Help for Unpaid Carers

If you are an unpaid carer, Carers Northumberland’s information and advice team is available from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, to help you find your way around the social care system, tell you about your legal rights, and signpost you to organisations and services that can support you in your caring role. Carers Northumberland also administers the Carer Support Fund, which provides small grants to enable unpaid carers to take short breaks from their caring responsibilities. You can email Carers Northumberland or call 01670 320 025, or attend the free event that’s taking place on Thursday 24 November in Alnwick where you can talk to Carers Northumberland and a range of other organisations. If you know an unpaid carer who might find this information useful, please pass it on.

Cost of Living Support

Northumberland County Council is offering information and advice to help residents who may be feeling the pressure of the cost of living crisis. The information covers a wide range of subjects, from household costs and bills through to mental health and wellbeing, and includes details of benefits, discounts and payments for those who are eligible. There is also guidance for anyone who is interested in volunteering to help others. The information is available on the Northumberland County Council website, or you can call Northumberland Communities Together on 01670 620 015 9am-6pm, seven days a week, or send an email.

Storm Arwen Review

Northumberland County Council is carrying out a review of the impact of Storm Arwen and the response to it. It wants to hear from individuals and local businesses about their experience of the storm and the multi-agency response to it, including that of the County Council itself. As well as examining the disruption caused by the storm and the response to that disruption, the review will make recommendations to ensure that everyone is better prepared for similar events in the future. Please send your written submission to Sean Nicholson at Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth NE61 2EF.

Northumberland Libraries’ Digital Help Line

Northumberland Libraries’ staff can provide basic help with IT queries, free of charge. Help might include, but is not limited to, getting online (connecting to existing WiFi at home), using the internet, setting up a free email account, accessing free digital books to read or listen to, supporting access to all digital NHS services, setting up Zoom, Skype and other video chats, online shopping, and troubleshooting other basic problems. All help is free of charge, private, and given by library staff. Call 0345 600 6400 (Monday to Thursday 08.30 to 17.00 and Friday 08.30 to 16.30) to arrange a call-back appointment. You will be called back by a staff member on either a Tuesday or a Thursday between 10.00 and 19.00. While some IT problems may be too tricky to fix over the phone, you are invited to get in touch if you are struggling, and staff will try to help. If you know someone in the parish who might find this kind of help useful, please let them know about this service.

Citizens Advice Northumberland

Citizens Advice Northumberland has asked us to spread the word about the services it offers. It gives free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information on a wide range of subjects, including debt, energy, benefits and consumer advice, and can support families after a cancer diagnosis through its Macmillan Benefits Advice team. For more information, visit Citizens Advice Northumberland or call 0808 278 7944 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm).

Free Energy Efficiency Improvements

Northumberland County Council is offering free energy efficiency improvements, such as wall insulation, solar panels and air source heat pumps, to help homeowners cut energy bills and improve the warmth of their homes. To be eligible, you must own your own home and have a household income of less than £30,000, or someone living in your home receiving benefits, and your home must hold an EPC rating of D, E, F or G. The improvements scheme – the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme – is funded by the government and delivered by E.ON in partnership with Northumberland County Council. To apply, visit E.ON’s Green Homes Grant page or call 0333 202 4820 Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. You do not need to be an E.ON customer to benefit from this scheme.

Free Trees

Northumberland County Council is giving all residents the opportunity to obtain a free tree to plant on their property. Two tree species are available for small, medium and large sized gardens, as well as shrubs suitable for planters for those with limited garden space, balconies or rented properties. The trees are small cell-grown plants, sourced from the UK, and will be provided with a biodegradable tree shelter guard, a cane, and planting and care instructions. To order a tree and book a date to collect it, go to https://nland.uk/freetrees. For enquiries, contact Northumberland County Council’s Climate Change team.

Parish Council Meeting and Annual Assembly

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Tuesday 18 May 2021 at 6.30 pm, in St Cuthbert’s Church, Carham. The meeting will be followed by the Annual Assembly. You can find the agenda for both meetings on our Meetings page.

Representatives of iNorthumberland (Northumberland County Council) and broadband service provider Borderlink have been invited to the ordinary meeting to talk about the Superfast Broadband rollout and to answer any questions residents and businesses in the parish may have about their service. Both meetings are open to members of the public, so please pass the word on to anyone you know who may be interested in attending.

Covid-19 guidelines will be in place (masks, sanitiser and distance).

Waste Not, Want Not

Northumberland County Council’s garden waste kerbside collection service for 2021 will resume in March. For a single annual payment of £43, the service offers the opportunity to receive 20 garden waste collections over the main growing season, running from early March through to late November. For details, visit Northumberland’s garden waste page. The green waste that is collected is composted and the compost is available to buy. If you want to make your own compost, Northumberland County Council offers a range of bins with getcomposting.com. As well as standard compost bins for garden waste, the range includes wormeries and Hot Bins which you can use to make compost out of waste food.

Library Services Public Consultation

Northumberland County Council is seeking views on the library service. It says: “We would like to understand how you use the library service at the moment, what services are important to you and how we can improve these services in future. You do not need to be a regular user of library services in order to complete [the] survey – we are interested to hear your views whether you use the library services regularly, just occasionally or even if you have never used a local library service. Your feedback will help us shape both the future direction of our library services and how we will deliver them.”

For more information and to complete the survey, go to the Library Services Public Consultation page on the Northumberland County Council library site.