Information Now

InfoNOW news 6 August 2021


Thank you for your feedback on InformationNOW
Waste and recycling
Collaborative Newcastle Universities Agreement
Long Covid clinical trial

Get involved

Take the plastic challenge
Join the Big Bus Conversation – public urged to get involved by 10 September
Are you trying to close the digital divide in your local community? Win £5,000

Spotlight On

Get healthy this summer

Research & Reports

Poverty and cash use among older people
A lonely place to be


Ask Me Community Ambassador training online
What will you do next? Enrol now

New on InformationNOW this week

This week’s events & activities at a glance

Toon Trail
Maritime weekend at the Quayside

Updated articles & organisations


Thank you for your feedback on InformationNOW! Here’s what we’re doing with it

You may have noticed that we added a pop up box on InformationNOW to gather your views and feedback as you use the site. We had a phenomenal amount of feedback over 3  months.Thank you to everyone who took the time to tell us how you found your experience. We received over 500 responses!Feedback ranged from excellent to things we could improve which we try to implement straight away.

There was a lot of really helpful feedback too, which showed us where things could be improved. We are working through each response and replying to everyone where possible to tell you how we’ve improved our information. For example:

Sometimes you couldn’t find what you needed, but the information was there. So we may contact you to tell you where to find this information.Don’t forget you can search the entire website from the home page to find information articles, organisations and events. If you don’t get the results you expect, try using another key word or check your spelling and search again.We’ll keep feeding back to you through InfoNOW News as we continue to enhance InformationNOW using your feedback

Waste and recycling

Wastebot permit system reintroduced at Brunswick recycling centre 

During the pandemic, to make social distancing possible and ensure the safety of both staff and the public, Newcastle City Council suspended its Wastebot permit system for vans and larger vehicles. Now, while still taking steps to keep visitors as safe as possible,from  2nd August, the Council has reintroduced it at the Brunswick site, with residents who make use of the scheme able to drop off their waste on a Monday or Thursday, in line with the odds and even entry rules.

Bulky waste collection changes increase opportunities for pick-ups

Households looking to dispose of large items of rubbish can do so more easily.  From Monday August 2, residents will have more choice, with slots for most items available every weekday, and specific white goods collections every Friday.

InformationNOW has information on: Your local services at Newcastle Councildealing with rubbish and pests

Collaborative Newcastle Universities Agreement

Newcastle and Northumbria Universities have launched the Collaborative Newcastle Universities Agreement – a new partnership that will bring together the world-leading expertise of both organisations for the benefit of the communities of Newcastle and beyond.

Both universities have a long-established tradition of working collaboratively to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of the region. Through the new agreement, the aim is to bring together the collective ‘power’ of both organisations – over 10,000 staff and 50,000 students – to support the health, wealth and wellbeing of people living in Newcastle and beyond.

As part of their commitment to Collaborative Newcastle, the two universities will be working closely with partners in the public, private, voluntary and cultural sector and will focus on three key areas: People, Planet and Prosperity.

The universities are playing a leading role in a number of key Collaborative Newcastle projects already underway, including:

  • Net Zero Newcastle: working to reduce greenhouse gases to achieve Net Zero and jointly improving the sustainability of our operations and supporting the delivery of the Newcastle Net Zero Action Plan
  •  Newcastle Health Innovation Partners: discovering, developing and delivering new solutions in healthcare to improve the health of people living in the North of England.
  •  IntoUniversity: A new learning centre designed to support more young people to fulfil their potential and achieve a place at University.

Long Covid clinical trial

Long Covid is estimated to have affected over two million people in the UK – with the majority being women. The condition is an umbrella term for a whole range of symptoms, from fatigue and brain fog to respiratory, heart and gut problems. But for those hospitalised with Covid 19, post-Covid symptoms can be so serious that a third will require readmission within six months. In an attempt to find treatments, a clinical trial is underway to test whether two safe and widely available drugs (Atorvastatin and Apixaban) can make a difference to long term Covid recovery. The new trial called HEAL-COVID has three regional hubs involved: North Tyneside, Darlington Memorial and James Cook hospitals and staff may contact you directly to take part.InformationNOW has an article on: keeping up to date with coronavirus information and ICT Services shortlisted for national awards 

Newcastle’s smart city response to Covid 19 recovery,, and the council’s ICT Services team have been shortlisted for this year’s Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.

LGC editor Nick Golding said: “The LGC Awards are about recognising the most exceptional local government talent – and in this year, of all years, we can really say that those shortlisted have put in a truly heroic performance.”

HowBusyIsToon is shortlisted in the Future Places category, while ICT are shortlisted for Team of the Year (Large).

Judging will take place towards the end of September and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on November

Get Involved

Take the plastic challenge

This August Keep Britain Tidy are taking on plastic pollution by launching the Plastic Challenge

At least 2 million tonnes of plastic enters the sea from rivers in the UK every year.  Globally, plastic kills a million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals, turtles and fish per year and many people don’t realise that our plastic litter can impact marine life, even if we live many miles away from the sea.

Why don’t you sign up to the plastic challenge:  reduce, reuse and recycle and only flush, pee, poo and paper.

Examples of what you could do instead:

  • Reduce plastic bottle usage. Every year, the average person in the UK uses 150 plastic bottles. 5.5 billion plastic bottles are littered, incinerated or sent to landfill. By simply switching to a reusable water bottle we could save almost 7 tonnes of plastic from entering rivers and oceans every year
  • Most cigarette butts contain plastic. By disposing of butts correctly we could save over 2 tonnes of plastic from entering the environment every year.  Or you could choose plant derived filters.
  • Look for sustainable and reusable products like period pants, menstrual cups, nappies and reusable pads and face wipes
  • Use chemical free toilet paper which also pollutes the sea.  Consider Oceans or bamboo toilet roll instead.

Join the Big Bus Conversation – public urged to get involved  by 10 September

Regional transport leaders have launched the Big Bus Conversation, a new region-wide campaign to gather feedback ahead of a bid to access a national £3bn funding pot with the aim of persuading people to switch sustainably to the bus.  Following the publication of the government’s ‘Bus Back Better’ National Bus Strategy in March this year, councils and bus operators are working together to move towards a formal bus partnership which aims to breathe new life into the network.

The North East Joint Transport Committee with NEbus, the local bus operators association, have created ‘Your Vision for Buses’, a document which sets out initial aspirations for the bus network. Stakeholders, including the public, regional businesses and community organisations are being asked to share their views on these ambitions and what they would like to see. Email  to take part and share your views.

InformationNOW has articles on: concessionary travelhelp to get out and about
Government Bus service improvement plan

Are you trying to close the digital divide in your local community? Win £5,000

The Craig Macdonald Memorial Prize

Is your organisation working in your local communities to help close the digital divide? If so, you have the chance to win £5,000 by entering for the Craig Macdonald Memorial Prize in the Digital Leaders 100 Awards 2021. Craig Macdonald was a technology professional dedicated to public service who passed away suddenly in early 2020. In honour of Craig’s memory, Tech Investor Rob Wilmot is partnering with Digital Leaders to award a prize of £5000 for the best grassroots organisation working in their local community to help close the digital divide.  It is free to enter and takes less than 10 minutes.

Entering is free and takes less than 10 minutes.  Have a look at the other categories as well to nominate or enter.

InformationNOW has articles on: getting online

Spotlight on

Get healthy this summer

Public Health England (PHE) has launched the latest Better Health campaign to encourage adults across the nation to lose excess weight, eat more healthily and get active this summer.  The campaign follows a nationwide survey of over 5,000 adults which revealed that over 4 in 10 (41%) adults in England say they have put on weight since the first lockdown in March 2020.

Almost over half a stone (4.1kg) was gained on average by those who put on weight, with 1 in 5 (21%) reporting putting on a stone or more. In adults aged 35 to 65 years old, the average weight gain for those who put on weight rises to over 10lbs (4.6kg).

New research, due to be published shortly by Public Health England (PHE), suggests that those who used and followed the NHS Weight Loss Plan  over 12 weeks, reported a loss on average of almost a stone (5.8kg).

InformationNOW has articles on: healthy eating and drinkingweight management

Research & Reports

Poverty and cash use among older people

Latest research by Age UK, Behind the Headlines, considers the impact of a 28% reduction in bank branches since 2021 whilst finding that over half of older people had used cash in the last week, and 21% rely on cash for day-to-day transactions. Declining use and provision of cash consequently mean that more and more businesses and other service providers are not accepting it. The costs and logistics of banking cash have become too prohibitive and burdensome for many.  However, it is often those living on lower incomes who have the greatest reliance on physical currency. Older people getting by on a small pension like the control cash gives, helping them to better manage their money and budget their everyday spending. Those, whether older or not, with more informal and temporary work, are often reliant on cash and paid with it.

InformationNOW has a section on: Low incomebank accounts and payment methods.

A lonely place to be

Ageing without Children has published a report highlights just how invisible people ageing without children feel, and how for many this feeling of social exclusion has increased during the pandemic when the situation and experiences of people living without family or familial support were not reflected in government messaging, policy statements or the media.  The report is based on a survey of over 200 people in the UK and their responses reveal that:
over 50% felt more isolated due to the impact of  the pandemic and lockdown.

“People don’t realise that when you are on your own, without partners or children, that no-one checks on you.”

and media coverage was perceived as too focused on the experiences of families and stories of family separation with no acknowledgement of the situation of the growing numbers of people who cannot rely upon family for more more practical and emotional support that they need as they grow older

The number of people over 65 years without adult children is set to rise from 1.2 million to 2 million by 2030.


Ask Me Community Ambassador training online

As part of an overall Women’s Aid initiative, Wearside Women in Need (WWiN) are working in partnership with Harbour to deliver free Ask Me Community Ambassador training online for people who live, study, work or volunteer in North Tyneside, Northumberland or Newcastle.  Email and one of the team will be in touch.

InformationNOW has article on domestic abuse

What will you do next? Enrol now

Looking for inspiration or something to occupy your time.  Is it time to rethink your career, goals and aspirations. WEA may have just the course for you. Have a look through their courses and categories and make a positive step for your future.  There’s over 1000 new courses available to book now. They’re adding more all the time, so check back regularly.

InformationNOW has an article on lifelong learning

InformationNOW updates

Toon Trail

Fascinating new trails that take in some of Newcastle’s best attractions are available this summer through an app.

Designed by Newcastle Youth Democracy Group, the app, which is free, is developed by Open Lab at Newcastle University with the purpose of getting people out and about exploring our city’s heritage.  The app is available for both iOS and Android and is compatible with phones and tablets.

To download, navigate to the App Store or Google Play and download to your device. Data connection is not required en route to upload your response and will remain ‘pending’ until a connection is made. Once your device connects to a network, your entry will be uploaded.

The trails run from Monday July 26 to Sunday October 3. The three distinct Toon Trails include:

  •    Rivers and Bridges (Baltic to High Level Bridge approx. 1 hour)
  •    Castles and Churches (Newcastle to Blackfriars approx. 1.5 hours)
  •    Monuments and Parks (St James’ Park to Grainger Market approx. 2 hours)

Participants can also compete for prizes which will be given out between October 4 and 31st.  To take part in the Toon Trail, you can download the OurPlace app to your mobile phone or tablet, download an activity booklet to print, or pick up a booklet from Newcastle City Library. If you would prefer to take part in the Toon Trails through a paper-based activity booklet, activities are available for download, so you can print them at home.

You can email your pictures of your completed activity booklet as proof of entry into the prize draw with the subject line ‘ToonTrail Entry’, or submit them to the Toon Trail post box available in Newcastle City Library.

Maritime weekend at the Quayside

As a celebration of the city’s maritime history, NE1 are bringing boats and sea shanties to the Quayside as part of the Summer in the City programme.

Working with the North East Maritime Trust there will be some eye-catching moments for families – alongside music and a historic boat parade – including a rare opening of the Swing Bridge.

Articles Updated
Waking and health
Summer activities
Healthy eating and drinking
Weight Management
Parks, gardens, forests and woodlands
Organisations Updated
Silverline Memories
Ouseburn Farm
FoodCycle Byker
Media Savvy CIC

Last updated: August 6, 2021

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