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How accessible is InformationNOW?

InformationNOW was last tested on 14th January 2021 using the SiteImprove website achieving an accessibility rating of 94.4 out of 100.

To Improve accessibility, InformationNOW carry out monthly accessibility checks using SiteImprove software. If any issues are identified, they are fixed immediately, or plans are put in place to resolve them.

ReciteMe software is also used to improve access for readers, allowing them to tailor the website to meet individual needs e.g. with a screen reader, audio files, text resize and background changes.

Coronavirus update


The current case rate per 100,000 for Tyneside, Wearside, Northumberland and County Durham is  lower in comparison to England as a whole.

However, Council leaders say it is important to continue to do everything we can to limit the spread of the virus and to avoid some of the scenes we’ve seen in London.


Newcastle’s 3 household waste and recycling centres (Brunswick, Byker and Walbottle) are open on a winter timetable and measures are in place to manage access and ensure safety and social distancing.

An “odds and evens number plate” system has also been introduced to determine which days you can visit with a requirement to show identification/ proof of address with only Newcastle residents being allowed in.

The Together Project:

The together project allows children, young people and families to connect with older people in care homes, so they don’t feel so forgotten.

Click the link to get involved here:


Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately)

The ask for ANI codeword scheme provides a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to signal that they need emergency help from the safety of their local pharmacy.

Using the codeword ‘ANI’ in Boots pharmacies in the Northumbria force area, lets staff know they require an emergency police response, or help contacting a helpline or specialist support service.


Six in ten pensioner homeowners failing to claim full entitlement of state benefits

A report from Just Group found 42% of eligible pensioner homeowners are failing to claim any benefits at all whilst 20% are under-claiming.

The main reasons for people failing to claim are lack of awareness, stigma and the complexity of navigating the benefits system.

The most common benefits that are not claimed are:

Help is available from Citizens Advice Newcastle, Money Advice Service and directly from Newcastle City Council.

Forms are available online and you can email:

Book clubs online

Library book clubs are continuing or re-starting online. Get in touch with the library team and they will help you find a group or get back in touch.

City Library currently use two platforms for electronic content:

RBDigital: mostly audiobooks plus magazines, comics and some classics as e-books

BorrowBox has mostly e-books plus some audiobooks.

Click here for a guide on their website which explains how to use it.

There is also section on the BorrowBox e-book homepage called Always available. These titles they have a special deal meaning they get hundreds of copies for 3 months. You are guaranteed everyone will be able to get a copy on time so these might be a good option for your reading group.

Book clubs that are continuing include City/Central Library; Restarting include: Fenham Library.

Click here for more on libraries, reading and audio books.


Research and Reports

Frailty pathway, 10th February 1 - 4pm

Working in partnership with Northumbria University and NGCCG, funding has been secured from National Institute for Health Research to develop a standardised method of evaluating frailty pathways of care.

Contact Hannah for more information:

Get involved in health research

Help Voice with health research

  • Help clinical science students prepare their dissertation proposals, part of which is a lay summary. You can help them get the information readable from a patient /public perspective. 
  • Develop a voice app to reach more people and get them involved with their research.  Just follow the link and make your comments online. 

Contact Elizabeth Howell. Email:

Monday 22nd February, 9am-12:30 using Zoom  


In Your Pocket

In Your Pocket is a voice operated smartphone and media player, designed for visually impaired people. This app uses only a few voice commands to  make calls, listen to books or get the newspaper read to you.

Planning ahead

Age UK is offering a Will and Power of Attorney Service.  It's a good idea to get your affairs in order.  Why not get in touch?

More information on Power of Attorney and Wills.



Whilst there is no cure for dementia, highlighted below are some things you can do to prevent dementia (and other medical conditions such as stroke)

  1.  Exercise  - in particular aerobic activity that gets you a little bit breathless. Studies by the  Alzheimer's Society,  have linked exercise to keeping our brain healthy.
  2.  Sleep - enhances memory and prevents dementia. To improve your chances of getting to sleep: try 30 minutes outdoors getting natural daylight; avoiding caffeine, alcohol and meals at night; good sleep routine. Need help? Try Sleepstation online.
  3. Daylight – helps to promote melatonin which is a natural sleep hormone. If you wear glasses and can go out safely, then it is worth removing your glasses for a while as they can block the natural light getting through.

Stroke prevention

Stroke prevention day is 14 January. There are many things you can do to reduce the risk of a stroke including swapping an alcoholic drink for a soft one, getting up and moving regularly during the day, changing your diet to include less salt or eating more fruit and vegetables, stopping smoking, or even joining an online exercise or activity group.

One of the key risk factors for a stroke is high blood pressure or hypertension and it is worth thinking about your lifestyle and diet to keep this at bay for as long as possible.

The Stroke Association has an online form for you to make a pledge to make a change during January.

Apps to help you improve your finances

All these apps are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  

Pensionbee - If you have several workplace pensions. Enter your pension or employer details and it will find all those plans so that you can see your total and plan effectively.

Snoop – lets you connect your bank accounts and credit cards and shows you all your info in one place.
Plum - combines open banking, saving on your regular spends with investing ethically or tech stocks. It can also form part of an ISA.

Emma - helps you avoid overdrafts, get rid of forgotten and under used subscriptions and poor utilities.   

Chip - works out what you can afford to save from your main bank account and auto saves every four days…

Moneybox - helps you save and invest by rounding up to the nearest pound when you spend, then saves or invests the spare change in an ISA.

Untied - helps you work out what your tax bill will be based on your bank account and income sources…


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