Go back a step

North East

Contact a Family provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

In the North East, we carry out our service through our regional office in Newcastle and home-based workers. Working at a local and regional level, we have up-to-date information on local services and support for families. Find out more in our general information leaflets for North East and for Cumbria

Our North East team offers:

  • advice, information and support to help families to find out what is available locally
  • workshops, events and opportunities to meet other families with disabled children
  • guidance for support groups and forums to help them to reach and involve parents
  • workshops for parent/carers and for professionals working with families
  • regular newsletters and ebulletins with useful information for families

We work together with government and voluntary organisations. We also take part in local and regional networks to shape policy and ensure the needs of families with disabled children are represented.


Office address

Contact a Family North East, The Dene Centre, Castle Farm Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1PH, 0191 213 6300, northeast.office@cafamily.org.uk

Local contacts

Jacqui Adams, Regional Development Manager 0191 213 6300 jacqui.adams@cafamily.org.uk For information on our regional work, talking at events and the development of our service

Sarah Lewis, Information Officer 0191 213 6300 sarah.lewis@cafamily.org.uk. To join our mailing list, general enquiries, information about local events, workshops and parent support groups 

Shona Chambers, Parent Adviser 07961 979831 shona.chambers@cafamily.org.uk. For advice in relation to bringing up a disabled child, workshops, information and drop ins

Helen Bailey, SEND Parent Adviser: 07930 812420 helen.bailey@cafamily.org.uk. For advice in relation to special educational needs reforms (SEND), workshops, information and drop ins

Kath Ingleby, Hospital & Hospice Parent Adviser: 07738 896474 kathleen.ingleby@cafamily.org.uk. Advice for families whose children regularly have to stay in hospital and use hospital or hospice services, workshops, information and drop ins

Rachael Turnbull, Finance and Welfar Parent Adviser: 07458045719 rachael.turnbull@cafamily.org.uk. For advice in relation to income maximisation workshops and drop-ins.

Victoria Haughan, Cumbria Parent Adviser: 07432 520844 or 01768 88392 victoria.haughan@cafamily.org.uk. To join the Cumbria mailing list, advice in relation to binging up a disabled child, workshops, information and drop ins

Sarah Lee, 01289 387089 or 07920 654967 sarah.lee@cafamily.org.uk. For parent carer participation and help for forums.

Alternatively, you can either email or call our freephone national helpline on 0808 808 3555 from 9.30am-5.00pm, Monday-Friday. Advisers can arrange an interpreter over the telephone if needed.

Registration forms

If you would like to be added to the North East mailing list to receive our quarterly newsletter and weekly email bulletin (during term times only), then please complete and return our registration form.

Local news

Finance Call Back Sessions available to North East parent/carers

Rachael Turnbull, our welfare and finance parent adviser, is running financial call back sessions for any parent/carers who are looking for help and advice around benefits. This can include help with completing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) forms either for the first time or if your DLA review is coming up.

We can book parent/carers in for an hour slot and Rachael will call you at the designated time to offer advice and information.

If you would like details of the next call back session dates and to book a session, please contact the North East office on 0191 213 6300

Sign up to our newsletter and email bulletins

Our next regional newsletter is out at the end of January 2017 and we are also sending out weekly email bulletins during term times which include details of events taking place including workshops our parent advisers are running; leisure opportunities for children; conferences and information days for parents; useful resources and local support group meetings. You can sign up to receive copies of these by completing our registration form or contact us at northeast.office@cafamily.org.uk or 0191 213 6300.

Local events

If your group or organisation is arranging an event, please let us know on 0191 213 6300 or email northeast.office@cafamily.org.uk                    

Contact a Family Information Stand at Great North Children's Hospital, Royal Victoria Infirmary

Tuesday Mornings 9.00-11.30am

14 March, 11 April, 13 June, 11 July, 8 August, 10 October, 14 November and 12 December 2017

Tuesday Afternoons 1.00-3.30pm

28 February, 28 March, 25 April, 30 May, 25 July, 26 September, 31 October and 28 November 2017                               

As part of our Hospitals and Hospices Project, Contact a Family staff will have an information stand outside Children's Outpatients on the above dates. Please come along and pick up information about Contact a Family, see our range of parent guides and ask us any questions you may be struggling to get answers for. We can give information and advice about any aspect of raising your child, including help with finances, education, emotional and practical support.

EHC Plan Workshops for Newcastle parent/carers

These workshops are to help you prepare for Education Health and Care (EHC) plans.

Wednesday 8 March 2017 - How to get your voice heard; what you can expect; what information might be needed and preparing for meetings and what makes a good plan?

Wednesday 22 March 2017 - Getting your views heard; Section A - and the 'golden thread ' that should run through the plan; what are aspirations?; what are outcomes?

All workshops will take place at Key House, Tankerville Place, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 2AT and run from 10.00am-12.30pm. Come early for coffee at 9.45am and stay afterwards for a light buffet lunch at 12.30pm.

These workshops will be delivered jointly by Contact a Family, Pass it on Parents and Independent Support. You do not need to attend all three.

The workshops aim to be very practical sessions with lots of opportunities to prepare for your own child's EHC Plan.

Places our limited so book your places by contacting Kathy Steele or Clare Penny-Evans or Jillian Allen on 0191 281 8737

South Tyneside Caring with Confidence sessions

Session 2: "Caring and Coping"
Thursday 2 March 2017, 1.30-3.30pm.

Gives you time and space to look at the emotions involved in looking after someone, what strategies you use and what you could do to cope with stress more effectively.

Session 3: "Caring and Me"
Thursday 9 March 2017 1.30-3.30pm.

How to be fit for life while caring. Discussion and planning around your own health and wellbeing.

Session 4 "Caring Day-to-Day/ Caring and Life"
Thursday 16 March 2017, 1.30-3.30pm.

Looks at the essentials of caring for someone day-to-day, from medication to emergencies at home while taking time to think about how you juggle competing demands and how your caring role fits with other aspects of your life.

Session 5 "Caring and Resources"
Thursday 23 March 2017, 1.30-3.30pm.

How you can maximise your income and access other resources which save you money as a carer.

Session 6 "Caring and Communicating"
Thursday 30 March 2017, 1.30-3.30pm.

Considers barriers to communication to help you get the best from communicating with professionals and service providers.

Sessions will take place at the office premises at Salvation Army Building, Wawn Street, South Shields, NE33 4EB

South Tyneside Adult Carer Service are offering these free Caring with Confidence sessions to local carers including parent/carers. The programme consists of these six sessions focusing on carers' needs at different stages of the caring role providing knowledge and practical tips. Sessions are very friendly and informal, previous carers have expressed that they found the course to be very relaxed and informative, while enjoying the opportunity to share ideas with other carers.

To request a place, please contact Monica Scott on 0191 4061531 or email Monica.Scott@lifeline.org.uk

County Durham Parent Training

Fridays 3, 17 and 31 March 2017 from 11.00am-1.00pm
Memorial Spennymoor Town Hall, High Street, Spennymoor DL16 6DG

Training is free to parents living in County Durham (not Darlington).

Do you care for your child and are you finding it difficult to adjust and cope with the emotional demands of being a parent carer? Are you adjusting to changes in your relationship with those around you such as partners, other children, family or friends? Are you struggling with your emotions and feelings about being or becoming a carer?

If you are this training may be able to help normalise some of those emotions and feelings and help provide some emotional support on your journey. Relate North East in Partnership with Durham County Carers Support is offering a workshop called "Parents to Carers" where they explore how relationships change and how you can adjust to those changes. They also look at different ways of coping with the changes to lives and the importance of self-care.

The workshop will run over four weeks and each session will only be two hours long, as they recognise how difficult it can be juggling your role and responsibilities as a carer.

Places are limited so book your place now by calling 01325 524606/01325 461500 or email sara.carlton@dccarers.org or counselling@relatenortheast.org.uk

County Durham Young People's "Futures" Event

Wednesday 22 February 2017 from 10.00am-3.00pm
New College Durham

Is your young person aged 13-25 with a special educational need and/or disability, living in County Durham? If yes, then this free information day is for you.

The day will include information and advice; an adult zone; the chance to meet new people, try new sports and enjoy a disco and free buffet.

To enquire or to book a place call SENDIASS on 0191 5873541 or email sendiass@durham.gov.uk

Help with travel costs is also available.

Training for County Durham Parent/Carers

Self-Harm on Saturday 4 March 2017.

This session will look at what is self-harm, why children and young people self-harm, practical things you can do and tips to help you cope.

Overwhelming Emotions on Saturday 18 March 2017.

This session will look at what is going on when children and young people are overwhelmed with emotions, the signs and symptoms parents can look for, when to worry, practical things you can do and tips to help you cope.

Coping in a Crisis on Saturday 1 April 2017.

This session will look at Different crisis situations, risky behaviour, when to worry, what you can do to help at home, when you need to get extra support and tips to help you cope

All training will take place from 11.00am-2.00pm at Acley Centre, Carers Way, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, DL5 4PE

Are you a parent/carer supporting a child or young person with emotional or mental health problems? You are not alone. Supporting a child with emotional or mental health problems can be really difficult and challenging for any parent or carer. Information, advice and support can make the tough times a little easier.

These training and information sessions have been designed and developed by a parent with experience of supporting a child with emotional and mental health difficulties. Each session will be delivered by a parent and CAMHS Nurse, you will meet other parents who may be going through similar experiences, receive information, advice and practical tips around what might help you and your child.

All sessions are free and open to any County Durham parent, carer or family member who is supporting a child with emotional or mental health difficulties.

Each session will include useful resources, websites and also provide parents with the opportunity to develop a personal plan of what to do.

For more information or to book a place please contact Wendy (Parent trainer) on 07415380040 or email wendy@success.coop

Legal Rights Session

Wednesday 8 March 2017 from 10.00am-2.00pm

This event is being run by Inclusion North in partnership with the Family Carer Support Service and is on "how to get the right support using the law".

People with learning disabilities aged 16+ and family carers have stronger rights under the Care Act. Do you know how it might affect you or your children? This free session will give you the information and confidence you need to ensure your views are heard and to get the best support for you and your child.

You will find out more about strengthened rights; wellbeing and outcomes; assessments and eligibility; independent advocacy; charging and care and support planning.

If you would like to attend and for full venue details, please contact Samta at Inclusion North on 0113 2444792 or email samta@inclusionnorth.org

Parents 4 Change Middlesbrough Information Day

Wednesday 8 March 2017 from 10.00am-2.00pm
North Ormesby Hub, Derwent Street, Middlesbrough TS3 6JB

This information day is for families of children with disabilities and/or additional needs living in Middlesbrough. A range of organisations will be in attendance for you to pick up lots of useful information and a buffet lunch and refreshments will also be provided

For more information contact Parents 4 Change on 01642 200526 or Mobile 07584 055639

Understanding and Managing your Child's ADHD

Wednesday 15 March 2017
Ashrbrooke School, Ashbrooke Road, Sunderland SR2 7JA. Refreshments and lunch are provided.

This free workshop will be facilitated by the ADHD Foundation in collaboration with Witherslack Group to give parents and carers practical strategies to support children and young people who have either traits or diagnosis of ADHD.

Main components of the workshop are the science behind diagnosis; what is ADHD and dispelling myths; the impact on learning, achievement and behaviour; what ADHD is not an excuse for underachievement or poor choices in behaviour; how and why medicine should work and working collaboratively with school staff and other providers.

For more information or to book your place, please contact Clare or Rukiya on 015395 66081or email events@witherslackgroup.co.uk

Find local services at


Our SENDirect service is a website where families of children with disabilities or special educational needs can search for and compare local support, activities and services.