Thank you to our fantastic staff!

We would like to say a huge Thank you to our fantastic staff for their amazing efforts during last week’s poor weather!

We can’t stop essential lifeline support and many of our staff worked tirelessly to ensure our services kept running and that our service users were safe.

Thank you from the residents and people who attend Percy Hedley for your amazing dedication and support.

Severe Weather – Closure update

Percy Hedley School, Northern Counties School and Hedley’s College will all be closed to students today.

Our policy is to try and stay open whenever possible but we have made this decision weather conditions have worsened overnight and there are further weather warnings in place for the rest of today.

Staff working at these sites are advised only to travel to work if it is safe for them to do so.

Tor Coatings present cheque to the Foundation

We were delighted to welcome Karen from Tor Coatings into Percy Hedley School this week.

The building and refurbishment specialists chose the Foundation as their Charity of the Year and came in to present a cheque for £3476.66.

The company held a number of events including bake sales and Christmas jumper days, as well as introducing fines for being late and selling boxes of sweets.

Karen was joined by Terry, a former director at Tor Coatings who is also on the Foundation’s Mistletoe Ball committee. They had a tour of school and met a Post 16 class who were in the middle of an enterprise session.

The total raised by the company was also match funded by Rust-Oleum Cares.

The funds will help our work to continue improving the lives of disabled children, young people and adults in the North East.

Huge thanks to everyone at Tor Coatings and to Rust-Oleum Cares.

The Percy Hedley Foundation celebrated its 65th birthday today!

On the same day in 1953, our story began when Percy Hedley School opened its doors for the first time to 12 children with cerebral palsy.

Residents from Chipchase House and Ferndene Bungalows came together with people from Hedleys Able 2 to have a celebratory coffee and cake morning.

Chipchase resident Stephen Darke, who was one of the first children at Percy Hedley School in 1953 did the honours and cut the cake for everyone to enjoy.

It was Stephen’s parents, Stephen and Molly Darke, who first campaigned for a school where their disabled son, and others like him, could go.

They wrote to the Evening Chronicle, appealing for other parents for cerebral palsy children to come forward.

Funding came from the Percy Hedley Foundation, a Trust created after the death of a local engineer to support charities in the North East.

Over six decades, the Foundation has grown from a small school to provide support for 1,000 families a year, offering a range of residential and day services.

Happy Birthday to us!

Today we mark 65 years since Percy Hedley School first opened its doors to 12 children with cerebral palsy.

From humble beginnings, we are very proud to have grown to become one of the leading charities supporting disabled people.

To read about how it all began click here

Hedleys Employability hosts a number of events throughout the year to support employers to be more disability confident.

The aim of these events is to break down the barriers employers envisage to employing disabled people.

It also offers employers the chance to share experiences, best practices and ask questions.

Our next event is…

Click here to book your FREE ticket via Eventbrite.

Skydiving is no limit for Percy Hedley student Jimmy

A Percy Hedley School student who defied the odds to complete a sponsored skydive is planning a sixth adrenaline-fuelled jump.

Jimmy Simpson, 18, from South Shields, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after birth and has been a wheelchair user all his life.

The condition affects Jimmy’s movement, coordination and communication, but he has always enjoyed adrenaline-filled activities including zipwires, free-fall drops and rollercoasters.

A year ago Jimmy decided he wanted to do his first skydive, and after receiving medical clearance he fulfilled his dream and raised over £1,500 after completing a 15,000ft skydive at the Skydive Academy in Peterlee, County Durham.

Jimmy presented a cheque to the school recently alongside his teacher, Rebecca Fletcher, who also completed a skydive, and the money will be split between the Post 16 department, where Jimmy is currently working towards a maths GCSE, and The Percy Hedley Foundation.

One skydive wasn’t enough for thrill-seeker Jimmy, though, and he has now completed five dives with a sixth booked in for February. And if that’s not enough, Jimmy also harbours ambitions of doing a 25,000ft skydive in Portugal.

Jimmy said: “I don’t have time to worry about fear. Since birth I have dealt with circumstances which take courage to deal with. I have cerebral palsy which is a physical condition that occurs as a result of brain damage during birth.

“My condition affects the things others would find easy, but that does not stop me. I’m a thrill seeker and love my life. I enjoy adrenaline filled activities.

My school has helped and supported me since I was three-years-old, they have also encouraged me to believe in myself and focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t.

“For me doing this skydive is a dream, something I have always wanted to do. Allowing me to raise this money will help support me, my friends and the other students at school accomplish our dreams.”






College students get angling certificates

A group of the Adult Programme students at Hedleys College took part in an Angling course before Christmas.

Sportivate is a national participation programme, funded by Sport England, which started in 2011. It aims to provide a range of attractive, accessible and sustainable sporting activities for 11-25 year olds, including a six-week Angling 4 All course.

The programme gives young people access to six week blocks of free coaching, primarily targeting those who currently take part in no, or very little, exercise.

The organisers visited college before Christmas to present students with their certificates. Well done Michael, Curtis and Chris!

New Boxing and Fitness Club!

Hedleys Able 2 Sports Outreach have set up a new boxing and fitness club!

Sessions start January 26th and will run every Friday at Hedleys Sports Academy on West Lane in Killingworth.

Everyone welcome!