P1020386Staff from Sage swapped keyboards for paintbrushes when they spent time volunteering at Hedleys Able 2 Forest Hall.

A team of 14 volunteers spent a day doing various jobs in the ceramics, art and horticulture departments.

The teams did some general cleaning and tidying ready for some redecorating in the ceramics and art rooms and the same in horticulture where they are getting ready for the start of spring hanging basket season.

A team also repainted the ceramics department, which now looks fab and fresh!

Thanks to every single volunteer, your support is appreciated very much.


Lori was one of the volunteers and she had some lovely feedback about her time with us.

“I was blown away by all the staff, not only by how kind and generous they were with us but also the residents,” she said.

“I went into ceramics with Kate (who was lovely) and couldn’t get over the hard work her and Denise put in on a daily basis. You could tell just by talking to them how motivated they were and must find their jobs extremely rewarding.

“Every single person that came into the room they knew everything about them, it was so personal and I can see why everyone was walking round with a smile on their face.

“The food was amazing! And we were really grateful for everything that day…especially the biscuits we got at the end of the day with our cuppa!”

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Jamie prepares for the ride of his life

Jamie’s Story

JamieHartley2On Sunday, April 2, Jamie Hartley will go on the ride of his life.

Jamie, 22, from Blyth, was diagnosed with Juvenile Huntington’s Disease (JHD) when he was just 13-years-old.

Juvenile Huntington’s Disease is a slowly progressing hereditary disease which causes brain cells to die. It is a life-limiting genetic disorder for which there is no cure.

Jamie, whose older brother Kyle, 24, also has JHD, attended Hedleys College for two years and has been accessing the Foundation’s adult day opportunities at Able 2 Forest Hall since December.

In January, Jamie suffered a devastating seizure leading his condition to rapidly deteriorate, so his family decided to plan a final ride for motorcycle-mad Jamie.

The illness means Jamie has very little control of his movement so Dad Mark put a message on Facebook to 30 friends appealing to borrow a sidecar for Jamie.


Within hours he had received more than 1400 responses, and as a couple of weeks passed that number had risen to over 200,000.

Support for the appeal gathered pace and now Jamie will be taking the ride of his life alongside more than 1000 bikers in a ride out in Blyth organised by the North East Bikers Group this Sunday 11am-4pm.

And that’s not all! Various fundraising activities and events are taking place over the weekend to raise money for the family after hundreds of people came forward wanting to help.

“We have been incredibly overwhelmed by the response we’ve received,” said Mark. “I really didn’t expect a status on Facebook to 30 friends to go worldwide

“We are absolutely stunned and so grateful to everyone who has contacted us and offered to help in some way.

“Now, instead of me and a few pals taking Jamie out, there will be over 1,000 bikers from all over the UK and even some from Europe taking part in the ride out.

“Jamie is really looking forward to it. We’ve been showing him pictures of the bikes and cars that will be there and his face lights up.

“We’ve been practicing for the weekend as our main concern is keeping Jamie safe and looking after all these wonderful cars and bikes that people have offered to bring.”

Full details of Jamie’s Ride and the whole weekend can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/113879949139426/

Jamie s Ride-page-001 (1) Jamie s Ride-page-002

Jamie s Ride2-page-002


CondEdWeekHedleys Percy Hedley School celebrated Conductive Education Awareness Week with a host of fun activities last week.

Conductive Education is an educational approach developed in Hungary and used at school to meet the needs of children with neurological and motor disorders.

As part of PCA & CEPEG Conductive Education Awareness Week, the Conductive Education department took part in their first ever group task series.

This year’s awareness theme is superpowers so all Conductive Education classes got together in the school gym and practiced tv heir superpowers – the motor skills they have learnt during daily targeted activities – to the Superman Song!


Celebrations continued on Wednesday when the school had ‘Hungarian Day’.

Classes each prepared traditional Hungarian dishes in the morning and everyone got the chance to sample them in the afternoon. Students also designed Hungarian flags to decorate school!

For more information on the Conductive Education approach at Percy Hedley School head to: http://phs.percyhedley.org.uk/conductive-education/

IMG_6318 IMG_6317 Hungarian Day3 hungarian Day4 Hungarian Day1 Benjamins Hungarian rosette Christophers Hungarian rosette Emilys Hungarian rosette Nats Hungarian rosette

Baltic 1000: New date confirmed!

Baltic_1000_FacebookNEW DATE CONFIRMED!
We are pleased to confirm the #Baltic1000 stair run will now take place on Sunday, July 16th, 2017.
Participants who are already signed up 0will receive an email shortly to confirm the new details, while registration will re-open soon for people to sign up.
Once again, we would like to thank everyone for their patience while we’ve been working hard to agree a new date with all parties involved and hope you are all still able to take part on the new date.
If you have any queries about the event or if you are unable to take part please contact Danny on d.mitchell@percyhedley.org.uk. More information can be found here: http://www.percyhedley.org.uk/fundraising/events/baltic-1000/
Keep an eye on https://www.challengenorthumberlandentry.co.uk/ to register your place for the first ever stair run inside BALTIC Centre For Contemporary Art.

The Percy Hedley Foundation was delighted to welcome delegates from the St. James’s Place Foundation to Hedleys Percy Hedley School recently.

Last year, we were extremely grateful to receive a record-breaking £1million donation from St. James’s Place, which helped us to consolidate Percy Hedley School onto one site with a purpose-built junior school annex.

Building work was completed just before Christmas and the children from Lower School have been settling into their new building since the start of the year.

The Foundation invited Malcolm Cooper-Smith and Mark Beverley from St. James’s Place to see the new school building and unveil a plaque in recognition of their amazing support.


They were also given a tour by Head of School Katie Murray and presented with lots of thank you cards and letters from students.

The St. James’s Place Foundation is a grant-making charity with a difference. The vast majority of funds raised come from fundraising or generous donations made by Partners and employees of St. James’s Place each year. These funds are then matched pound for pound by the company.

Over the last 25 years the St. James’s Place community has raised and distributed in excess of £46 million to good causes.


Carole Harder, Chief Executive at The Percy Hedley Foundation, said: “As a direct result of this fantastic donation, one of the largest of its kind in the North East, we are now able to provide more support to many disabled children and their families to ensure they get the best start in life.”

If any parents are interested in placements or a visit to any of our education facilities please contact Executive Headteacher, Sue Fisher, on 0191 238 1320 or 0191 216 1811.

For more information about Hedleys Percy Hedley School click here.


intu Metrocentre staff volunteer at Hedleys Craftworks

Hedleys Craftworks was delighted to welcome Alison, Tony and Terry, three volunteers from intu Metrocentre to their craft workshop based in Westerhope.

Volunteering their services for the day helped to give the workshop a much needed deep clean and a fresh new restyle to the display area which showcases the department’s wood and metal-craft products.

After a quick induction to the department and meeting service users and staff over a cup of tea they were soon hard at work painting, sanding and providing that much needed make over. Highly motivated and thoughtful in their planning by the end of the day the new display area was eye catching and impressive.

A huge thank you Alison, Tony, Terry and intu Mentrocentre for your amazing support!

To find out more about Hedleys Craftworks click here.

Hedleys Employability presents…An Insight into Hidden Impairment and Disability

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 place at this event or contact Christine Shanks on on 0191 2817532 or email c.shanks@percyhedley.org.uk

Edward in action

Edward in action

The Percy Hedley Foundation is delighted that Northern Thunder Powerchair Football stars Edward Common and Sam Smith have been selected to represent England at the 2017 FIPFA World Cup.

Ed, 22, from Hexham and Sam, 17, from Wylam, were named in head coach Colin George’s eight-man squad for the tournament, which takes place in Florida this summer.

The friends, who both suffer from muscular dystrophy, play for the Foundation’s successful Northern Thunder side.

Sam on the ball

Sam on the ball

The team will head to America on July 1st ahead of their first game on July 6th. The official draw takes place this week with England set to battle it out against reigning champions America along with Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, Ireland and Uruguay.

Good luck lads!

Tyne Tail Jack’s stay at Percy Hedley School

Snowdog PHSGreat North Snowdog Tyne Tail Jack has been spending some time with children at Percy Hedley School recently.

Tyne Tail Jack is one of 61 big dogs decorated by local artists and school children. He was bought at a charity auction by local company North, which raised over £250,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice.

You may recognise Tyne Tail Jack – painted by Corrine Lewis-Ward – from the Quayside as he was stood outside North’s head office next to the Millennium Bridge

He has since embarked on a mini tour of the North East having already been to King’s Priory School in Tynemouth, the Children’s Ward at Northumbria Hospital in Cramlington, St. John Boste RC Primary School in Washington, and we are very lucky that he is joining us for a short stay at Percy Hedley School!

As you can see he has certainly settled in well!


Hedleys Employability: Review of 2016

2016 was another successful year for Hedleys Employability. We got straight back into the swing of things in January, engaging with new employers and completing a host of three way agreements.

Chinese visit 7We engaged with 19 new employers in January alone, with approximately 99 new employers engaged by the end of 2016. Networking at its best!

It was an absolutely fantastic opportunity for Hedleys Employability when 12 Chinese tutors spent the day at The Percy Hedley Foundation. They were blown away by the fantastic work we do. A big thank you to Northumbria University for their help in organising and supporting the visit.

Click here to find out how you could work with Hedleys Employability

Sixteen students from Hedleys College and Post 16 at Percy Hedley School started an 8-week programme with Music Inclusion at the Sage. They learnt an array of transferrable skills and grew in confidence as the weeks progressed.


In total 268 students from College, Post 16 and Adult Services attended workshops throughout  the year, including Farm to Fork delivered by Tesco, Safety Works, Washington Fire Station, Foraging in Jesmond Dene with Peace and Loaf restaurant, a visit to one of the leading car manufacturers, Calsonic, and many, many more!

50 students have attended meaningful work placements from Coffee Giant to Snorkel, Mears, intu Metrocentre and Eldon Square and many more.


12 members of staff from Laybourn Group attended Disability Awareness training in January, with a staggering number of 168 staff members from various organisations taking part and becoming more disability confident by the end of 2016.

In March we held our first breakfast event delivered around etiquette and political correctness with 22 people in attendance. Another two events were delivered in 2016, which covered Deaf Awareness and Autism Awareness. In total 100 staff members from different organisations attended.

Throughout the year we hosted numerous events from the Family Day in May to DNEX in September with the help of 35 disabled people and worked with service users to plan and organise Hedleys Got Talent. 14 of our disabled service users rang around suppliers, employers, sourced the venue and pulled off a spectacular show that wowed everyone. In total, 49 disabled people gave up their time to support these events.

Eighteen students carried out access audits at intu Metrocentre, The Trafford Centre Manchester and Blackpool Tower. This was an invigorating experience for those involved. They experienced nights away from home and the culture and nightlife of Blackpool. Some students attended Bond Dickinson, where they were presented with a cheque towards a mobile iMuse bus. In total 28 students presented themselves in a positive manner and presented relevant feedback and training to organisations.

Bond Dickinson Double cheque pres

Newcastle Airport was overwhelmed by the feedback they received from an access audit that was carried out in the summer. Audits are becoming increasingly more popular with the employers we work with.

After a busy 2016, we are hoping to keep up the good work and make 2017 an even bigger and better year for Hedleys Employability. Thanks to every employer who has supported us.

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