12 Days
of Christmas
with Percy Hedley

The Percy Hedley Foundation celebrated its 70th birthday in 2023, and we wanted to showcase just 12 of the amazing things from around the Foundation this year.

1. Barratt Homes Show Home Partnership

This year, pupils at Percy Hedley School have been working with Barratt Homes to design a showroom with the help of the team. The Barratt Homes team first visited pupils at school in October, and more recently students visited Barratt Homes to discuss the next steps for their showroom design. The room designed by the students will be featured in one of Barratt Homes’ show homes, which will open in the near future.

See more here  >

2. Cycle To Space Fundraising Challenge

To celebrate the Foundation’s 70th birthday this year, Jonny Connop challenged himself to cycle 7000 feet a week in altitude, climbing over 364,000 feet in the year. That’s higher than the beginning of space! The year is almost over, but you can help Jonny to raise as much as possible by donating at the link below. A huge well done to Jonny for all of his amazing accomplishments so far, and thank you again for your support.

Donate here!  >

3. Northern Lights Charity Ball

On Saturday 18th November, we hosted our annual fundraising ball at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. Guests enjoyed fizz, delicious food, and fabulous entertainment, all while raising money for the Foundation. The night included fundraising games to amazing prizes in our auctions, including a guitar handmade by service users at Hedley’s Horizons, trips away, and a signing session with our students at Northern Counties School.

The night was a huge success, and we raised an amazing £75,783! A massive thanks to everyone involved.

See the photo gallery here  >

4. Award-Winning Police Cadets

Our Police Cadets at Hedley’s College, the first ever Disability Police Cadets, have been working in partnership with the Northumbria Police since October 2022. This year they have attended multiple awards ceremonies, including the Burberry British Diversity Awards where they were shortlisted for the Community Project of the Year award. They were also the proud winners of the Lord Ferrers Award for the best Volunteer Police Cadet Team! 💜

Watch them on BBC News!  >

5. Adaptive Surfing

Students and staff have been lucky enough to get 10 sessions from South Shields Surf School. Over 10 weeks, they hit the waves on adaptive surfing boards, enjoying the water.

Summer meant hitting the waves and students had great fun both surfing and paddle-boarding. Ways to surf included individually prone, kneeling or standing, assisted prone/kneeling/standing, tandem prone, tandem in a chair.

They had such a great time learning a new skill, thanks to South Shields Surf School providing these lessons.

6. Working With Partners

This year, the Foundation have had the opportunity to work in partnership with various different companies. We are very excited to be in a brand new partnership with MedSolve, who were headline sponsor of our Mistletoe Ball in November this year and have supported the Foundation for several years.

We have also been working with Loungers who have begun opening sites across the North East this year, their first being the Martino Lounge in Morpeth. Loungers have since opened Muro Lounge in Hexham and Coltello Lounge in Cramlington.

During their first month of trade, each site will donate 20p from every coffee and 50p from every burger sold to the Foundation. Martino Lounge raised over £1400 for the Foundation in their first month!

7. Delivering 1.2 Million Hours of Care

Thanks to our amazing staff, supporters, and sponsors, we have delivered 1.2 million hours of special education, lifelong learning, therapy and care this year alone. The support we receive from the community has allowed us to use the latest specialist equipment, provide new spaces such as sensory rooms, create employment opportunities, and facilitate award-winning programmes like our police cadets.

Read more about our SI room at NCS  >

8. The Return of Hedley's Got Talent

This year saw the return of the amazing Hedley’s Got Talent, which was an incredible journey for the Hedleys Horizons service users. The live final was held at the Linskill Centre, with 14 talented acts performing live on the night. There was a fabulous variety of singing, dancing, comedy acts and much more, showcasing the incredible talents of our service users. A huge well done to everyone who participated!

9. Jesmond Fun Run

Earlier this year, staff and students from Northern Counties School lit up the streets with music, laughter and fancy dress, doing a fun run to fundraise for Hydrotherapy pool equipment. They had a fab time and garnered lots of support from the local community, receiving plenty of donations including a generous amount from the Jesmond branch of Hays Travel.

See more photos here  >

10. #TeamPercyHedley Great North Run

This year’s Great North Run was a particularly challenging one, with unprecedented weather – it was the hottest and wettest one yet. Despite this, #TeamPercyHedley did absolutely brilliantly, with over 70 runners raising a fantastic £22,000! A huge thank you to all of our amazing runners and supporters who helped to make this year’s run the biggest and best yet.

Up for the challenge? Sign up for Great North Run 2024 below!

Sign up here  >

11. Teaching BSL Lessons

This year, several different visitors and companies have had the opportunity to attend BSL workshops with staff and students from our Keller department at Northern Counties School. In these sessions, students taught participants the basics of BSL, including how to say their names, describe their families and pets, and their favourite colours. By the end of the workshop, they were even able to perform a song in BSL!

12. Lots of Residential Trips!

Over the past year, our residents have enjoyed lots of trips out and about in the local community, and some even further afield! In the summer, residents and staff enjoyed hitting the waves. The beach wheelchairs and hoists from Beach Access North East were a great help to ensure that everyone got to experience the water. They also enjoyed trips out to Blackpool, the Hoppings, Proms at the Park and much more.

See our residential roundup  >