Demand rockets for Over 50s’ guide to daily living

The front cover of The Golden Guide for Northumberland.The front cover of The Golden Guide for Northumberland.
The front cover of The Golden Guide for Northumberland.
Thousands more copies of a free guide for the over 50s have been published this year to meet demand.

The annual Golden Guide has proved so popular that this year’s print run has increased from 7,000 to 10.000 copies.

This has meant it can be distributed further afield, to smaller, rural places which haven’t had it before.

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The guide is well known for information on activities, clubs and social groups across Northumberland, while readers can also discover how to find expert advice on their health, their home, their money and their care.

There’s lots of new information in this year’s 112-page guide. The main theme this year is Make Time for Online, with a host of information on how to get help with digital skills, from online searching to email, and using a mobile phone to Skype.

There are details of IT classes and drop-in sessions offering individual help.

If you just want to get out and about, there are links to activities like archery, sailing/kayaking, heritage railway walks, art and music groups.

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More LGBT groups – like Northern Heart and Northern Proud Voices – are also getting involved.

There’s quite a bit on socialising too, with charities and groups trying to address the loneliness issue.

The guide features eight sections: Out and About; Make Time for Online; Home and Community; Health and Wellbeing; Finding Out About Care; Money Matters; Index; and Key Contact Numbers.

There’s a wealth of practical information, local contacts and advice on how to get help from the experts.

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Editor Heather Alabaster said: “People use the guide as a first port of call. It’s a handy little book, full of contacts. And through our brilliant sponsors we’ve been able to print thousands extra this year.

“A special theme in the new guide is help to get started with computers, as we’re encouraging readers to look for online advice too.”

The Golden Guide is supported by partners Northumberland County Council, Northumberland Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Age UK Northumberland, Northumberland CCG and Infrastructure North, along with other generous sponsors.

Daljit Lally, chief executive of Northumberland County Council and executive director of system leadership and community at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We’re committed to ensuring that people can find information they need about services and support easily, whether it’s in print or online. Information in the Golden Guide gives them the option.”

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Helen Mills, chief executive officer of Age UK Northumberland, said: “We run IT sessions for older people, we see at first-hand how much they get from it once they start. Well done Golden Guide for publicising the help that’s out there.”

To get hold of a copy, ring Age UK Northumberland’s Advice Line on 01670 784800 and they will post one out for free.

Copies are also being distributed countywide by Northumbria Healthcare Trust Care teams; library branches; Carers’ Northumberland; Alzheimer’s Society; Healthwatch; Adapt Community Café; WI branches; British Red Cross; Citizens Advice; Royal Voluntary Service; Over 50s Forum, Prudhoe; Golden Age Forum, Ashington; GP surgeries – ask the care navigators or practice nurses; and also selected Boots pharmacies.