Issue 132    12 December 2022 

Welcome to the Elders Council

We would like to give a warm welcome to Gill Spoor who is joining our team as a membership secretary/administrator at the beginning of December.  Gillian is familiar with the work of the Elders Council from her previous roles at Age UK Newcastle, Mental Health Concern, and Independent Age.  She is working part-time on Monday,
Tuesday and Wednesday.  

We are also pleased to welcome Sana Dutti, an intern from Newcastle University, who will be working with us until the summer to support us in reviewing our communications programme.  We are proud of our communications work, but we look forward to having a fresh pair of eyes reviewing what we are doing to make sure it is
relevant and appealing to our audiences.

What's the Elders Council doing?

Going Digital - Opportunities for all
with Chi Onwurah M. P. Newcastle Central

Set a date in your diary for 24 February @ 11 am in Brunswick Church Hall a 'not to be missed opportunity' to hear about the pros and cons as well as a chance to ask those tricky questions about being part of the digital world.
Further details about booking will follow

Project ICE

This is a message from our friends at Northumbria University who help 
older people get to grips with techie stuff.

"Thank you all so much for attending Project ICE this year, it’s been the best we’ve seen in a long time! As the year comes to a close, we will be cancelling our last session on Wednesday the 14 of December.
We will, however, be starting again on the 18 of January, when James will be in touch with more details.

Newcastle City Council Budget Proposals 2023-24

Elders Council will submit a response to Newcastle City Council’s budget proposals early in the New Year.  Here is a link to the proposals Council sets out proposals to save more than £23m while protecting frontline services | Newcastle City Council  If you have any comments on the proposals, in particular how they will affect older people, please let us know so that we can consider them as part of our response.  Please send comments to  You can also send your comments direct to Newcastle City Council via their website.

Looking to the Future

EC is delighted to be working with a team of business students from Northumbria University Business Clinic to develop ways of working which will enable us to attract new members to the organisation, particularly those in their 50/60s.  The staff team had an excellent first meeting with the students and we are really looking forward to their thought-provoking questions and ideas.


Congratulations to our colleagues at VOICE on their 15th anniversary. 
EC was well represented at the celebration in the Catalyst during which we heard of the many achievements and aspirations for the global VOICE network.  It is heartening to see how much people’s experiences and expertise are valued at the heart of research and innovation.


One of our Trustees is a representative monitoring
the use of these and he sent this piece of information.
 'Newcastle City Council is trialling e-scooters in partnership with the provider, Neuron. The idea is that e-scooters provide a sustainable and efficient form of transport in the city.

Concern has been expressed about the real dangers to older and disabled people when these are misused. Issues highlighted include that the scooters are often used on pavements and left randomly across pavements. The e-scooters are often ridden by more than one person under the age of eighteen. No indicators and riders not being obliged to wear the helmets provided are other worries. Neuron acknowledges these concerns and has advised that
their employees regularly patrol the area.

 If you have other comments please contact the office and the Elders Council representative will endeavour to raise them at a future meeting. We will keep you informed as to future developments.

 ☎ phone: 0191 208 2701
or email

North East Drive Mobility

This is a driving assessment centre based in Walkergate Hospital that covers the North East and Cumbria areas. They assess the safety of drivers who may have medical conditions that can affect their driving.  They are funded by the Department of Transport to provide a free bespoke service for people who can no longer drive, their families and non-drivers to help them to stay independent and signpost them in the right direction of public and community transport services and other community activities that may stop them becoming isolated. 
To find out more about the service, contact Paula George the details are below.

  Paula will be coming to the Elders Council offices to talk to us about the service on Thursday 15 December at 2.00 pm.  If you would like to join us, please contact

☎ phone: 0191 287 5092
or email 

Older Voices - the radio show of the Elders Council

The next broadcast is on 18 December and Christmas in the shape of a Panto has arrived at OV headquarters. The Panto is written and performed by members of the radio team with the inclusion (a starring role?) of John Grundy this year.
So take your seats and be entertained (oh yes you will!)
Other Christmassy items will be included once the team has recovered.

Details for listening to OV

There are a number of ways to listen to Older Voices, the radio show of the Elders Council: 1. Live on 102.5FM Nova Radio North East 2. 3. 

LLARC Christmas podcast

Later Life Audio and Radio Cooperative (LLARC) is a team of people who network across the UK to produce audio content with and for older people.  On Tuesday they celebrated their work by getting together at the Urban Sciences building in Newcastle and reviewing their achievements and you can hear more about
that at their AGM in January.
They'd like to invite you to listen to their Christmas reminiscences. Interviewed by Gerry Foley, they discussed Christmas past and present in Newcastle,  Ireland, Germany and Switzerland.  Enjoy. Why not join LLARC and share your ideas, memories and interests
for all to hear? Read more on InformationNOW about libraries, audio and reading groups

Newcastle City Council

This is a response from the City Council by Cllr Jane Byrne in relation to their proposals to close Blackett Street to buses.
“We made a commitment to review proposals for the city centre to ensure that the plans remain aligned with our environmental, climate and economic priorities. That review is now largely complete and, after also taking into account the previous extensive feedback in relation to transport changes, we have deferred a decision on closing Blackett Street to buses. This means that we will no longer be proceeding with a public enquiry at this time."

City of Longevity Pop Up Studio

The City of Longevity Pop Up Studio, which is now in The Catalyst on Newcastle Helix, tells the story of older people from different cities across the world. Participants were invited to bring in an object representing a particular memory or experience and to have their portraits taken.   These portraits are now on display until the end of January 2023.  On 6 and 7 of December, there is also an opportunity for you to have your portrait taken by Laura Liverani, so why not ‘pop along’ and add to the rich mix of people contributing to this exhibition.

Housing Podcasts

There are some interesting new podcasts available on based on conversations on a range of housing issues.  The voices may sound familiar to some of you, as they are conversations between Moyra Riseborough, Rose Gilroy, Esther Salamon,
and Barbara Douglas.  We hope you find them interesting.

u3a 40 Anniversary Celebration

We were delighted to be invited to join Newcastle u3a’s celebration at Brunswick Church on 30 November.  The room was buzzing with information about a fabulous range of groups to join, and there was great entertainment from the ukulele group and the Tuneless Choir. EC member, Margaret Little, did a great job at attracting new members to the Elders Council.

Museum Socials

Have you tried taking part in one of the Tyne and Wear Museums ‘socials’?  We’d love to hear from you if you have any. 
Write us a short piece about your experience for our magazine. We’re keen to hear about free or low-cost activities that keep our spirits up during the winter months. This is how you can contact us to tell us what you thought.

 ☎ phone: 0191 208 2701
or email

Interests and Activities

Pantomime Season is here!  

Cinderella @ there Theatre Royal; Beauty and the Beast @ The Tyne Theatre; Aladdin @ Whitley Bay Playhouse and Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ The People's Theatre. There will be others in community centres and other smaller theatres so take your pick!

St James' Heritage and Environment Group

December 14 at 11 am Up the Hill from Paradise with local author Michael Chaplin to celebrate the west end. Seasonal refreshments too!
Monday 9 January 1 pm at West End Library North East life in the 1960s.
Revisit this memorable decade with local author Andrew Clark, with stories of childhood, music, fashion, entertainment, sport, work and holidays.
Friday 13 January 10.30 am at Denton Burn Library Discovering Scotswood. Take your seats for a visual journey through the history and heritage of Scotswood with John Taberham. You will be surprised by what is out there.
Tuesday 17 January 10.30 Guided tour of the
New Tyne Theatre, Westgate Road
Explore one of our most precious historic buildings - the Tyne Theatre. Your guide Alan Butland will take you behind the scenes, including underneath the stage, to see how it all works.
 BOOKING ESSENTIAL for all activities
☎ phone: 0191 2528675 to leave a message including contact details
or email:

Pop-up Crafts @ The Grainger Market

This is what's available for the rest of the month and it's all free.
13 December - Weave a willow bird feeder, 11 am - 1 pm & 1.30 - 3.30 pm
 15 December- Make a multi-sensory wind-chime, 11 am-1 pm & 1.3-3.30 pm
18 December - Make a festive ornament 11 am-1 pm & 1.30-3.30 pm
 20 December - Festive craft workshop, 11 am to 1 pm & 1.30 to 3.30 pm
22 December - Make winter decorations, 11 am to 1 pm & 1.30 to 3.30 pm

Shieldfield Home

A celebration of art made in Shieldfield by local artists, makers and New Bridge‘s own artist community! All kinds of art, craft and creativity will be exhibited – from drawings and paintings to photography, films and books to craft, design & digital art, floral, textiles, fashion, music & sound. Artworks will be displayed in their custom-designed showroom in our gallery. Some of the art will be for sale and there will be a full programme of events for anyone to get involved in.  Saturday 28 January – Saturday 25 February,
Opening Party: Friday 27 January 5 pm – 8 pm
Here's the link for more information:

Photography Competition

Enjoy photog0raphy then why not have a go at this? At the Elders Council, we get very tired of seeing the same stereotypical images of older people
Ageing Better is joining forces with the content licensing platform Alamy to run a competition for their photographers to challenge old-age stereotypes. Here's the link to give you the information. Good Luck!

North East Red Rope

 North East Red Rope is a socialist walking and climbing group.  They do regular walks on the 2nd Sunday of the month.
Their first walk of the New Year is on 8 January and is a Red Kite walk.  Future walks include Durham Botanical Gardens, Souter Lighthouse
and Newbiggin by the Sea. 
To find out more contact

Winter Social &  Prize Quiz

December 19 at the City Library. Drop in any time between 11 am - 4 pm for a free hot drink and mince pie. The quiz starts at 2 pm.
For any further information

What's on in NewcastleGateshead in December?

 Christmas Markets or Laser light City and more; if you don't know what's on here's where you can find out.

The Baltic
This link takes you to the most recent 'What's On at the Baltic'. If you haven't been it's a new place to discover and entrance is free.

Workers Education Association (WEA)

Here are some tips and a quiz to help you make your Christmas a cracking one!

Scotswood Garden Warm Space

This is in the John Marley Centre every Thursday from 2 -5 pm and it's open to anyone. You can charge your phone or, use the wifi or, play a board game or two. All of it is free. The contact details are:
 ☎ phone: 0191 275 0000  or email:
Elderberries @ Scotswood Garden
The 'Late Bloomers Christmas Party is on 21 December 

☎ phone: 0191 275 0000
or email: or

Women's Voices - The Power of the Pen

Here's a free 6 week course on developing your creativity and confidence  through writing. This course is aimed at women in the east end of the city. Here are the contact details for more information.

☎ phone: 0191 224 2349
email: or

Shieldfield Christmas

Please be quick to get to this as it's happening this afternoon! Monday 12 December 3.30 - 5.30 pm at Wretham Place carols, crafts and free soup

Tree Top Village Warm Space

An offer of activities, support and some free food
Monday 12 December  10.00 am - 2.00 pm
Monday 19 December 9.30 am - 6.00 pm

Walker Road NE6 3 JW (next to Aldi)

Volunteering, Research and Consultations

Psychology Student needs Volunteers

A student is currently recruiting participants to complete a study for my final year psychology dissertation project investigating how news media (videos) may influence memory and thinking ability.  Participants are required to be age 60+ and have no previous clinical diagnosis of a Neurodegenerative or Mood disorder. A computer with a keyboard is required for the study. The study will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Ethical approval has been provided by the Research and Ethics Committee at Northumbria University.  

Study link:

Improving stability and safety

Share your insights and experiences as part of a new research project exploring the incidence of falls as we grow older, and contribute to
improving stability and safety.  

Design Age Institute is working with Walk With Path to understand the growing incidence of falls amongst people as they get older and how better design can help to improve the stability and safety of individuals.

Complete a 10-minute questionnaire below to share any experience of falling that you might have had. 
Complete the questionnaire


Independent Age

They provide very useful information on money and energy saving it's clearly written. Here's the link
Newcastle City Council has also gathered a lot of valuable information about the Cost of Living support in one place. Here is the Link

The Newcastle Asthma & Lung Support Group

The Newcastle Asthma & Lung Support Group now meets at the East End Swimming Pool Byker on the 3rd Thursday of each month, between 13.30 -15.30. Why not go along to find out how it can help you?

 Newcastle Homes – the new way to apply for social housing in Newcastle

 Tyne and Wear Homes is ending. In Newcastle, there is a new service called Newcastle Homes. From 7 December, if you want to apply for, view or bid for council or housing association properties in Newcastle, you will need to visit

If you were previously registered with Tyne and Wear Homes and wanted to be re-housed in Newcastle, your housing application will automatically be moved to Newcastle Homes and you can login using your 
Tyne and Wear Homes login and password.

If you had registered and said you wanted to be re-housed in Gateshead, North Tyneside or South Tyneside through Tyne and Wear Homes your application will transfer over to their new service.
From 7 December new applicants will have to register
with each of the Council’s new systems.
Links to each of the new websites can be found at from 07 December.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found at

Urban Green Christmas Tree Re-cycling Scheme

We're excited to be running a tree recycling scheme this year, through which you can recycle your real Christmas Tree and turn it into chippings that will be used in your local park – make sure to book your slot now! We've also got some fantastic events and activities happening across Newcastle's green spaces over the coming weeks, with something for all to enjoy.

Mental Health North East (MHNE)

For mental health support you can contact MHNE, a charity supporting people with mental health difficulties,
this is their website address:
This is the link to Crisis, where homeless people can
find help and support  in the city.

Kinship Drop In

Do you care for a family member or a friend's child/children on a full-time basis? This group is one for you. Drop in for a cuppa and a chat the first Thursday of each month (term time) 10 - 11 am @Treetop Village, Walker Road.
Here are the contact details
 ☎ phone: 0191 263 2752 
or email:

The Carents Room

Is the go-to place for people supporting elderly parents. It is full of useful information and connections to help you to get the best possible care for your parents.Here is the link: The Carents Room


Here is the InformationNOW Newsletter for 2 December

Links to Health Bulletins

This is the link to the Integrated Care Bulletin for 2 December
Here is the link to In Touch the NHS  Bulletin for 28 November

We want to know what you think! 

Contact us at:

Please note that while our office remains closed the phone will have an automated reply.
We WILL contact you as soon as possible if you leave a message and telephone number.
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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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