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

Great North Run 2017

We have five fantastic fundraisers running for Contact a Family in this year's Great North Run. If you would like to support them in this challenge, you can donate to one of their JustGiving pages below, or if you are interested in coming along to cheer them around the run on the day then please get in touch.

The team includes our very own Rachael Turnbull, finance and welfare parent adviser, who many of you have had help and support from with completing your Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment forms, through workshops and one-to-one call backs.

Rachael says, "So many families have nowhere to turn to, especially due to the reduction in welfare rights services in their community, so it's great to have this role in the North East. I'm doing the run to highlight the need for these services and to help raise funds to see roles like mine continue at Contact a Family in the future"

Just Giving Page Links:

Stuart Bailey

Rachael Winthorpe

Claire Allinn

Don't miss out - Sign up to our newsletter and email bulletins

To find out more about this events like the Great North Run sign up for our email bulletins. These also include details of lots of events taking place including free 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      

Darlington Together for Better Forum meeting

Tuesday 11 July 2017 from 10.00am-2.00pm
Business Central, Central Park, High St, Darlington DL1 1GL. Light lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Anne Astbury (SENCO Partnership link) is attending to give an update on SEN strategy in Darlington and take questions and Mark Humble (Development and Commissioning Manager Learning Disability and Mental Health Services for People) is coming to speak about Darlington's transforming care agenda, what needs to happen and asking what does "good" look like for families in Darlington.

Mark is also the lead on Darlington's Autism Strategy Group so he day should be very informative

If you would like more information or would like to book to attend this meeting, please email contact@togetherforbetter.info


Turn 2 Us Workshops - Professionals

Wednesday 12 July 2017: 9.30am to 12.30pm to 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Gateshead College, Baltic Business Quarter, Quarryfield Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BE

Do you work for a local charity or community group in the North East of England which supports people in financial need? With the support of Comic Relief, Turn2us is running a free workshop to help people in the region who are struggling financially. Staff and volunteers can learn how to use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator, Grants Search tool and website to support people in financial hardship

For any further information and to book places, please see the Turn 2 Us website


In It Together Parent Forum AGM

Thursday 13 July 2017 at Stannington Village Hall, Stannington, Northumberland starting at 1.00pm until 2.00pm (Refreshments will be provided).

Come along and join In It Together to find out their plans for the future and to let them know what you would them us to do to make a difference for your family. The forum would like to invite others to put themselves forward to join the Steering Group especially in the West of Northumberland.

To book your place please call 07729 192909 or email info@in-it-together.org.uk


Whizz Kidz Wheelchair Skills Days

Saturday 15 July 2017 from 10.00am-12.00pm
Percy Hedley Sports Academy, West Lane, Killingworth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 7BH

For young wheelchair users aged two-eight. Outcomes are for children to become more confident using their wheelchair in everyday life, reduce their reliance on others, be better prepared and become more included in the local community.

For more information or to book contact Graham Thomas from Whizz Kidz on 07833566470 or email g.thomas@whizz-kidz.org.uk


North East Autism Society Open Evening

Tuesday 18 July 2017 from 4.00-7.00pm
Aycliffe School, North East Centre for Autism, Cedar Drive, Newton Aycliffe DL5 6UN

They provide specialist education for children, young people and adults with autism and other learning difficulties aged 4-25.

At the open evening, you can take a tour of the school, college and short break facilities; have a chance to meet specialist staff; take part in a Q and A session with the head teacher and college principal and take park in a parent/carers advice workshop.

To book a place, please call 01325 328090 or email info@ne-as.org.uk


Relax Kids Harry Potter Themed Free Taster Session

Thursday 27 July 2017 from 1.00-2.00pm
More Centre, Derwentwater Road, Gateshead NE8 2EX

Relax Kids sessions help children to build confidence, manage stress and build self-esteem.

If you are interested in booking a place, see the group's Facebook page and you can also message them for more information.


Contact a Family Birth to Five Workshops

Friday 28 July 2017: Encouraging positive behaviour

Friday 4 August 2017: Support and Information

Friday 11 August 2017: Building Parental Confidence

Friday 18 August 2017: Money Matters

Fairfield Nursery, Fairfield Primary School, Glenfield Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS19 7PW

All workshops will run from 10.00am-12.00pm - Refreshments provided

Our Early Years project involves reaching out to parents by linking with Early Years' practitioners to build parents confidence in accessing childcare. As part of this project, Shona Chambers, North East parent adviser, will be delivering free welcoming and informative sessions for parents and carers of children aged 0-five who have additional needs. In the North East, this project is initially focussed in Stockton-on-Tees but parents from any area are welcome to attend the workshops.

If possible, parents should come to all four sessions to get the most out of the course. Very limited free crèche places are available too; these need to be booked in advance

To book workshop and any crèche places, please call us 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

11 July, 8 August, 10 October, 14 November and 12 December 2017

Tuesday Afternoons 1.00-3.30pm

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.

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.