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InfoNOWNews 28 April 2022

InfoNOWNews 28 April 2022



Struggling to read our Mailchimp Newsletter?  We also publish it on our InformatioNOW news page on the website which means you can use the Recite Me accessiblity features.  Read our two articles to understand what the feature are that can help you:

Listen to what’s coming up in May including Dementia Action Week

Major retailers and delivery firms are failing consumers

Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RIDC) research for Which? found that seven in ten (72%) disabled consumers faced one of more delivery problems in the past year. The survey of 704 disabled consumers found that:

  • 53% of those with a delivery issue said the courier didn’t wait long enough for them to answer the door
  • 25% said parcels were left in an accessible way
  • 25%  said that the courier did not provide the help they needed with their disability, such as bringing the item into the house

Ofcom announced plans in December 2021 to introduce stronger protections for disabled consumers, so that delivery firms are required to have policies in place to meet their needs.

Read more on InformationNOW about disability including rights and services

Council’s falls prevention work and vaccination efforts nominated for awards

Projects in Newcastle to keep people safe in their homes and tackle vaccine inequality have been shortlisted for the prestigious MJ Local Government Achievement Awards. Newcastle City Council has been shortlisted in the Best Council Services Team category for the Digital Falls Prevention in Reablement project, while it has also been nominated in the Place Based Approaches to Health Equity category for its work in tackling health inequalities in the Covid-19 vaccination programme. The results will be announced at the official MJ Awards ceremony on Friday 24th June at the Park Plaza in Westminster. Read more on

Find more on care and support for adults services.

Courier fraud

There have been local reports of criminals pretending to be from Barclays bank fraud office.  They claim that an older person’s bank account has been accessed and the only safe thing to do is withdraw money and send it in the post to an address they are given.  One lady headed to the bank to withdraw and send £2,000.  Please remember that a bank will never ask you to withdraw cash or send it by courier/post.

If you suspect that someone has been targeted then contact Action Fraud online or by telephone.

Read InformationNOW article on online, cyber scams and fraud

Knee and Hip pain help

If you are limited by painful knees or hips due to osteoarthritis? Contact your GP today or self-refer to the Tyneside Integrated Musculoskeletal Service (TIMS) to find out more about ESCAPE-pain. ESCAPE-pain is a research evidenced rehabilitation programme that has been shown to help people manage their hip and knee pain through education and exercise.

TIMS is running regular ESCAPE-pain sessions for people with osteoarthritis of the hips and knees, so if you have experienced pain in your hips or knees for more than three months, you could benefit from the sessions.

The programme consists of 10 to 12 sessions over six weeks which cover a range of issues in a group setting. The sessions are held in a variety of venues across the Gateshead and Newcastle area and there are also virtual classes available for those who cannot attend in person.
Read more on InformationNOW about Chronic Pain and Arthritis

Slow Museums

Slow Museums are for anyone who needs more time to visit museums and galleries in Tyne and Wear. Museum staff are trained to welcome people with communication or literacy difficulties; learning disabilities or autism, people living with dementia, anxiety or stroke survivors, as well as their families and carers. During the sessions each month you can take your time to enjoy the museum. You can expect:

  • extra seating
  • planned exhibits
  • little extras to help you explore
  • staff to help you find out more about the culture and history of the North East

You’re not identified as having additional needs. There’s no separation, which can be the source of more stress.

Sessions coming soon can be found on InformationNOW

Read more about Autism and local support services and Dementia Friendly Newcastle on InformationNOW.

Health and Social Care – NI contribution increase

On 7 September 2021 the government announced a new 1.25% Health and Social Care Levy.  This Levy will be introduced from April 2022 when National Insurance contributions for employees, self-employed people and employers will increase by 1.25%.

From April 2022, anybody earning more than £823 a month will pay 1.25% more per £.

A further change takes place from July 2022, when the amount people can earn before they start paying NI will be raised and the point at which employees start paying NI will increase to £1,048 per month.

From April 2023, the Levy will be formally separated from National Insurance Contributions,  the extra 1.25% per £ will  be collected as a new Health and Social Care Levy.

Read more on InformationNOW about National Insurance and the State Pension

Opportunities for Action

Newcastle Libraries needs you for knit and natter support

Here’s how you can help:

  • Volunteer to lead a library knitting group. Share your skills and get people chatting as you knit items for charity. Email: if you’d like to help.
  • Donate yarn and needles. Clear out that cupboard and donate unwanted supplies to a good cause. Drop-off at any Newcastle Library
  • Join a group. Find locations and times. Phone 0191 277 4100 or email as above.

Read more on InformationNOW about libraries, reading and audio books

Are you eligible for Pension Credit?

We would like your help to promote Pension Credit  and encourage more people to check if they are eligible. The DWP estimates that nationally, 770,000 pension credit age people are missing out on £1.4billion a year. As the cost of living continues to rise Pension Credit may be able to help top up someone’s income. Can you please share this message with your networks and colleagues?
Pension Credit tops up weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level of £182.60 a week for single pensioners or £278.70 for couples.  It is a tax-free payment for those who:

  • have reached State Pension age, and
  • live in Great Britain

As cost of living continues to rise don’t forget to check if you’re eligible for Pension Credit. It can help to top up your state pension  More people are eligible for Pension Credit than you may think. If you are eligible then you could get help with heating bills, housing costs and free NHS dental care.

Read more on InformationNOW about Pension Credit


Tell Healthwatch your story

Healthwatch Newcastle and Healthwatch Gateshead want to understand what services matter most to support your health, quality of life, care and support and wellbeing. They also want to find out what the public, patients and carers would like them to look into further.

You can either take part in an online session on Tuesday 17 May, 1 pm to 2 pm or 5 pm to 6 pm, by booking a free place.  Or complete a questionnaire which is anonymous and closes on Friday 27 May. Completed questionnaires will be entered into a prize draw to win a £25 shopping voucher.

If you live, work or use services in Gateshead or Newcastle you can take part.

Take the questionnaire

Please email or call them free on 0808 178 9282 or text phone 07551 052 751 for a paper copy.

Read about Having your say about health and care services

Spotlight on

Newcastle Local History month

History enthusiasts and anyone who is interested in researching their family tree are invited to get involved in Local History Month. Some of the events taking place during the month include celebrating the 1900 Festival, 1900 years since the building of Hadrian’s Wall, a walk and talk will be taking place in and from Denton Burn Library at 1.30 pm and in Fenham Library both on Thursday 2 May at 2.30 pm  There are also several talks, from Maps of Newcastle to a history of the Blackett’s.

Make a date in your diary for the Family History Fair on Saturday 28 May, organised by the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society.

Events are free of charge and places will be limited, so please book events online

Call 0191 278 7878 or email

Read more on InformationNOW about museums and attractions and day trips and visits

Hoarding behaviours research

Hoarding is where someone collects large amounts of items and is unable to throw any of them away. As their collection of possessions grows in size, it begins to encroach upon their living space and affects their quality of life. For example they may be collecting newspapers, CDs, clothes, crockery, electrical items, animals (in some rarer cases) and more.

Due to the high economic and social costs of hoarding behaviours Professor Nick Neave set up Hoarding Research Group at Northumbria University

The aim was to bring together expertise from researchers across the region with particular knowledge relating to hoarding behaviours and their consequences for people and society.  Anyone interested in hoarding behaviours from a personal or professional capacity is welcome to get involved. Contact

Read more on InformationNOW about When hoarding and clutter become a problem


British Society of Immunology training

Do you work for an organisation or in a community that needs health information and advice. This training may be useful to you if you support young people as it cover issues such as fertility and the importance of vaccination.

The training will be delivered in two sessions:

Daytime dates: Wednesday 10 to11 am 27th April, 4th May, 11th May, 18th May, 25th May.

Evening dates: Thursday 6 to7pm 5th May, 12th May, 18th May (Wednesday), 26th May, 9th June.  Contact:

Read more on InformationNOW about health

Smoke Free app

Smoking damages your health. It is the biggest cause of death and illness in the UK. Giving up smoking is the single greatest thing you can do to improve your health and the advantages are immediate. No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to feel the benefits.

The app can help you:

  • with personalised advice on the best stop smoking methods for you
  • see the money you save with every cigarette you don’t buy
  • watch how your body gets cleaner and healthier, the longer you are smoke free
  • tackle cigarette cravings before they happen by using quit smoking techniques that work
  • motivate you with to earn Achievement Badges
  • track your quit progress and log successful smoke free days

The Smoke Free app is free from and can help you to stop smoking so you don’t need to contact your GP practice.

New organisations listed

Making a Difference North East

Making a Difference North East is a free employability service for unemployed people over 18, who live in Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, County Durham, Gateshead and Sunderland. They can help you prepare for or get back into work, with support and training to suit you. This includes:

  • help to improve your confidence in English and Maths, Level 1 and Level 2
  • weekly job vacancy bulletins
  • advice on what jobs are available in your area and the skills you need to be successful
  • support with job searches, applications and interviews and to start your new job

Support usually takes place over 4 months with employment coaches. They work across the North East in a range of local community venues. Contact them for an informal chat to find out more.

Read more on InformationNOW about support to prepare for work 


Groundwork North East and Yorkshire helps people to be more active, improve their skills and employability, improve green spaces and save energy in the local community. They run different projects such as :

Read more on InformationNOW about cost of living increase 

Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs

Mobility Scooters and powered wheelchairs are a useful way of getting out and about and enabling you to do what you enjoy. There are lots of different types of scooter and wheelchair available to choose from in the UK. All scooters and powered wheelchairs are given a classification by the Department of Transport and a class 3 vehicle must be registered with the DVLA.

Starting your own business or self-employment

Starting your own business means that you are in control. You make the decisions. It can allow you more flexibility and the chance to use your skills and experience. Deciding to set up a business is a big step but support and advice is available.  This article covers the benefits, types of self-employment and local business support and advice.

Last updated: April 28, 2022

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