Gallery: Mistletoe Ball 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended the Mistletoe Ball 2017!

The night was a huge success, raising £66,000 from tables sales, auctions and a raffle.

Massive thanks to The Bigger Picture for capturing the evening so well. See if you can spot yourself!

Mistletoe Ball raises £66,000!

More than £66,000 was raised at The Percy Hedley Foundation’s annual Mistletoe Ball.

Over 300 guests enjoyed the Foundation’s annual fundraiser at Newcastle Marriott Gosforth Park, which was hosted by BBC Radio Newcastle’s Anna Foster.

Money raised on the night will help Northern Counties School continue its pioneering work to help more disabled children and young people achieve their ambitions and lead full and active lives.

The school, based in Jesmond, provides education for 90 children with a hearing impairment or visual impairment, profound and multiple learning disabilities or autism spectrum disorder.

We are currently beginning a programme of improvements at Northern Counties and money raised from the evening will make it possible us to continue to provide the best possible services and facilities.

The theme of the ball was ‘Moulin Rouge’ and guests enjoyed entertainment from Mint Dance Entertainment and party band ‘Foxx’, while vital funds were raised through table sales, a raffle, live auction and silent auction.

Prizes in the live auction included a 5* trip to Ibiza, a Come Dine With Me experience with the head chef from the Marriott, and a stunning mint amethyst pendant from Davidsons the Jewellers. Prizes in the silent auction included a dress and pair of shoes from the wardrobe of former X-Factor judge Cheryl Tweedy, donated by her mum, Joan Callaghan.

Maria Hallett, Community Fundraising and Events Manager at The Percy Hedley Foundation, said: “The Mistletoe Ball is a wonderful event to be involved in and the support of the companies that host tables and donate prizes is amazing.

“We always work really hard to stage a spectacular event and this year it really did live up to its name! A huge thank you to everyone that attended and helped us to build brighter futures.”

Pudsey visits Percy Hedley School!

Percy Hedley School students were over the moon when Pudsey Bear came to visit on Friday.

The school dressed up in their pyjamas and fancy dress to raise money for the BBC’s annual Children in Need appeal.

Huge thanks to staff at BT’s call centre in Longbenton for organising Pudsey’s visit and to Lang Shot Photography for capturing it!

New Chair of the Board appointed

Jonathan Jowett

Nick Swales

The Percy Hedley Foundation is delighted to announce that Jonathan Jowett has been appointed as chairman of the Board of Trustees.

The appointment comes as current Chair, Nick Swales, steps down in line with charity governance best practice, having been Chair for 9 years.

Jonathan is a lawyer by profession and is Company Secretary & General Counsel at FTSE 250 company Greggs plc. He joined Percy Hedley as a trustee in November 2012, and has been Vice-chair of Percy Hedley School Board of Governors, and since November 2016 has been Vice-chair of the Foundation.

Jonathan has many years of experience in the boardroom of large companies, and brings a wealth of experience. He is also a non-executive director of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

David Arthur has been appointed as Vice-chair of the Foundation. David is a partner at North East accounting firm Tait Walker, and sits on the board of Mental Health Concern. He is currently Chair of the Northern Society of Chartered Accountants.

Outgoing chair, Nick, who has been involved with Percy Hedley and its predecessor organisations for 27 years, said: “It has been my privilege to lead Percy Hedley for the past 9 years.

“There have been many changes to the organisation during that time, and some significant challenges to overcome whilst ensuring that the children and adults who come to Percy Hedley continue to have a fantastic experience. I wish the new team all the very best for the future.”

Jonathan Jowett said: “I would like to thank Nick for all that he has done to lead The Percy Hedley Foundation over the past decade and beyond.

“We sincerely hope that he will keep in touch with all of his friends at Percy Hedley. For my part, I am honoured to be asked to lead the Board of Trustees as we build for the exciting future that lies ahead.”

The Percy Hedley Foundation has received £20,000 thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The funding boost from People’s Postcode Trust has enabled us to install a new interactive sensory room at Percy Hedley School.

The new sensory room includes specialist technology and has projectors on three walls and the floor, which will enable the school’s most complex learners to experience and control a range of scenarios in a safe environment.

The grant has also enabled the school to install a video projector, touch screen, aroma generator, surround sound, interactive surfaces and 3D camera to the room, which will provide means to measure each child’s progress.

Katie Murray, Head teacher at Percy Hedley School said: “The sensory room is a fantastic addition to our school.

“It enables our pupils to have a wide range of experiences and interactions in a safe and secure environment. We would like to thank the People’s Postcode Trust and everyone who plays the lottery for helping to make this possible.”

When you sign up to play People’s Postcode Lottery, your postcode is your ticket. A minimum of 30% goes directly to charities across Great Britain and internationally. It costs £10 for 10 draws paid monthly in advance.

We are throwing the gauntlet down to businesses once again with a special edition of our corporate fundraising challenge, Challenge 500.

To celebrate our 65th anniversary next year’s challenge will be renamed Challenge 650 and see companies given a £650 seed fund. The winner of the challenge is the team that makes the money grow the most!

Businesses can promote their own mini enterprises, hold weekly fundraising events in their offices or with their customers, invest in the Stock Market or even stick their £500 in a high interest bank account if they can find one!

We are encouraging local companies to get involved in what is a proven method of fundraising to help a good cause and a way to build essential working skills and motivate employees.

After six months the companies will hand back the £650 to The Percy Hedley Foundation, plus any other money they have raised by taking part in the challenge.

Last year’s winner were Burnetts Solicitors, who raised a staggering £21,000! Could your team beat that?

To sign up a team or for more information click here.


Minister of State Sarah Newton and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and will be among the speakers at the Hedleys Employability CAN Conference on December 1st.

The conference, which will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle, aims to challenge attitudes and behaviours towards disability employment and focus on closing the disability employment gap.

Parliamentarian Baroness Grey-Thompson and Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, will also be joined former CEO of Disability Rights UK Liz Sayce and Channel 4 News reporter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan.

The event is CPD accredited which will be recognised by professional bodies as part of appraisal and revalidation.

A full programme of the day can be found on the poster below and tickets can be booked at:

Gallery: Alternative Business Awards 2017

The Alternative Business Awards were back with a bang last Friday.

The event raised over £16,000 for the Foundation to support our work with disabled people.

For the full story of the night click here.

Here’s a full gallery of pictures from the event!

Alternative Business Awards raises £16,000!

The Alternative Business Awards were back with a bang on Friday and raised an amazing £16,000 to support our work!

Over 200 people from the North East business world descended on St James’ Park for a night of accolades, laughs and fundraising.

Hosted by BBC Newcastle’s breakfast presenters Alfie Joey and Anna Foster, the Alternative Business Awards give regional businesses the chance to show their fun side.

Entertainment was provided by comedy acts The Suggestibles and Fin Healy, son of the late Brendan Healy who was a great supporter of the event.

The main prize of the night – the Alternative Business Person of the Year Award – went to Barbara Gubbins, CEO of the County Durham Community Foundation.

Huge thanks to everyone who attended and supported the evening!

Here’s the full list of awards and prizes:

‘Black and White Forever’ – The Joseph Cowen Award

for an admired Journalist

Sponsored by Newcastle United FC

Winner: Brian Nicholls


‘The Great Illuminator’ – The Joseph Swan Award

For the person who keeps coming up with those lightbulb moments

Sponsored by The Leighton Group

Winner: Richard Evans


‘Lets off a lot of Steam’ – The George Stephenson Award

For someone who makes a lot of noise about the region

Sponsored by The Journal

Winner: John Grundy


‘Does a lot of Heavy Lifting’ – The Sir William Armstrong Hydraulic Crane Award

For the person who works hard for the North East

Sponsored by North East Chamber of Commerce

Winner: Ralph Saelzer


‘A Real Tonic’ – The William Owen Lucozade Award

For the person who always makes us feel good and peps us up

Sponsored by Newcastle College

Winner: Fiona O’Connor


‘Turbo Charged We Have The Power’ – The Charles Parsons Award

For an innovator in today’s energy world

Sponsored by The Percy Hedley Foundation

Winner: Dr Colin Herron


‘We Built This City’ – The Richard Grainger Award

For someone who has built a reputation in the field of the built environment

Sponsored by NE1

Winner: Mark Thompson


‘I Can See Clearly Now’ – The Gladstone Evans Windscreen Wiper Award

For the person who helps us map out a clear way ahead for the region

Sponsored by Gateshead College

Winner: BBC Newcastle and ITV Tyne Tees


‘Aal the Smiling Faces’ – The Geordie Ridley Award

(in memory of the late Brendan Healy)

Sponsored by Northumbrian Water Ltd

Winner: Ivan Jepson


Business Giving Something Back’ – The Pease Award

(in memory of the late Brian Manning, Esh Group)

For philanthropy in business 

Sponsored by Northumbrian Water Ltd

Winner: Hugh Welch


‘Towering Above Them All’ – The Earl Grey Award

The Alternative Business Person of the Year

Sponsored by Northumbrian Water Ltd

Winner: Barbara Gubbins

A full gallery of photos will appear on the website soon.

Get your Ultimate Christmas Pudding!

Yes – It’s that time of year again!

With Christmas in little over 81 days and counting, have you thought about how you’re going to fill those stockings this year? Indulge yourself this holiday season with the Foundation’s Ultimate Christmas Puddings.

With a luxurious array of mouth-watering flavours to choose from such as sticky toffee, luscious lemon, and a return of the triple chocolate pudding to add, there’s plenty to spoil yourself and your family this December time.

In addition to our selection of scrumptious sponge, and Christmas puddings, we also have an assortment of indulgent sauces and butter jars, including brandy butter and luxury chocolate sauce.

If these treats are going to tickle your taste buds this holiday season, you will need to make your order using the attached order form are made by no later than 3rd November 2017. Please send all forms to Robin Murray at Robin can also be contacted on 0191 281 5821 ext 2254

Order Form and Ingredients

All proceeds will help to support the charity and its amazing work.

Please feel free to share this with your families and friends.