Information Now

InfoNOW news 9 January 2020


Changes to InformationNOW to improve accessibility
Looking for ways to keep fit and improve your lifestyle
Encouraging intergenerational living


Dry January 2020
National Obesity Awareness week
Vegan lifestyle


Sexual health
Sex in later life
HealthWORKS Newcastle
Friendship Choir, Fawdon
Citizens Advice Newcastle
Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland
The City Baths


HealthWatch participation groups


Changes to InformationNOW to improve accessibility

InformationNOW is now more accessible than ever before! Scoring 94.4 out of 100 in accessibility testing, as of 8th January 2020.

We have worked to test and fix elements of the site that were not as accessible as they could be for some of our website visitors. This includes:

  • making it clearer visually where a visitor is on the site when navigating InformationNOW using a keyboard
  • repairing broken links and alt text on images used in the site

We will continue to improve the website and review it’s accessibility rating on a regular basis. If you have any feedback, please drop us an email

You can tailor the site further using the free accessibility tool ReciteMe on InformationNOW, so the website can be read aloud, translated into different languages and colour, size and contrast can be changed. Click the white button in the right hand corner of every page to open the toolbar.

For more information read our full accessibility statement.

Looking for ways to keep fit and improve your lifestyle?

City Baths is due to reopen this month.  Watch their virtual tour and look out for reviews from their founder members.

County Durham has two areas for you to visit:

Hamsterley Forest with  four different walking trails, four cycling trails, two horse-riding routes, play areas and a café in which to refuel. So from wildlife watching to stargazing, adventure play for all the family to a heart-pumping mountain bike experience, there is something for everyone.
Bedburn, Hamsterley, County Durham DL13 3NL    01388 488312

Durham University’s Botanic Garden is set among stunning mature woodlands on the southern outskirts of Durham City. It has a 10-hectare Botanic Garden which offers landscapes for every season – from summer scenes to winter wonderlands – and its natural beauty has artwork and a number of horticultural research projects underway. There are family activities on offer all year round, from green-finger crafts to storytelling.
Hollingside Lane, South Road, Durham DH1 3TN
0191 334 2887

Take the Wellness Reboot Quiz to find out how well you’re doing now. Then get personalised tips, tools, offers and advice to help your wellbeing. From Boots and Public Health England.

InformationNOW has articles on:

Day trips and visits
Parks and Gardens
Leisure centres in Newcastle
Fitness activities

Encouraging intergenerational living

United for all ages has published a report with Twenty ideas for creating a Britain for all ages by 2030.  The report shows that people are not socialising beyond their own families intergenerationally. This means that we have deeper divisions within our society. One of the reasons is that older people are more wealthy than younger groups and tend to live in rural areas whilst younger people live in cities.  Ideas to improve our integration include:

  • opening care homes and schools as community spaces
  • creating a Government department with local satellites to focus on intergenerational planning
  • scaling up homeshares
  • older people offering online mentoring to younger people
  • a national day of unity


Dry January 2020

You may already have begun your Dry January alcohol plan or you may be on day 9.  Either way, people who sign up are twice as likely to stay dry throughout the month and to enjoy all the benefits, compared to those who try to do it alone. The idea of Dry January is to reset your relationship with alcohol so that in the future you may drink less frequently and avoid binge drinking.  Remember to eat healthy meals and keep hydrated with water.  Ideally, you are aiming to reduce your alcohol consumption every week, not just for the month, and to keep a few days a week when you don’t drink at all.

Benefits you may notice

Your sleeping pattern will improve and you will notice an increase in your energy levels. While many people find that alcohol can help them fall into a deeper sleep faster, this sleep is less restful and less time is spent in a ‘deep’ slumber.

A reduced intake means that more calories are entering the body from food, rather than drink, which means that you have a potentially higher vitamin intake. This can help your skin look healthier and youthful.

Alcohol has the potential to suppress your immune system, which could make you more susceptible to the cold and flu and reduce your ability to fight off illness.

If you want help, particularly because you have withdrawal symptoms which are distressing, contact the organisations listed in this article and follow the Alcohol Change UK plan.

The good news is that TotalJobs has revealed that 1 in 2 UK workers have reduced their alcohol intake over the last two years.

National Obesity Awareness Week 14 to 20 January

In 2017, the excess weight in adults in Newcastle was 61.9% compared to an English average of 61.3% (Public Health Outcomes Framework).  In 2017 almost 25% of reception year children and 38.4% of Year 6 children in Newcastle were classified as overweight or very overweight (National Child Measurement Programme).  These statistics show we need to take action.

If you are interested in losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight or just want information or support around healthy eating or physical activity, then why not sign up to the Newcastle Can campaign.  Each person signing up gets their own personal food intake diary and weight loss record, lots of information about healthy eating and exercise, as well as details of upcoming events and local resources.

Other organisations or partners that can help you with weight management and keeping active :
HealthWORKS Newcastle
Food Nation
Active Newcastle
Active Health
and look out for social prescribing leads or link workers at your surgery.

Read our article on health eating and drinking

Vegan life style

This month is Veganuary. There were 600,000 vegans in 2019 – that’s 1.16% of the population. The most popular and growing markets are plant alternatives to dairy milk, with almond milk leading the way.  The big spike in veganism was during 2018 when products – beauty, food, clothes, handbags and shoes – were launched.  Looking to make lifestyle changes? Then have a look at The Vegan Society website and you can download their VeGuide app.

Vegetarian for Life has recipes and lists of organisations, such as care homes, that cater for vegans and vegetarians.


Updated organisations

HealthWORKS Newcastle
Citizens Advice Newcastle
Friendship Choir, Fawdon
Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland
The City Baths
The Vegan Society
Justice and Peace (Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle)

Updated articles

Sex in later life
Sexual health

Healthwatch Practice Participation Group Forum

Saturday 22 February, 10 am to 12 noon, Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7BJ

Healthwatch Newcastle and Gateshead are launching a Healthwatch Practice Participation Group Forum. This is open to all members of Practice Participation Groups (PPGs) in Newcastle and Gateshead. The forum will be developed in partnership with the people who attend, and may involve some training alongside opportunities to share information and insights.

At the first meeting they will be talking about the purpose of PPGs, followed by a discussion about the forum and how people would like it to develop.
If you are a member of your GP Practice Participation Group and would like to attend the forum please register  or phone 0191 338 5720.

Last updated: April 8, 2020

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