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
  • 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

Autumn Plans

What do we have coming up in the North East over the next couple of months?

We will have the Autumn edition of our quarterly regional newsletter available in October 2016. This edition will include exciting news about a new parent adviser we have in the region, details of forthcoming workshop plans, news of updated resources and details of local services and support groups.

Contact a Family will also be in attendance at a number of information events over the Autumn, so keep your eyes peeled for a member of our team with our stand and come and say hello if you see us out and about. 

Find out more about these information events by signing up to receive copies of our weekly (during term times) email bulletin along with our newsletters. Complete our registration form or contact 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

Contact a Family's RVI Information Stand

Tuesdays 6 September, 11 October, 8 November and 13 December 2016, 9.00am-4.00pm

As part of our Hospitals and Hospices Project, Contact a Family has an information stand available on a monthly basis outside the Children's Outpatient Department at the RVI/Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle.

If you are visiting the hospital with your child on one of these dates or you might be there with your child as an inpatient, why not come along and meet Contact a Family staff, including Kath Ingleby, our Hospital and Hospice parent adviser and find out about support we are able to offer. If you would like to find out more about the project, please contact the North East office on 0191 213 6300 or email northeast.office@cafamily.org.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 and 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.


North East Autism Society Workshops

Tuesday 13 September 2016 until 18 October 2016 from 12.00-2.00pm.
Chance Community Centre, Rickerby Street, Hendon, Sunderland SR12DL

NEAS is running this free 6-week Autism Workshop course for Sunderland parents and carers The Course is based on 6 areas that will cover What is Autism; Living with Autism; Communication Differences in Autism; Sensory Differences in Autism; Emotional wellbeing in Autism and Navigating the System.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. For more information and to book a place email kerrie.highcock@ne-as.org.uk or call 0191 410 9974


DNEX 2016

Wednesday 21 & Thursday 22 September 2016 Open daily at 10.00am
Newcastle Racecourse

DNEX is hosted by Disability North. 2016 marks the 30th DNEX exhibition and it will be opened by Metro Radio DJ and 'Night Owls' host, Alan Robson. Entrance is free.

This year, there are a number of exhibitors that will be of particular interest to families with disabled children and young people along with a number of topics being covered by the free seminars on offer over the 2 days. Contact a Family will be there with our information stand and will also be delivering one of the workshops.

More information can be found on Disability North's DNEX website.


Northeast Special Needs Network Social Skills, Sex and Sexuality Workshop

Wednesday 28 September 2016 from 9.45am-12.00pm
Key House, Skills for People, Tankerville Place, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The keynote speaker is Lynne Moxon who is a Psychologist, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for the Master's Degree in Autism at Northumbria University. She has been working in the area of Autistic Spectrum Conditions for 30 years.

This exciting workshop is free for parents/carers to attend and lunch and refreshments are included.

If you are interested in attending, please contact NSNN on 0191 281 2485 or email admin@nsnn.org.uk for more information or to book a place.

Please note these workshops are aimed at Newcastle parents whose child is aged 11+, however parents from other areas are welcome to attend if places are available.


Contact a Family legal surgery

Thursday 29 September 2016
Dene Centre,Castle Farm Road, Gosforth Newcastle NE3 1PH.

Appointments can be made for times between 10.00am-1.00pm and will be available in 30 minute sessions. 

In partnership with Disability North and Irwin Mitchell, Contact a Family are holding this legal surgery. If you need legal advice and not sure who can help then, these free legal surgery could be for you. Surgeries provide advice in relation to disability related issues from a lawyer who will discuss your query with you and advise you on what you should do next. All advice given at the legal advice surgeries is free of charge.

Please note, as there are limited sessions on offer they will be available on a first come, first served basis. If you would like to attend, please email us at northeast.office@cafamily.org.uk


In It Together Northumberland Wills and Trusts Seminar

Friday 30 September 2016 10.00am - 12.00pm and will be followed by a free lunch.
Morpeth Methodist Church, Howard Terrace, Morpeth NE61 1HU.

In conjunction with Contact a Family and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, In It Together are running a free Wills & Trusts seminar for parents/carers with disabled children aged 0 to 19. We know that many parents/carers worry about what will happen in the future when they are no longer around. The aim of this seminar is to give parent/carers useful information and the opportunity to ask questions about concerns you may have. The seminar will be facilitated by Michael Knott from Irwin Mitchell.  

To book your place, please email Elizabeth Johnston at elizi_elizi@hotmail.com


North Shields Hands on Dyslexia Event

Saturday 1 October 2016 from 10.00am-2.00pm
North Tyneside Library

North Tyneside Libraries in association with Dyslexia North East present a fun interactive free information day for everyone. Come along and enjoy crafts, storytelling, games and a drama presentation, while learning all about Dyslexia including first-hand experience of living with Dyslexia and the support available for you.

For further information call 0191 643 5833 or 0191 500 9778.


Tees All Age Autism Strategy Consultation Event

Friday 14 October 2016 from 9.30am-3.00pm
Southlands Centre, Ormesby Road, Middlesbrough, TS3 0HB

Are you on the autism spectrum or are a parent/carer of someone on the autism spectrum? Do you live in Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland, Stockton on Tees or Hartlepool?

The lead commissioners for the four Tees local authorities would like to invite you to this All Age Autism Strategy Consultation Event. This consultation event will focus on: good health; keeping safe; good support and having a good life. The outcomes from each of the workshops will aid commissioners to identify priorities and gaps in service provision, so it is really important that people with autism, their family and parents and carers are involved in this important work.

Have your voice heard. This is a free event and lunch is included.

Early booking is recommended. For tickets, visit the MAIN website and follow the link to the Eventbrite page or call them for more information on 01642 608012

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.