Lloyds Bank Volunteer Day at Chipchase House

A group of staff from Lloyds Commerical Bank in Newcastle City Centre came along to Chipchase House to volunteer their time to transform an unused area of the grounds into the perfect garden space for growing plants.

The day was spent cleaning the space, refreshing the walls with paint after sanding old paintwork, and building a mini greenhouse. The volunteers even went to the effort of buying some seeds and new plants with their own funds.

A huge thank you to Graham Lowes, Elaine Gill, Rosalind Hetherington, Lisa Hay, Stuart Harper and Tom Hibbard for your efforts and kindess.

Staff and Residents at Chipchase are overjoyed with the newly transformed space, and plan on using it as a new activities zone.

Nurses’ Day 2022

As part of Nurses’ Day 2022, we’re celebrating the incredible difference nursing staff make to patients’ lives across the UK by sharing our own stories showcasing the very #BestOfNursing.

Despite working through challenging circumstances, nursing staff continue to go above and beyond to deliver highly skilled, safety-critical care every single day. 

Percy Hedley Foundation have an experienced team of Registered Nurses working in our educational services.  They work tirelessly to support their colleagues, students, service users and families throughout the year.  They have been recognised by the NHS for their excellent work, to name a few, in continence advice, sexual health and immunisation services.

Our Foundation Nursing Team provide an outstanding learning environment for Student Nurses and have been awarded a top marks ‘excellent’ score for their support from Northumbria University as well as achieving NHS ‘You’re Welcome’ accreditation.

Here we have:

Lindsay Louise Elliott

Lindsay is Percy Hedley Foundation Lead Nurse who writes and oversees clinical policies and procedures as well as supporting the School Nursing Teams.  Lindsay also supports Hedleys College, Horizons and The Hub.  Lindsay supports Central Services with clinical advice and input and has an interest in streamlining services, service improvement,  nutrition, and health.  Lindsay works with Northumbria University and is a Practice Supervisor and Assessor, including being on the panel for Student Nurse interviews.

Lisa Logan

Lisa is one of the very experienced  Registered Nurses who is a School Nurse at Percy Hedley School.  Lisa has an interest in improving links with the NHS and improving services and has used her extensive experience to support education staff, especially with training and clinical skills.  Lisa has recently been involved with improving links with the regional continence teams and this has resulted in a joint documentation, which has been a huge achievement.  Lisa has recently been involved with medicine administration improvement in School and empowering staff through training, support, and advice.

Karen Loughney

Karen is one of the Registered Nurses who is a School Nurse at Percy Hedley School.  Karen is a very experienced and knowledgeable nurse, who uses her expertise to support education staff care for the children in school.  Karen has an interest in emotional support and health promotion and has taken the nursing service forwards with her service improvement ideas such as working more in the classrooms alongside the education staff. Karen has recently been involved with improving medication administration in School and is working towards a whole new system in September. 

Laura White

Laura is an experienced Registered Nurse who is a School Nurse at Northern Counties School.  Laura uses her experience from working with a wide range of services, in a range of environments, to enhance the long-term health impacts for the children at School.  Laura has an interest in child and adolescent mental health, developing life skills and is a keen advocate for the STOMP campaign.  Laura has recently been working to build up relationships with the NHS and was recently commended by the NHS for her work around immunisations.

Vote for our 2022 Great North Run Shirt Design

The Foundation turns 70 years old in Febraury 2023, and in the lead up to that, we’ve asked our students from Percy Hedley School and Northern Counties School to come up with some fantastic potential designs for our mini and junior Great North Run 2022 shirts.

What better way to create our Great North Run mini and junior t-shirt designs this year, than let our students design it themselves! Please select your favourite for our 2022 Great North Run designs.

A Message to Parents from CEO John Knight

We’re delighted to announce John Knight officially joined us on Monday 21 March as our new Chief Executive.  John joins us with more than three decades of experience in the charity sector working with many organisations committed to helping children, young people and families.

Here’s a short video from John introducing himself.

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Hellens Group pledges to raise £50,000 for The Percy Hedley Foundation

In 2023, The Percy Hedley Foundation turns 70 years old, and Hellens Group, a North East-based property and construction firm, is turning 50. As part of their celebrations, they wanted to raise an incredibly generous £50,000 in aid of our Foundation.

Over the next year, in the lead-up to their 50th birthday, the team at Hellens Group will be working on a series of fundraising activities to hit or exceed their target.

Kate Hellens, managing director of Hellens Residential said:

“We are enormously excited to be approaching our 50th anniversary. And what better way to celebrate than by setting ourselves a stretching target of raising £50,000 to support the invaluable work of The Percy Hedley Foundation. We have already kicked off our fundraising, and we hope the amazing North East business community and our development partners will all get stuck in over the next twelve months.”

We’re incredibly excited to see what the team at Hellens Group have planned over the next year, and we’re very grateful they have chosen to support our charity.

John Knight, chief executive here at The Percy Hedley Foundation said:

“We are delighted that our fantastic supporters Hellens Residential have chosen to fundraise for us during this special anniversary year, both for them and for us as we approach our 70th anniversary. After a very difficult two years which have had a significant impact on our ability to raise vital funds, the money raised will make a huge difference to the children and young people we support.”

If you would like to help The Percy Hedley Foundation celebrate our 70th Birthday in 2023 by becoming a partner in fundraising, or having us as your Charity of the Year. Get in touch!

It’s Our Birthday!

Percy Hedley School opened 69 years ago today thanks to the ultimate display of parent power.

How did it all start?

Molly & Stephen Darke alongside their child, Stephen Darke

Molly and Stephen Darke were inspirational people.

They campaigned, with other parents, for a school for children with Cerebral Palsy. Back then, the needs of children with Cerebral Palsy were not fully understood and the Foundation’s formation was met with scepticism by many.

Because of the passion, determination and fundraising of the parents, The Percy Hedley Foundation was founded in 1953, as a special school for children with Cerebral Palsy.

HRH, Duchess of Kent, at the official opening day

It’s hard to imagine in today’s world, a time when disabled children couldn’t access education.  In the 1950s, it was not expected that any more could be done for children with Cerebral Palsy beyond what was already being done, but the parents made it their mission to help their children realise their full potential and live life to the full.

We’ve continued with that mission, and over the years we have extended and developed the work we do to make sure children, young people and adults with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities have equal opportunities in life.

A group of early students from 1957

Although our commitment and passion to helping people develop their abilities, live the life they want and be happy, has not changed; We have grown and the expectations of our members, their families and our employees have progressed significantly.

When the first school opened there were only 12 students, but we now support over 650 members and their families each week through residential care, education, and lifelong learning opportunities.

Stephen Darke on his 80th Birthday

Last year, “little” Stephen Darke turned 80 years old, and now lives at Chipchase House.

Who was Percy Hedley?

Percy Hedley

So, who is Percy Hedley? Well, he passed away before the Foundation was formed and was never personally involved in any way with a project that would bear his name. 

Before his passing in 1941, Percy Hedley decided to create a trust – the Percy Hedley Will Trust – to leave all his money to be used for charitable purposes in the North East.

After a chance meeting between the parents who founded the school and Percy Hedley’s solicitor, we became one of three charities to benefit from the trust.

Percy Hedley never knew how his accumulated wealth would benefit so many or that his name would become so well-known in the region!

Footage from a Northumbria Films King’s College Rag Appeal in 1953, of some Percy Hedley students.

Help us celebrate our 70th birthday

We turn 70 next year and we have some big plans!  We would love to hear your stories about the Percy Hedley Foundation. From your time going here, working here, volunteering for us or supporting one of your friends or relatives we would love to hear your memories.

To complete the form, you need a Google account. Alternatively, please email your stories to communications@percyhedley.org.uk