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African Drums at Percy Hedley School

Students at Percy Hedley School enjoyed a drum workshop with Mark Barfoot. Mark was fantastic at engaging students of all abilities in making music and songs using their imagination to create the rhythm.

Mark has been teaching West African drumming rhythms for 12 years and his drumming methods come from Nansady Keita, a djembefola (master) from the village of Sangbarella in the Republic of Guinea.

The rhythms are played on Djembes – hand drums with goatskins and bass drums.


Take a look at our full image gallery below:

Winter Wonderland at Percy Hedley School

The MOVE programme has recently been implemented at Percy Hedley School and MOVing in a Winter Wonderland is our first Christmas themed event which encompasses the principles of MOVE.

This magical experience has enabled students of all abilities to develop and generalise their social, communication and physical skills – whilst having LOTS OF FESTIVE FUN!

Staff and students across the school have had a great time participating in this event and were also involved with making some of the decorations and activities in the lead up to the Winter Wonderland during their MOVE to Learn sessions.

A huge thank you to our Percy Hedley School MOVE team, with specific thanks to Sophie, Mary, Tina and Nicola who have been the driving force behind this years event.

Another huge thanks also goes to the PTA who funded the majority of resources to create the event.

Check out some videos and images from the festive event below.




Christmas Jumper Day!

On the 3rd December we celebrated Christmas Jumper Day, which was also the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, something we will always celebrate at Percy Hedley!

And what better way to celebrate than wearing your favourite Christmas jumper?! and celebrate we did! Just check out the amazing jumpers we saw in and around the foundation!

It’s not too late to donate.

We are suggesting a small minimum donation of £2 to help us continue delivering our amazing work, but if you can afford more, please feel free to donate a larger amount, we are very grateful for all the donations we receive.

You’re donating to Percy Hedley Christmas Jumper Day 2021 (


What a night to remember! After the last couple of years, we could not wait to open the doors again to a night of glitz and glamour.

Guests were invited to a ‘Roaring 20s Prohibition Party’ at The Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, enjoying a sparkling drinks reception provided by Hellens Group, followed by an amazing five-course meal and fantastic entertainment throughout the night.

Vital funds were raised through our silent auction, sponsored by Lenore Specialist Care Limited, including prizes like signed football boots, glamping trips, and pizza & fizz! With your help, we raised a staggering £80,267.

“with your help, we raised a staggering £80,267″

For 15 years The Percy Hedley Ball has been one of the region’s most popular and enduring charity balls, attracting over 300 guests each year.  Since it began the ball has raised just under £1million to support disabled children, young people, and adults across the North East.

This all helps children like Nat. Nat is 10 years old and has attended our Percy Hedley School, in Newcastle, since he was a toddler. Sally and Neil, Nat’s parents, kindly agreed to share their story with guests at the ball, and to tell us what The Percy Hedley Foundation means to them.

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We’d like to give special thanks to our main sponsor of the night, Tolent Construction. The event was beautifully set up to transport you back to the 1920’s by Big Purple Events, while Watson Family Charitable Trust sponsored the amazing entertainment which was provided by North East band Hip Operation, followed by midnight snacks which were sponsored by Nixon Hire. And of course, a huge thank you to the ball committee and our many volunteers for their support on the night.

Take a look at our photo gallery, taken by none other than The Bigger Picture Agency. Don’t forget to tag us in your photos from the night!


Percy Hedley Foundation Appoint New Chief Executive

We’re delighted to announce John Knight has been appointed as our new Chief Executive.  John joins us with more than three decades of experience in the charity sector. 

John first moved to the North East to study Sport at Newcastle Polytechnic between 1983 and 1986. As a student he started volunteering for a local children’s charity and has remained within the voluntary sector ever since. John’s career to date has seen him leading several charities in the North East, the Isle of Man and most recently in Leicester where he has been CEO of LOROS Hospice for close to 7 years. 

The majority of John’s previous roles have been in organisations committed to helping children, young people and families. With now over 20 years’ experience as a Chief Executive, a love of the North East and a dedication to supporting children and families, John is looking forward to joining The Percy Hedley Foundation. 

“It is a tremendous privilege to have been chosen for this role. I’m really excited to be joining the fantastic team at the Percy Hedley Foundation.” said John.

Outside of work John is a keen sailor, cyclist and trail runner. He is married to Angela with 3 grown up children one of whom is at Newcastle University.  

David Arthur, Vice Chair of The Percy Hedley Foundation said “We’re excited to welcome John’s energy and enthusiasm to the Foundation.  His wealth of experience in the third sector, particularly in organisations that help children, young people and families, meant he was an exceptional choice, from a list of high-calibre candidates. 

John will follow our interim CEO D’Arcy Myers, joining us in March 2022. 

Therapy Vacancies at The Percy Hedley Foundation

Are you looking for a therapy job after graduating, or for that career refresh? The Percy Hedley Foundation has vacancies in therapy roles. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package and a friendly and supportive working environment.

Percy Hedley School Vacancies:

Percy Hedley School provides all age (3-18) day and residential special education for children who have complex special educational needs including cerebral palsy, PMLD and those with communication difficulties and autistic spectrum disorder. The physiotherapy department works collaboratively with teaching, nursing, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy colleagues to meet the needs of the pupils in a holistic and integrated way.

Physiotherapist (Band 5 or 6)

We require a qualified and HPC registered physiotherapist to provide input to a caseload of students with complex physical, communication and learning difficulties.

Click to Apply

Speech and Language Therapist (Band 5 or 6, Term Time Only)

We require a qualified and HPC registered Speech and Language Therapist Band 5 or Band 6) to provide input to a caseload of pupils with complex speech, language and communication needs.

Click to Apply

Hedley’s Horizons Vacancies:

Hedley’s Horizons offers a busy, vibrant and varied environment that supports disabled adults with cerebral palsy, communication and sensory impairments and complex learning needs including those with Autism Spectrum Conditions. We offer a choice of activities that meet peoples’ aspirations, needs and preferences, thus offering a very individual programme with support from a highly skilled and dedicated staff team.

Speech and Language Therapist (Band 5 or 6)

We have two exciting opportunities for a Band 5 and a Band 6 Speech and Language Therapist within the Therapy team working in Hedley’s Horizons to provide input to a caseload of people with complex speech, language and communication and dysphagia needs.

Click to Apply

Physiotherapist (Band 7)

We are looking for an enthusiastic and adaptable Physiotherapist to join our team. You would become part of an existing, dedicated team of therapists who strive to deliver best practice at all times

Click to Apply

If you think any of these roles are perfect for you, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our fantastic staff benefits here:



Northern Counties School – Remembrance Day

Pupils at Northern Counties School have been learning about Remembrance Day this week and thinking of ways they can remember the fallen. The Deaf Department got together Thursday morning and have been making a poppy wreath to show their respects.

Hillcrest pupils have also been busy this week. Jen’s class created some beautiful poppy prints, using hands and poppies. They also used their Forest School lesson to learn how to make poppies inspired by nature.

Annmarie’s class have made their own poppy window display.