Issue 110                         17 January 2021         

Older People’s Representative

Elders Council are looking for an active member to help our team represent the views, issues and concerns of the
diverse older people of Newcastle.

You will be able to work with the Elders Council trustees to gather and review information from older people about an issue. You may attend meetings in person or online, e.g. with Newcastle City Council, local health services, or other community networks and be able to feedback the
views of older people.

This is a really interesting and varied role and you should have a bit of energy and be a confident communicator and able to relate to a wide range of people including older people, volunteers and professionals.

For further information and a full role description please contact:

☎ phone: 0191 208 2701
or email 

What's the Elders Council doing?

Older Voices Radio Programme

The next programme is broadcast on 21 January, Steve will be presenting and the theme this time is 'Winter'.
Are you ready for whatever may arrive? Will you be able to keep warm?
Listen to the programme live on 102.5fm Nova Radio North East

The Echo Magazine

The next edition of the magazine will be published at the end of this month. Among the many reports keeping you up-to-date with our activities, there's a feature from Information Now celebrating 15 years in operation. It reminds us that the Elders Council helped bring this website into being, we are often in the vanguard! There are articles about gardening and green issues and canoeing so it's very varied, make sure you get your copy.
We send it to you either digitally or in hard copy.

☎ phone: 0191 208 2701
or email 

Budget and Newcastle City Council

A small group of trustees and members met with Angela Jamson, from the City Council where we were given some detail of the proposed Council budget over the next three years. We were mainly interested in aspects that would affect older people but this often crosses those discrete departments. There was a focus on Adult Social Care and how the Council intend this to be organised differently. The proposal is that the provider of Home Care services will be given a 'pot' of money to cover the assessed needs of the people in that area. It will then be for the provider to work with clients to provide what is hoped will be a more flexible service. We did of course note that despite the growing number of older people there will be a cut in the funding to Adult Social Care.
We also made enquiries about housing as it appears that most of the housing developments we see are for family 'executive' homes often built on green land sites. We felt this was at odds with the Council's very welcome desire to become 'cleaner and greener'. Our comments have been written up in a report sent to the Council leaders.

Happy Birthday, Keith Pimm

We would like to wish Keith Pimm a very happy 90th birthday
As a long-time community activist and Board member of the Newcastle Healthy City Project, Keith helped to shape the development of the Elders Council in its very early days.  As a retired architect, Keith has been a very active contributor to our work on Housing, Health and Care, using his personal and professional experience together with his creativity to help to shape our work. Keith was the driving force behind the setting up of the Exhibition and Brandling Parks Community Trust.  It was through a partnership with the Trust that Newcastle City Council was successful in securing Lottery funding towards the refurbishment of Exhibition Park.  Thank you Keith for all you have done and enjoy your well-earned celebrations.

Student Request to EC Members

A third-year student at Newcastle University is currently studying Urban Planning as part of their degree. The topic of the dissertation is ‘What impact does housing have on the well-being of older people?’, with the data collection focussing on older adults in Newcastle as it is an ‘age-friendly’ city.

If you are interested in taking part, I would like to invite you to a focus group where I will be asking you to share your views with a small group of others. The group will be held in the week commencing the 14 February 2022 with a specific date to be determined by responses. The session will take about 2 hours.

Your views discussed in the focus group will give me an opportunity
to find out about:
 Understandings of well-being and the quality of life
The extent to which well-being is driven by home and neighbourhood in
These findings will give me insights to inform a critique of
housing policy and practices.

 you would like to take part in the focus group within the week of 14 February 2022 please let me know by email:

Wellbeing for Life at Jesmond Library

The next meeting's theme is 'Taking part in Music' and will be on Zoom with a small number meeting in the library. You must contact the library to state your preference:

Facebook and Twitter

We are sending more posts to social media - if you want to be really up-to-date you need to follow us on our social media pages

Interests and Activities

What's on in Newcastle and Gateshead in January? 

Quite a variety of things are available from Fatal Attraction at the Theatre Royal to Beauty and the Beast at The Sunderland  Empire Sunderland. If you are feeling ready for a change and don't mind the cold you can experience the invigorating cold waters of the North Sea at the Ice Dip Social. The brand-new event combines cold water swimming with a therapeutic Finnish sauna tent.
Check everything out at this website:

IT Help and Support at Jesmond Library

If you need some help with your various techie equipment Jesmond Library is offering a session on 1 February you need to take your equipment with you and the appointment must be pre-booked.

☎ phone: 0191 281 2385
or email:

Newcastle 'Tuneless' Choir

If you would like to join a choir but think you are tone-deaf
why not try the Tuneless Choir?
Singing Tunelessly resumes on Saturday 15 January at 2 pm in the upper hall of
Brunswick Methodist Church. This is the website with more information,

Dance City Inspire Platform Celebrating Dance for the 55+

Showcasing people who are 55+ from community groups across the region, INSPIRE presents an exciting and diverse programme of dance and film from community groups and guest professional artists.
Full information on the website
Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives

There are some fantastic exhibitions coming our way this year your best way to keep informed is to sign up for the regular 'Must see Museums' and you can sign up for that on their website here : 

 Here's one taking place this month. It features work by Pop Artists such as Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi and Andy Warhol, as well as others like Bridget Riley and Gillian Ayres.

4–29 January 2022 Hatton Gallery  Free entry (donations welcome)

Holocaust Memorial Day

  Holocaust Memorial Day is a time to remember the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 

A programme of events includes: 
Live radio broadcast by Skimstone Arts (alongside an exhibition in
city library from 20 January)
Cobweb Orchestra at Jesmond United Reform Church on 23 January at 6 pm, tickets available at the door
One Day, Many Days - a performance at the 
Tyneside Irish Centre on 24 January the
Brundibar Arts Festival from 22 January to 10 February
A number of the events can be booked through the
 Brundibar Arts Festival Website
There will be a commemorative event on 23 January, presented by the representative Council of North East Jewry; this Commemorative Event will focus on Kristallnacht. Their keynote speaker, Gabrielle Kennaghan, will talk about her experience of Kristallnacht and her life as a refugee. The event will also include video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and a recorded performance
from local school children.
Attendance: Invited audience only. A live recording of the event will be available on YouTube.

New members nights at People’s Theatre

Would you like to appear on the stage, or use your skills backstage or front of the house to be part of a group passionate about making great theatre and entertaining audiences?  Or maybe you’re looking to give yourself a challenge and do something different for the first time?
People’s Theatre are always delighted to welcome new members to take part in all aspects of the theatre including: Directing; Stage Management; Light technician; Sound technician; Props; Wardrobe;
Set design and building; Acting
Date: 19 January at 7.30 - 9.00 p.m. 

Book online
phone 0191 275 9875

'Tree' at Alphabetti Theatre

Would you like to come to a performance of TREE at Alphabetti Theatre on Saturday 29 January at 2.00 pm?  TREE is written by Gary Kitching and Steve Byron and sprang from the frustrations of the actors, Jaqueline Philips and Judi Earl, felt towards the representations of mature women in theatre.  

“Two friends talk about life and humanity. They are hilarious, heart-breaking, and packed full of lies. They sing and dance and laugh and cry. Just like real humans. Through a series of cosy and uncomfortable chats Rowan and Hazel dissect each other and the world. They share their favourite songs and musings on life, but there’s a lie so big it’s hard to believe that
“everything’s coming up roses”. 

Following the performance, Elders Council has been offered a fabulous opportunity to take part in a writing workshop with the writers.  What better way to brighten up a January Saturday?

Alphabetti performances are all ‘Pay What You Feel’ so you can just donate what you wish at the end of the show and the workshop. Booking is essential.  If you would like to join us for the show and/or the workshop, please let us know by emailing or calling us on 0191 208 2701.

 Converge Northumbria

If you are 18+ and live in Byker do you fancy a free 6-week art course working with an artist? Converge are offering this so grab your chance by contacting or phone 07468 700 881

SEARCH Newcastle

Search is a charity that provides services for older people and their carers in the west of Newcastle, based in the Carnegie Building, Atkinson Road in Benwell,

They offer a range of community activities, groups, one to one support, volunteering opportunities, advice and help with claiming benefits and accessing services. Most of their services are for people aged fifty and over except for the advice and information work which is for people over pension age and for carers of pensioners. Phone for more information: 0191 273 2773 or use the website

Jesmond Library

The library at Jesmond runs a whole series of events and activities. The link takes you to the calendar  of what's available in January and beyond.

Guided Walks by the St James Heritage Group

Nuns Moor Park and environs Thursday 27 January 11 am
Meet: the café in Nuns Moor Park, Nuns Moor Road
A Stroll through the Parks Wednesday 9 February 1 pm
Meet: entrance to Exhibition Park, Claremont Road
Newburn Village: a thousand years of history Wednesday 16 February 1 pm
Meet: the churchyard of St Michael and All Angel’s Church.
Romans,Coalmining and Ancient Woodland: Denton Burn and beyond
Wednesday 2 March 1 pm
Meet: in front of Denton Burn Library, West Road
BOOKING ESSENTIAL To book or for more information
Email Phone 0191 2528675

Vegetarians for Life

 Vegetarian for Life, a charity that supports older vegetarians and vegans. Over the past year, we have been offering cookery demonstrations via Zoom. We are now doing in-person too. Cookery sessions are open to anyone (over 50) and can be a great way to learn new skills and make friends.
And, are generally free too.

If this is something you may be interested in feel free to phone: 07980 885544 or email: 
The website address is:

Old Low Lights North Shields

Fish printing workshops celebrating Gyotaku, a traditional form of Japanese art, will take place at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre on
North Shields Fish Quay later this month.

Newcastle-based artist, Allan Barnfather, in partnership with Northern Print, will lead two workshops on Friday 21 January. One has already sold out but tickets at £15pp are still available for the morning workshop, from 10am to 12noon.
They can be booked at:


Beyond The Waves

A creative and supportive arts project for people who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.  Relaxing sessions delivered by facilitators who have been directly affected by grief.  Workshops are free and all materials are provided.  
Mondays 10.30 -12.30 at West End Library and Customer Service Centre, Condercum Road, Benwell, NE4 9JH
Contact Karen Underhill 07443411480

Volunteering, Research and Consultations
The Department for Work and Pensions

The Department for Work and Pensions needs your help to improve the support people get from the government in later life.
We’d like to ask you some questions and get your feedback if you are: approaching retirement, are already retired or 
a family member, friend or a carer who helps someone who has retired.
The consultation is open until August 2022. Here's the page you need.

Newcastle City Council want to hear about your experiences  of caring during Covid-19 pandemic

We want to hear about your experiences of caring during the Covid-19 pandemic and understand what services you would like to access in the future. To take part please complete the survey by 23 January
for the chance to win a £50 cash prize.

Newcastle Carers Survey 2021

Campaign for British Sign Language

The aims of the British Sign Language (BSL) Bill will be to declare BSL as an official language of the United Kingdom, provide for a BSL Council that will be able to promote and advise on matters relating to the language, and mechanisms to remove the barriers faced by Deaf Sign Language users. The campaign has a very limited time to run but you can find out more at the website here:

Voice Global

Become a co-applicant for a project on carers' roles in medicines-related interventions in hospital to home transitions. They are looking for a co-applicant to help shape their research application in a direction that is relevant and meaningful to make the review relevant to carers as well as health care professionals involved in transfer of care from hospital to home. This is the link:
Volunteering Opportunities
Support women in the North East

Aspire, learning support and wellbeing are offering training for would-be volunteers.  Aspire is an award-winning non-profit organisation offering learning, support & wellbeing opportunities, and
services to women in the North East of England

Good Gym January Challenge

Good Gym is asking us to volunteer and do as many good deeds as we can in January. You can walk, cycle, run - no experience or equipment necessary.  Sign up and look at the list of activities that you can get involved with.  From litter picks, to painting to help the Sustrans and a special event at Ouseburn, there's plenty to get on with.

AgeUK Campaign on Energy Costs

 Energy bills are going to rise in April. Experts have predicted they could go up by 50%. Unless the Government steps in now, millions of older people could be faced with an energy bill they simply cannot afford. You can help by signing a letter to the Prime Minister, here is the link you need.

Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness Consultation

Demand on Northumbria Police is increasing, and we need to ensure that we have a well-resourced police force, capable of continuing the fight against crime, and ensuring our communities remain safe. I'm asking if you would be willing to increase your contribution to allow for investment into the force to make this possible.
The link takes you to the consultation


Household Support Fund

The Government's £500 million Household Support Fund is designed to help vulnerable people and families with essentials over the latter part of 2021 and the start of 2022, as the country continues its recovery from the pandemic.
Funding has been distributed to councils across England, who know their local areas best, to directly help those who need it most, including for example, through small grants to meet daily needs such as food, clothing, and utilities.

Details about eligibility and how to apply are on this Newcastle Council page 
InformationNOW has an article on: emergency funds and support

Safer Transport Northumbria Appsearch

Safer Transport Northumbria – that’s the name of the app that transport users across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear are being urged to download as part of a regional effort to help make our transport links the safest in the country.
Launched by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, the app is part of an ongoing ‘Safer Streets’ commitment to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls and improve safety on public transport.
The idea behind the app is to make it easy for anyone travelling anywhere in the region to flag concerns for another’s safety.  
You can also use it to tell us that you feel unsafe.
Put the title 'Safer Transport Northumbria in your search box in your phone and the app will be available for you to download.

Covid: Shields Ferry to be halted in the evenings from Sunday 9 January

The Shields Ferry will not operate in the evenings until further notice from Sunday 9 January in order to protect the service from 
the latest wave of Covid-19.

The new Shields Ferry timetable will mean the first crossing of the day will still be at 6.45 am, Monday to Saturday, but the last crossings will be at 5.45 pm, from South Shields., and 6 pm from North Shields.

The ferry timetable on Sundays is not changing and services
will continue to end at 6pm.

Full information can be found at

Helping Older People Manage Debt

Age UK can help those in financial difficulty find the support they need.
 Money worries can make someone feel trapped. But it’s never too early or too late to seek help with debt.
Age UK can help older people take the first steps to regain
control of their finances.
Find out more on the website:
☎ phone: 0800 055 6112

Carers Rights

If you are a carer you may be interested in listening to this conversation about identifying carers, support available and their rights to support, benefits and more. Hear from Newcastle Carers, PROPS, British Red Cross as well as Deputy Leader Karen Kilgour and Carers Lead Fiona Richardson as well as the Assistant Director for Adult Social Care and Integrated Services.

Disabled Persons Passenger Charter

The government has joined with disability charity Scope to develop a new
Disabled Persons Passenger Charter for bus,
coach, taxi, private hire vehicle and rail.
Providing a clear explanation of their rights, the charter will
improve journeys for disabled people
by helping ensure they can travel easily and more confidently.
It will bring together a host of information for disabled passengers
travelling across England
and advice for passengers on what to do when things do not go as expected.
The charter follows last year’s unveiling of the government’s National Disability Strategy – a range of initiatives to improve journeys for disabled people. You can read more on the Government's website.

The YHN Community Fund 

The YHN Community Fund aims to have a positive impact on the communities where YHN has homes by investing in community projects and partners that are already doing great work and helping them to achieve more. 

The fund is open to voluntary and community sector organisations in Newcastle to bid for a share of £20,000 available during the year, with the first round having launched in April 2021. Organisations can bid for grants of up to £4,000 per round.  

If your group or organisation would like to bid for a share of Round 4,
please be advised to go through the
accompanying guidance notesprior to completing the application form.  :

IMPORTANT - if your organisation has been successful in securing funding from the YHN Community Fund in 2021, you are NOT eligible to apply to any subsequent rounds this year.
If you have received funding from YHN prior to 2021, you MAY apply for funding again, providing you can demonstrate how your project idea has developed and that your project will engage new members.
This is the link to the application form:

North East England Climate Coalition (NEECCo)

 North East England Climate Coalition (NEECCo) is a cross-sector initiative bringing the North East England region together to tackle the climate emergency, reverse ecological collapse and deliver an urgent and just transition under the shared vision of ‘Becoming England’s greenest region’.
This is a link to their newsletter:http://NE Climate Change Newsletter

Energy for Newcastle Residents

 This is part of the City Council's information on saving energy and reducing your bills at home. It's available online and has links to other possible support and help sources. The webpage has information on financial help to improve your home (with energy-saving schemes such as insulation). There is information on help with prepayment energy costs too.
The website address is: 


We want to know what you think! 

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Elders Council of Newcastle · Biomedical Research Building, Campus for Ageing · Nunsmoor Road · Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE4 5PL · United Kingdom

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