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.

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
  • regular newsletters and ebulletins with useful information for families - download our latest newsletter [PDF]
  • guidance for support groups and forums to help them to reach and involve parents
  • workshops for parent/carers and for professionals working with 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 binging 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

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

Where do I go from here?

We receive a number of enquiries in the North East from parents and carers looking for services in their local area. These might be statutory services, parent support groups, details of activities their children and young people can take part in or just who is out there to offer them support.  

Did you know each local Authority area has a local offer, which will include a wide range of information about all the support and facilities that families can expect to find in their area for children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities?

Find out more by clicking on your local authority area below:

County Durham





Newcastle upon Tyne

North Tyneside


Redcar and Cleveland

South Tyneside



Regionally, Contact a Family also has lots of information available through our newsletters and bulletins - including details of all our forthcoming workshops, which are all free for parent and carers to attend.

To ensure you don't miss out on receiving our newsletter or email bulletin, please sign up to be included on our mailing list by contacting us at at northeast.office@cafamily.org.uk or call us on 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

North East Special Needs Network Event

Transition Market Place and Seminars Event

Thursday 7 July 2016, 11.00am-3.00pm
Key House, 11 Tankerville Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 3AT

Transition Market Place and Seminars Event for parents and carers in Newcastle whose young person with special needs or a disability is aged 12 or over. Stall holiders will include Connexions, Percy Hedley College, Cambian Dilston College, ESPA College, Trinity Solutions, Tynemet College, Gateshead College, Newcastle Supported Internship, Project Choice, Interactive Development and Hextol Foundation

Includes free seminars on post 16 options, specialist provision, combined offers and bespoke education packages; housing options; access to employment and supported employment in Newcastle.

To book a place for the seminars please contact Christabel James on 0191 281 2485 or email admin@nsnn.org.uk


Contact a Family SEND Workshop

Monday 11 July 2016, from 10.00am to 2.00pm - including lunch & refreshments
The Dene Centre, Castle Farm Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 1PH

Are you new to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system?  Or just starting out with the process of obtaining an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan for your child/young person?  Then this workshop is for you. Or if you know of any parent/carers who fit the bill - please let them know about this free workshop.

There will be help for families to navigate the new system of support for children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) in schools and colleges through this workshop which will be facilitated by our North East SEND parent adviser, Helen Bailey. This free workshop is open to parent/carers of children and young people aged 0-19 with any disability or additional need.

Please note, places are very limited for this workshop and available on a first come, first served basis. Help towards the costs of childcare and travel is also available upon request. If you would like to attend, please book with us by email at northeast.office@cafamily.org.uk or call 0191 213 6300.


Future Steps Summer Sessions

25-29 July 2016; 8am-12pm; 22-26 August and 29 Aug-2 Sept (Bank Holiday Monday is 29 August 2016).
Future Steps Consultancy, Marchbank, Darlington DL3 9BL

Future Steps Occupational Therapy Consultancy are running therapy and treatment summer sessions during the summer holidays of 2016 focusing on sensory difficulties, motor ability and behaviour, as well as a 6-week handwriting course to help children maintain or increase their handwriting ability during the long Summer Holidays.

SMART: Summer Sessions (Sensory, Modulation And Regulatory Treatment Sessions) Group Intervention (Four per group) over the summer holidays, only accessible for children who are able to work in a group, without the need of a one-to-one assistant, delivering both Motor and Sensory Integration treatments. Five sessions (1hour 15 minutes each) over the course of five days (Unless booked on week containing Bank Holiday). Cost is £25 per session, meaning a week of sessions would cost £125 (Unless booked on week containing Bank Holiday, in which case the cost would be £100)

EARTH Handwriting: Summer Sessions; Assist with child's rhythm, formation and understanding of letters. Six-Week Handwriting Course, with once weekly 40 minute, group sessions, costing £20 per child. Can incorporate host schools font, Group Intervention (Four per group) over the summer holidays, only accessible for children who are able to work in a group, without the need of a one-to-one assistant. Additional £15 for handwriting resources booklet to ensure progress continues after summer sessions have concluded

For more information see the Future Steps website or call 01325 254 688 or email admin@futurestepsconsultancy.co.uk


Sight North East Exhibition

Wednesday 7 September 2016 from 10.00am-4.00pm
St. James' Park Stadium, Newcastle upon Tyne

The event is the largest exhibition in the region of specialist equipment, information, support and services for visually impaired people and is attended by exhibitors from all over the country. It provides an ideal opportunity for visually impaired people and professionals working in the field to find out about the latest technology and services available.

Sighted guides will be available to those who need them. Entry into the exhibition is free and tea/coffee and biscuits will be served

If you would like any further information about the exhibition, please contact Kerry Pattison - Sight North East Event Organiser on 0191 478 5959 extension: 205


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.