FREE – Wednesday, 27 September 2023 from 10:00-13:00. Location: Civic Centre Barras Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE9 1NP.

Nurturing Diversity – Creating a Team

The Percy Hedley Foundation’s Hedleys Beyond team is working with employers and offering them the opportunity to work directly with people with disabilities in a non-confrontational, often creative way. Hedleys Beyond introduces the whole organisation to the concept of disability in the workplace.  This, in itself, develops awareness, discourages discrimination and helps understanding. 

The aim of this event is to give a space for employers to hear from experts by experience on the real need for diverse workspaces to make work, work for all. 

We have invited speakers from across the spectrum, those with lived experience, those from the world of business and those who can offer help and support to create an inclusive landscape for work. 

Programme of the Day

10.00 – Registration and refreshments

10.30 – Kerry Robinson (PHF) – Welcome

10.45 – Michael Kerr (PHF) and Jacob Leisy (Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums): Experience in Action

11.00 – Angie Stewart (Disability North): Getting Employment Right makes Life Complete

11.30 – Break

11.45 – Tony Stewart (DWP): Supporting Employers and Employees

12.00 – Callum George  (Chamber of Commerce ): The Voice of Business

12.15 – Ellie Lowther: Free to be Me – Diversity +

12.45 – Wrap Up

Kerry Robinson 

Project Manager for Hedleys Beyond – experienced leader in the children, young people and families arena. Previous career roles include head of service for residential care for children with complex and life limited diagnosis, project lead for a Department of Education funded leaving care service, manager for local authority intensive family support services. Kerry is passionate about creating inclusion in the world of work and ambitious for all to achieve their dreams.  

Angie Stewart

Personalisation and Disability Inclusion Trainer. Angie creates and delivers training and workshops offered by Disability North. She shares her lived experience of disability and knowledge gained from friends, colleagues, job roles and adventures she has had along the way. This brings the training to life. Inclusivity is her passion. She shows this by encouraging us all to break down barriers, enabling disabled people to contribute and aspire to do anything they want in life. Angie loves a cup of tea and cuddles with her dog, Annie McFluff. 

Callum George

Callum is a Policy Adviser, primarily working on education, and employment policy at the North East England Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber represents over 2,000 businesses in its membership across the region on issues such as recruitment and retention: both of which have employee wellbeing at their core. Callum will explore insights into wellbeing the Chamber has gained through communicating with a broad range of businesses across the North East, and why having a wellbeing strategy isn’t just beneficial to your employees; it actually makes sense for your business. 

Callum George | LinkedIn

Ellie Lowther

Free To Be Me – Diversity+

Removing the walking on eggshells feeling some may experience when engaging with the world of gender variance and an understanding of the radical middle road of inclusion that Ellie champions within #FreeToBeMe  

Ellie has a mountain of experience in the area of inclusion since she began her own journey of transition over a decade ago. Creating the first Trans specific safe house project in the UK and working with companies across all areas of life delivering highly regarded training and support are just a couple of things Ellie is known for. She also presents her Ellie’s Free Form Radio Show on CVFM to listeners around the world each Sunday morning and founded the inclusive Stockton on Tees based Choir SYSTEMIC! 

Supporting in excess of 2000 individuals on their personal journey as well as educating countless thousands over the years. Ellie is very much looking forward to joining us! 

You are able to connect with Ellie via Linked In or other social medias. She especially enjoys engaging on TikTok in her spare time. Give her a follow @coloursofmylife  


Tony Stewart

Disability Employment Adviser. 

“I am based at Newcastle City Jobcentre, I am part of a district wide team covering Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. I upskill work coaches at the jobcentre to help them support claimants with health conditions and disabilities. I offer a signposting, advisory service to all claimants with health conditions and or disabilities, to access support and provision in the local area, I link in with providers and partners across Newcastle to keep updated on all available support.  I attend events and jobs fairs to promote access to work and disability confident, part of the governments commitment to see 1 million more disabled people in work over the next ten years.” 


Michael Kerr

Student at Percy Hedley Foundation and currently completing a work experience opportunity with the Discovery Museum in Newcastle.


Jacob Leisy

Archives and Museums. Jacob works in partnership with the Percy Hedley Foundation assigning tasks and supporting Michael Kerr during his work experience sessions.

Thanks to our Event Partners

Join Us Next February

Save the date! Join us next February for your next session with the Beyond Network : “Joining the World of Work”.