food Aid Network) for this interactive online workshop to hear more about the findings and recommendations of this briefing, and to discuss how we can work together to improve local welfare assistance schemes across the North East.

Introduction to Benefits course

9 December and 14 December
Provided by Newcastle City Council’s Active Inclusion Service.

The ‘Introduction to Benefits’ session gives a basic overview of the benefits system, its structure, basic rules, who can claim what, claims, payments and challenging decisions, some problem areas and how to avoid them in the first place.

The give practical information about where you and residents can get further information and advice. This session is online using Teams and allows for questions and should last no longer than two and a half hours.

This training is aimed at those who are not specialist benefit advisers, but give some benefits support to people.

Sign up.

Christmas and December Events

West End Voices at St James’s Church, Benwell

Organ Recital Series Newcastle Cathedral every Monday

Christmas Afternoon Tea Search Newcastle: Friday 3 Dec 2021, 2pm

Newcastle Noir 2021 at City Library Sunday 5 Dec 2021, 10am

Christmas Evening Social  Search Newcastle: Monday 20 Dec 2021, 6pm to 9pm

Illuminating Ushaw  3 to 5th December evening slots

The stars come out at night Newcastle Cathedral, Friday 17 Dec 2021 to Sunday 19 Dec 2021

Articles and Organisations updated

Articles Updated
Autism and local support services
Organisations updated
Pathways 4 All
The Toby Henderson Trust
Digital Poverty Alliance
Children’s Speech and Language Service – Newcastle Trust


Last updated: December 2, 2021

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