Fabulous feedback from Northumberland!

Sep 9, 2013   //   News

9 September, 2013

We’ve been busy collecting feedback on the Golden Guide from around the county.  We’re so glad we did – the results are superb! We asked residents what the guide is worth to them, and we also asked professionals who work with older people—because they use the Golden Guide as a key resource for signposting, for giving out to clients and for their own information.

If you would like to see the full report, please get in touch, but here is a digest of the main findings.



Tops for local information— more than newspapers, internet or helplines

78% turn to the Golden Guide first to find information.

‘I use the Golden Guide a lot—all the time actually.  Whatever I need I look it up in there.’

Yes, I use it as a first port of call, definitely.’


Relevance—the information is hitting the spot!

86% read the Out and About section.

86% read Home and Community.

78.5% read Health and Wellbeing information.

71% read the Money Matters chapter.

‘The Golden Guide is so useful because it’s written for us older ones.’

‘I keep it handy and refer to it quite a lot when I’m looking for local services, I find it really helpful’.


Readers get active and get positive help for real problems

57% had consulted an advice service, support group or other organisation or said they were likely to.

28% joined a group, forum or activity session, or were likely to.

50% found help with a health concern, or were likely to.

42% found money advice, or were likely to.

‘One of my carers was looking for holidays for the disabled and was able to source the providers from the booklet.  She was really pleased at the information provided.  Another carer was unaware there was a diabetes helpline until she looked at the book.’ 


Reassurance and peace of mind a big factor

71% said the Golden Guide had helped to give peace of mind.

‘It’s a big reassurance really – I know if something happens – if it’s not in there, I will still find someone in it who’ll tell me what to do.’

‘…and it’s good to have it there—very reassuring.  It’s the same with the new one  (Living Easy) – they are two essential books in my opinion.’


More confident readers, good for independence

79% thought it gave them more confidence about resolving problems themselves.

‘I’m a very independent person and the information helps so I can be independent—the Golden Guide is great.’


Staying Connected

64% felt more in touch with their community and less isolated.

‘I’m only 29 but I’m housebound. I was given the Golden Guide by the Care people and it’s been so useful – especially finding out about the community transport – because I live in Beadnell’

‘I definitely feel I know more about what’s going on.’


Residents like the Sponsors’ pages – great results!

75% of readers said they always, or sometimes look at the sponsored pages.

57% said they had actually contacted sponsors as a result of seeing them in the Guide, or would do when they needed their services.



Invaluable local information improves take up of services

100% of professionals use the Golden Guide as a key resource.

100% give it out to their clients, and 100% recommend it to others.

89% have contacted a service provider out of it, or recommended their client should do so.

72% have made links with other professionals or services through it.

97% said it increased their knowledge of the area—most of these substantially.

‘My work is finding community links for people—to get them back into groups and activities. The Golden Guide is great to find what’s out there. I dip into it all the time.’

‘I might use it online, but I like to have it in front of me when talking to the client so they can see it as well, then if they want to take it away with them they can, otherwise I’ll go through it with them.’


Saves staff time and money

94% felt it saved then time in their work with and on behalf of clients—most of these by a significant amount.

83% felt it saved money because the guides are free for them to have and give out and this saves expense on other resources.

‘I move around—I might know a lot about Morpeth, but if I’ve only got one client in Blyth and another one in Berwick I wouldn’t know much about what’s going on there—so (the guide’s) great for its range.’


It’s a great place to be for publicity

99% felt it promoted their service, 83% significantly.


And professionals like the Sponsors’ pages even more!

72% always read the ads, with a further 22% who read them sometimes.

And how about this—72% have contacted or used sponsors’ services as a result, with another 5% who say they would do when appropriate.


We feel this confirms the Golden Guide’s place as the best local information guide for over 50s in the county. Its tried and tested format is well-loved by its users, who are making active use of every part of it from beginning to end, with all the ads in between!

There’s nowhere better to find local information and nowhere better to place it and be sure it will be seen.

So we are looking forward to bringing you the 2014 edition in January, with a revamped design, and one or two new features suggested by readers….we’re not telling you what these are, just make sure you get your brand new copy in good time!


Copies from:

Age UK Northumberland, ring the Advice Line on 0845 0 950 150

For more than one copy, please get in touch with us here on 0191 386 5918


Love from Heather and the Golden Guide team