Project information


We need to keep our Information Centre for Older People on Gateshead High Street open. Due to lack of funding we're currently only able to open 2 days per week - & we're not meeting demand. We provide a one stop shop on a wide variety of subjects (eg benefits, pensions, care) in a deprived area.

Ongoing project

Charity information

Age Concern Gateshead

Age Concern Gateshead logo
  • Need


    Information & advice is essential to enable people to make decisions and access any help they might need. People tell us it's easier for them if they can come in & have a chat with someone, get help filling in a form, ask someone to make a phone call for them if a matter is complex. (We also provide information via the phone & home visits for people who are housebound.) Often people don't know where to turn or where to start. The very complex benefits & pensions sytems can be confusing.


    We will provide a one stop shop for older people on Gateshead High Street which is friendly & welcoming. Our Information Centre (staffed by a worker supported by a small team of volunteers) provides direct help & support with queries (& signposts elsewhere if we can't help). We do benefit checks, fill in forms for people, problem solve, liaise with the Council/utility providers etc on people's behalf, provide information on a wide variety of topics.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide quality & accessible information & advice for older people in Gateshead


    » Our Information Centre for Older People, based on Gateshead High Street, will provide information & advice on a wide variety of subjects.

    Success will be...5,000 older people per year receiving information & advice at our Information Centre to help improve their quality of life, & reduce anxiety & poverty.

  • Impact


    Long term changes include ensuring people have access to the full range of benefits & allowances to which they are entitled. We're sometimes able to double someone's weekly income if they've not known they're eligible & this can significantly improve life & reduce anxieties about paying bills. We obtained £900,000 in benfits & allowances for people last year.
    The right info at the right time can help with a variety of problems eg where to get practical help if struggling to cope at home.


    Too much demand (we already experience this & our volunteers are good at 'queue busting', suggesting normally quieter times to come back etc)
    People needing specialised help which we can't provide ourselves (we have a wide knowledge of services & providers throughout Gateshead and can refer where necessary)


    As an organisation we have experience of reporting to a variety of donors including The Big Lottery and various charitable trusts. In our Information & Advice service we collect data on the number of clients, types of enquries, outcomes, case histories & any benfits accessed for clients.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £51,450

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £40,000 Staff 1 fulltime & 1parttime staff inc NI/pension
      £7,450 Rent/Training/Travel Also utilities/cleaning/repairs to Info Centre, external Quality Mark Review, publicity
      £4,000 Support costs Phone, postage, photocopying, stationery, admin, management

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Northern Rock Foundation £21,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our Information Centre is on Gateshead High Street in the Town Centre. This is a deprived area which is in the top 10% most deprived wards in the country. Gateshead is a rural/urban mix in Tyne & Wear (North East England) & is 55sq miles. We have a higher than average number of single pensioner households (16.7%) & one of the lowest levels of vehicle ownership in the country. We're very close to public transport links (bus & metro).


    Anyone over the age of 50 who lives in Gateshead. We also have carers/family members coming in to ask for information/advice for their loved ones.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Set up in 1972, we provide a wide variety of services & activities across Gateshead. We've been running a formal Information & Advice service since 2000 and have the Communities Legal Services Quality Mark (an external quality mark for Information & Advice services). We've developed very good partnership working with other agencies throughout Gateshead & can make effective referrals when necessary. We helped 3,000 older people in our Information Centre last year.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Julie Latimer

    Information & Advice Manager. Julie has been with us for 10 years and is very experienced & passionate about providing a quality service.

    Information & Advice Volunteers

    On average we have about 6 - 8 Information & Advice volunteers. This fantastic team are vital in enabling the smooth running of the Centre.


Will pay for our Centre to be open for a day

"My mother's finding it difficult to cope at home but we don't know what help is available."