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  • Vicky Holmes

Changes to Key Services and Local Updates

Updated: Jul 26

Changes to benefit and debt advice services due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Newcastle City Council’s website includes changes to how residents can contact advice services and benefit offices at Benefit advice services in Newcastle and benefit offices. The ‘coronavirus and benefits’ website information has been updated and consists of the following three website pages:

Courts officially opened at Newcastle Civic Centre

The Newcastle Civil, Family and Tribunals Centre – a major part of the refurbishment of the Civic Centre - officially opened 14/7/21. The 25 courtrooms for civil, family and tribunal hearings replace other buildings that previously heard this work. Set across three floors, all the courtrooms are equipped for remote hearings. They will deal with civil and family work as well as immigration and asylum, employment and social security and child support tribunals. More than 130 members of HMCTS staff and judiciary will work at the building, and all civil, family and tribunal work in the city will now primarily take place at the new centre.


Current working arrangements of teams within Newcastle City Council’s Active Inclusion Service

  • The Housing Advice Centre building remains closed for face-to-face advice until further notice and Newcastle City Council’s Housing Advice Centre staff continue to provide telephone and email advice. The Housing Advice Centre has a new freephone number which is 0800 1707 008. We would be grateful if you could pass this information on to the residents you are working with who may be at risk of homelessness and to relevant colleagues or you can contact them via email at housingadvicecentre@newcastle.gov.uk

  • The Newcastle Gateway is being maintained and you can contact the Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit for support via email at gateway@newcastle.gov.uk

  • The Supporting Independence Scheme (SIS) is fully operational with all items available. For more information or guidance, email the team at gateway@newcastle.gov.uk

  • The FoodWorks catering outlets are all temporarily closed. Natures Landscapes reopened on 3 August 2020

  • Other Supported Employment staff, the Money Matters debt and budgeting team and the Welfare Rights team are only providing telephone and email advice until further notice. Their telephone lines for the public and professionals are open as normal.

Food banks and free food services

For up-to-date information on food banks and other free food services in Newcastle, please check the Information NOW website at the following links:

The My Neighbourhood service on Newcastle City Council’s website is using the above information to produce maps of where to find free and low-cost food provision in your area. Please click here to find out more.


Previously advised service changes

  • Newcastle Futures are now delivering their service face to face and digitally, clients can now choose how they want to receive support. Operating from SkillsHub at Newcastle City Library as from 12 April to be followed by other local venues very soon. You can register for Newcastle Futures Tyne Online at www.tyneonline.co.uk, email info@newcastlefutures.co.uk or phone 0191 2302970. They are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TyneOnline/

  • Citizens Advice Newcastle’s drop-in sessions at City Library remain closed until further notice. They continue to deliver their service via freephone (0808 278 7823), email (citycab@newcastlecab.org.uk) and webchat (www.citizensadvice.org.uk)

  • Moving On Tyne & Wear are still delivering their service to help residents who are unemployed and have a health barrier, disability, additional learning need or autism get into employment, training or volunteering. You can find out more and sign up to this free service by visiting www.motw.org.uk emailing enquiries@motw.org.uk or calling 0191 217 3206. They are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MovingOnTW/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/MovingOnTW

  • Shelters face-to-face services are closed but the team can be contacted from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, on 0344 515 1601 or via email at shelternortheast@shelter.org.uk. Residents can also send a text to 07919 046449 to get a call back

  • Crisis Skylight face-to-face services and the Skylight centre remain closed, whilst they work on their re-entry plan. The Newcastle team have been working on a new online learning programme, accessible via their website at www.crisis.org.uk/newcastle. They also continue to offer support remotely for the foreseeable future and will continue to work directly with members by phone and online for those requiring individual and ongoing support. They welcome new member referrals for learning and / or support and are checking the enquiries.newcastle@crisis.org.uk inbox daily. Alternatively, you can leave a voicemail on their office phone number (0191 222 0622) and they will endeavour to respond to your query as soon as they can

  • The People’s Kitchen are serving takeaway hot food at the Alison Centre, Bath Lane from Monday to Friday between 7pm and 8.15pm, and are serving breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 11.15am. They are still happy to support food parcels via a referral if they are collected by a support worker, but can no longer do deliveries to the public. More information is available here

  • Joseph Cowen Healthcare Centre remains open from Monday to Thursday between 8am and 4pm, and on Fridays between 8am and 3pm. Please note that the centre is closed for lunch between 12.30pm and 1pm. Most of the provision is offered at reception on a one-to-one basis, enabling control over how many people can enter the building to maintain social distancing and confidentiality

  • City Road Drop In remains open and able to support those sleeping rough. They are open between 8am and 12pm and again from 1pm to 3.30pm. Access is controlled to ensure social distancing is maintained

  • JET (Jobs, Education and Training) staff have returned to face-to-face support and provision and have an office in Carneige Building as well as on Adelaide Terrace now. All their job coaches along with the National Careers Service advisors and the ESOL team have recommenced working from their offices and variety of outreach venues, where they are providing employability support, job search support, careers advice and integration activities.They are currently operating on an appointment only basis. To book an appointment please call: 0191 273 5761, from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or email nasrin@jetnorth.org.uk.

  • Changes to Jobcentre Plus opening hours - From 26 April 2021, Jobcentres reverted to their original opening hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) for customers who need to meet face to face with their work coach. To keep people safe, customers won’t need to attend a Jobcentre unless they are asked to and Jobcentres will continue to operate in accordance with current health and safety guidelines

  • The twice weekly InterAction drop-in service is now open again every Tuesday and Thursday from 11am to 3pm at their CityGate building


For information on other services Where to Get Advice in Newcastle which includes services in Newcastle providing benefit and debt advice, is available on the website here


Key local updates


Energy advice and support

Newcastle residents can access energy saving advice and funding to improve the energy rating of their homes. Extra support is also available to deal with energy supplier problems and fuel debt via the council and partner agencies. Further information is available at www.newcastle.gov.uk/energyadvice.


Newcastle’s Best Summer Ever

information around summer holiday activities taking place in Newcastle is available on Active Newcastle’s webpage.


InformationNOW – service updates

Service updates made to InformationNOW this week include:

Pension Credit Claim line

Newcastle Stop Smoking Service

Newcastle Futures

Healthworks

West End Resource Centre Addison Court, assisted living accommodation

Healthy Start Scheme


Courts officially opened at Newcastle Civic Centre

The Newcastle Civil, Family and Tribunals Centre – a major part of the refurbishment of the Civic Centre - officially opened 14/7/21. The 25 courtrooms for civil, family and tribunal hearings replace other buildings that previously heard this work. Set across three floors, all the courtrooms are equipped for remote hearings. They will deal with civil and family work as well as immigration and asylum, employment and social security and child support tribunals. More than 130 members of HMCTS staff and judiciary will work at the building, and all civil, family and tribunal work in the city will now primarily take place at the new centre.


Citizen's Advice Newcastle self-referral

Citizen's Advice Newcastle (CAN) has developed a self-referral form on their website. This enables you to get in touch at a time that suits you and be confident that you will be contacted by the team to follow up with you. The form is simple and enables you to write in a free text box and indicate how you want them to contact you. Your information remains confidential and secure. You can access the form here.


CityLife Line still offering essential support across Newcastle

A support service that has provided assistance to Newcastle residents throughout the pandemic is still on hand to help.

To get support, please complete this online form or visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/welfare. Alternatively, call 0800 170 7001 and someone can complete the form on your behalf. The team works Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. After requesting support you will receive a phone call to understand your needs either the same working day, or the next working day.








Active Inclusion Newcastle information update: 26 July 2021

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