Latest News

**Change of Telephone Number**

On Saturday 25 November 2017, our telephone number will change to 0191 284 0480 – ask for Newcastle Disability Forum, and you will be transferred to us.

11/17

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Give As You Live – Janice’s Story

Give as you live………. and me

If you shop on line you can support your chosen charity at no cost to yourself.  It is true!  I didn’t believe it either but I thought I would try it anyway.  I knew the Newcastle Disability Forum was registered with Give as You Live, after all as part of my day job I had processed the registration, so I was ready to give it a try.

One quiet Saturday, I sat down with a cup of tea to order my groceries from Sainsburys.  I logged on to the Give as You Live website, selected Newcastle Disability Forum as my charity and then searched for Sainsbury’s.  I was taken to Sainsburys website and then I simply ordered in the usual way.

My first order through Give as You Live earned the Forum £1.50 and all my subsequent orders earn £0.50 which is a potential income of £25 a year for the Forum, not a lot of money but for a small charity every little matters.  Give it a try.

For further information, and to register, please click here to access the Give As You Live website.

11/17

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How to spot a SCAM – Which? Guide

Scammers have become more sophisticated in their bid to part us from our cash. From email scams and copycat websites to nuisance calls and tax rebate scams, we need our wits about us. Which? have produced a guide entitled ‘How can I protect my elderly relative from scams?’  This is available by clicking the following link: Which? guide on scams

11/17

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New Year’s Eve Celebration in Newcastle

NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Newcastle City Council have announced that this New Year’s Eve event will take place on Newcastle’s Town Moor.  Walk the Plank theatre group are due to orchestrate the sound-and-light spectacle, entitled ‘East of the Sun, West of the Moon’.

The event will take place from 4 to 6 pm on Sunday 31 December.  Entry is free, but tickets are allocated using a ballot system.  Please go to New Year’s Eve ballot to apply.

11/17

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Are you entitled to Pension Credit?

The government has stated that up to 1.4 million families are missing out on a top-up to their state pension.  According to  the Information Now website ,

Guarantee Credit will top up your weekly income to:

  • £155.60 if you’re single
  • or £237.55 if you’re a couple.

If you qualify for Savings Credit, you can get up to:

  • £13.20 extra per week if you’re single
  • or £14.90 if you’re a couple.

If you have over £10,000 in savings, this will affect the amount you receive.

For advice on eligibility, contact the Welfare Rights service on 0191 278 7878 or Age UK on 0191 232 6488, or access the Information Now website via the link above.  This website tells you how to claim the pension credit.

11/17

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Severe Mental Impairment Discount on Council Tax

According to the MoneySavingExpert.com website , tens of thousands of people who are entitled to a ‘severe mental impairment’ council tax discount could be missing out on up to £400 a year. Click on the link above for information on how to check if you’re due the discount – and how to claim it.

By law, someone who has been medically certified as having a permanent condition that affects their intelligence and social functioning (eg, Alzheimer’s or severe learning difficulties, but many other conditions may apply) is ‘disregarded for council tax purposes’ in England, Scotland and Wales.

Further information and advice can be obtained through the Alzheimer’s Society on 0191 298 3989 or from Newcastle City Council on 0191 278 7878 (ask for “Council Tax”).

11/17

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 Dementia Care appoint an Admiral Nurse in the North East

Dementia Care has appointed the first Admiral Nurse in the North East. Joe Costello will be able to offer advice on assessment and diagnosis as well as options and support regarding end of life care. Joe will offer families one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions. For contact details please contact the Bradbury Centre, Darrell Street, Brunswick Village, Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 7DS, telephone 0191 217 1323.  Their website can be accessed here .

10/17

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Pathway Hazards

Newcastle Disability Forum has a keen interest in all types of access.  Over the last 30 years the Forum has been involved in many projects.  Pathway hazards is an example of work which has been carried out over the years.

Please click below for a full report including photos.

Pathway Hazards

10/17


Benefits for People with Diabetes

Simply having diabetes does not necessarily entitle people to benefits but the complications of diabetes may make some things in daily life more difficult and this may mean an entitlement to benefits.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults and applies to people between the ages of 16 and 64.  It is to help with long-term ill health or disability.  If you have diabetes and have difficulty looking after yourself or managing your medicines, you may be eligible for PIP.  There is a daily living component and a mobility component and whether you are given PIP and which components is decided after you have made an application and been assessed.  In applying you will need to explain the impact of your diabetes on your daily living.

Attendance Allowance

This is an allowance granted to people over 65 who have a physical or mental disability and need help to care for themselves, such as people with diabetes who have disabling complications.  Once you have applied for this allowance, you may also have to attend a medical assessment.  If you receive an Attendance Allowance, you may also be able to get extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or a reduction in Council Tax.

Carer’s Allowance

If you require a significant amount of care, the person caring for you may be eligible for this allowance.  The carer has to be over 16 and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for you.  In addition, if the carer is working, from April 2017 they must not earn more than £116 a week and you must be receiving PIP, DLA (middle or highest carer rate) or Attendance Allowance.  Note: People may not be able to receive Carer’s Allowance if they receive other benefits but equally, they may be entitled to an increase in other benefits they are receiving.  However, this can also reduce other benefits so it is worth seeking advice, such as from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

For further information go to GOV.UK

09/17


Are you a Good Listener?

Listening Link is a volunteer telephone support service for carers, run by Newcastle Carers.  Newcastle Carers are looking for volunteers who would be able to provide support and encouragement to a carer by phoning them once a week and offering a listening ear.

Speaking to a volunteer offers carers a chance to share their worries or concerns, providing support and encouragement so that they feel less alone.  Being a carer can feel very isolating.  A friendly voice on the other end of the phone can make a huge difference.

If you are interested in volunteering for this important role, please contact Alison Neill for more information on 0191 275 5060 or at alison@newcastlecarers.org.uk.  The Newcastle Carers website can be accessed here.

09/17


Would you like to help medical students get a good bedside manner?

Part of the course for medics at Newcastle University is to practise their clinical skills on real people.  They examine your reflexes, muscular strength etc.

The people who volunteer for this say that it’s really worthwhile, and the students really appreciate it.

If you’re interested, please ring John Higgins on 0191 208 6965, or email him at john.higgins@newcastle.ac.uk

09/17


Independent Age – Free Friendship Service for Older People

Loneliness is a growing problem for older people.  Over one million older people say that they are always or often feel lonely.

Good company and conversation is enjoyable and important for our wellbeing.  A regular telephone call or visit from one of Independent Age’s volunteers can make all the difference.  It provides the chance to have a regular chat with someone friendly and trustworthy.

Their volunteers are people who enjoy listening, talking and getting to know people.  They are trained by Independent Age and have the checks you would expect.   The first step is for the older person or representative to call Independent Age. They will discuss  your needs and preferences, and then together will work out what would work best for you.

For more information about their services on Tyneside, please call Harriet or Kay on 0191 731 4000, email harriet.critchley@independentage.org,  or visit their website here.

09/17


Give As You Live – Janice’s Story

Give as you live………. and me

If you shop on line you can support your chosen charity at no cost to yourself.  It is true!  I didn’t believe it either but I thought I would try it anyway.  I knew the Newcastle Disability Forum was registered with Give as You Live, after all as part of my day job I had processed the registration, so I was ready to give it a try.

One quiet Saturday, I sat down with a cup of tea to order my groceries from Sainsburys.  I logged on to the Give as You Live website, selected Newcastle Disability Forum as my charity and then searched for Sainsbury’s.  I was taken to Sainsburys website and then I simply ordered in the usual way.

My first order through Give as You Live earned the Forum £1.50 and all my subsequent orders earn £0.50 which is a potential income of £25 a year for the Forum, not a lot of money but for a small charity every little matters.  Give it a try.

 

For further information, and to register, please click here to access the Give As You Live website.

09/17


My Guide – Friends and Family Training in Newcastle

Help people with sight loss get out and about.

The next My Guide – Friends and Family training sessions will take place in the Guide Dogs office in Newcastle on Friday 17th November 2017.

 These sessions are designed for individuals with sight loss to bring their friends and family to an informal setting where they can learn how to safely and confidently guide the person.  The session is fun and relaxed, lasting approximately 2 hours in length.  Places are limited; for further details, or to book a place, please call Mike Dooley on 0345 143 0220.

09/17

Newcastle Carers Survey 2016

Results of the above survey of adults caring for adults, run by Newcastle City Council, have been published.  The results are summarised below; please go to the foot of this article to access the full findings.

What people thought about care

45% of carers were extremely or very satisfied with either their own care and support services, or those provided to the person they care for. 32% were quite satisfied. The majority of people who had had discussions about services they or the person they care for received said that they were always or usually involved in these discussions.

The quality of information and advice

The majority of carers who had tried to find information said that it was easy to find, and nearly all said that it was quite helpful. However, we are aware that some people found getting hold of information difficult, and we will look at possible ways to make this easier.

Carers’ quality of life

We found that most carers had few or no worries about their personal safety or ability to take care of themselves. The issues that many carers said were important to them were being able to spend their time the way they wanted, having enough control over their daily lives, and having enough social contact with others.

Changes since 2012 and 2014

This survey first ran four years ago, in October 2012, and again in October 2014. There have been relatively few changes in people’s responses since then. Changes which have occurred are:

· There has been a decrease in carers replying that they are very or extremely satisfied overall with care and support services since 2012, from 53% to 45% in 2014 and 2016.

· Fewer carers say that they can spend their time as they want, doing things they value or enjoy, or that they do not have enough social contact with others.

· In 2012, 70% of carers in the survey had not heard of a Carers Emergency card. In 2016, this percentage was 76%.

Next Steps

The main issues that emerged from the survey related to whether carers felt they had enough control over their lives, and enough social contact with other people. We also found that many people had not heard of the Carers Emergency Card.

The full findings of the survey can be found on the Newcastle City Council website, and can be accessed here
08/17
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Telephone Package for Low Income Users

We have found out via the InfoSound cd that BT offer a basic telephone package for low income users.  BT Basic is marketed as a simple low-cost phone service that is easy to understand and helps you to keep in touch if you are on specific low-income Government benefits.
For more information you can phone 0800 800 864 between 8 am and 6 pm weekdays or by visiting the BT website here
08/17

Do you like going to the cinema?

If you like going to the cinema, and receive a disability benefit, or are registered blind, you may be entitled to use a CEA Card.  For an administration charge of £6 per year, you would pay for your ticket, but your card would allow your carer to go with you free of charge (ie 2 for the price of 1).  The card might also be valid for visits to the theatre or concert hall.
For further information please phone 0344 967 0101 weekdays between 9 am and 4.30 pm or visit the CEA Card website, which can be accessed by clicking here
08/17

 Reading Well – helpful books at your local library for people with long term conditions

Newcastle Libraries is supporting a new scheme, launched in July 2017 by Reading Well, to support people living with long term conditions.  The list of 28 books includes health information, memoirs and self management titles covering conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease, as well as fatigue, pain, wellbeing and sleep problems.  A full list of titles can be found here
The books are available to borrow for free from the City, Cruddas Park, Denton Burn, East End, Fenham, Gosforth, Kenton, Outer West and West End libraries.
08/17

 Travel and Insurance Companies Specialising in Disabled People and their Carers

It can sometimes be difficult to find holiday insurance to cover a disability or long-term chronic illness.  Here are some organisations which might be of use.
Travel Companies:
Revitalise – respite holidays for disabled people and carers – email: revitalise.org.uk; – 0303 303 0145
Insurance Companies:
Heart
British Heart Foundation – head office – 01372 477 300
Diabetes
Medical Conditions
Free Spirit Insurance – www.freespirittravelinsurance.com – 08452 302 000
Tysers Insurance – www.tysers.com –  01268 6284 361
Make Sure Insurance – www.makesureinsurance.co.uk – 0870 1566 679
Stay Sure Insurance – www.staysure.co.uk/Insurance/Travel
Cancer
Maggies have an excellent information sheets on travel insurance for those with or who have had cancer.
Over 50
07/17

Tyne and Wear Metro ‘I Need a Seat’ badges

In tandem with Nexus launching its Baby on Board badges to help pregnant women get a seat when they need it, they are also introducing an ‘I Need a Seat’ badge for people less able to stand, including those with a disability, elderly people, injured people, or people with hidden disabilities and conditions.
The badges, which also come as keyrings, are available from all Nexus Travel Shops.
06/17

Newcastle Shopmobility

Did you know that wheelchair and scooter provision is available in the heart of the city for only £25 per year (including free parking space)?
Newcastle Shopmobility provides mobility equipment for use within Newcastle City Centre.  The service is based at Eldon Garden Shopping Centre.  You do not have to be registered disabled to use the equipment – it is available to all who would benefit from mobility assistance.  The annual charge of £25 gives unlimited access to the service and to the dedicated parking available on Level 4 of Eldon Garden multi storey car park.
Opening hours are Monday to Saturday 9.30 am to 5 pm (not open bank holidays).
More details can be found by clicking this link: Newcastle Shopmobility or by phone at 0191 261 6176.
05/17

Do you have a Motability vehicle?  Do you know what is covered by the Motability insurance?

If you have a Motability vehicle, you may not be aware of what is covered, and more importantly what is not covered, by the Motability insurance.
More information can be found by clicking on the link to the relevant page on the Motability website .
It has been brought to our attention that mobility scooters, wheelchairs and other equipment are not always covered by standard motor and/or household insurance; it may pay you to check whether you have adequate cover.
05/17

 SHHH! Self Help Support Group for Hard of Hearing and Deafblind people

Deaflink is advertising a monthly self help support group for hard of hearing and deafblind members at St Andrew’s Church ground floor cafe (opposite NEXT and Eldon Square), Newgate Street, Newcastle NE1 5SS from 1.30-3.30pm on the first Tuesday of every month.

The group invites external speakers to present on topics linked to hearing loss and support services.

For more information, please contact Deaflink:

Minicom/Phone: 0191 281 2314

Text: 0789 732 9359

Email: admin@deaflink.org.uk

04/17


 Wheelchair Accessible Taxis

We have recently added on our website a list of local taxi firms which have wheelchair accessible vehicles within their fleet.  This can be found by clicking on ‘Useful Links’, then ‘Research’ on our homepage.

04/17


Warm Home Discount Scheme

You may be entitled to £140 off your electricity bill this winter.

You qualify for the discount if on 10 July 2016 all of the following applied:

  • your electricity supplier was part of the scheme
  • your name (or your partner’s) was on the bill
  • you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well)

Further details can be found on the gov.uk website

02/17


The Golden Guide 2017

This is a new free handbook for over 50s full of details on all aspects of life.  (NDF provided information for the original version of the handbook.)  The handbook is available in libraries, GP surgeries and various other outlets, and can also be accessed online at Golden Guide 2016, or by post (phone 0191 386 5918).

01/17


Credit Unions

We found an easy to read article on credit unions in the September-October 2016 edition of the Elders Council of Newcastle newsletter.  Whether you are a potential saver, or whether you would benefit from a loan from a credit union, this could be the way into finding out more.  Just click on the Elders Council newsletter September-October 2016 and turn to page 17.


Protect Yourself from Scams

The following Rica blog post provides practical advice on how to recognise scams, how to protect yourself, and where to report scams if you’ve been affected. Just click on the following for more information: Protect yourself from scams

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 Become a Mystery Shopper through Rica

Have you ever thought about being a mystery shopper with special reference to disability goods?  One of our members has recently been involved with this.  If you think you may be interested in carrying out this valuable service, please see the report at Rica Mystery Shopper