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

Help us Celebrate Dinosaur Day in the North East


 We have an exciting event lined up which is taking place at the Life Science Centre on Sunday 18 June 2017. Sensory Spaces are joining us to help us raise valuable funds for Contact a Family with a fabulous fundraising extravaganza which includes Sensory Spaces Dino-related activities including music, arts and crafts, games and much much more.

Thanks to the generousity of the Life Science Centre, there will also be a limited number of discounted family tickets available for our families to purchase to gain entry into the Life Science Centre, including their amazing new Dino Jaws exhibition. All funds raised from these ticket sales will go directly to Contact Family.

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

To find out more about this Dino Day event and for news of when the booking for the discounted tickets will be open, please contact us to sign up for our weekly 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.

So that's what we're doing to celebrate Dino Day - how about you?

Please help us raise much needed funds for Contact a Family; it would be great if there were a number of events taking place across our region. You don't need to do anything big, you could hold a cake sale, arrange a sponsored dress-down day at work or school or ask for sponsorship to wear a Dino Mask all day - our official Dino Day takes place on Monday 19 June 2017.

Full details and a free fundraising pack can be found on our Dino Day webpage.

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      

Aid for Children with Tracheostomies (ACT) Family Fun Day

Saturday 10 June 2017 from 10.00am-3.00pm
Oxford Centre, 82 West Farm Avenue Longbenton, NE12 8LT

ACT supports families who have child with a tracheostomy. This family fun day is for parents, carers and professionals to share problems and solutions and an opportunity for a great get together for all.

If you would like to attend or for any further information, please contact Malcolm Barnes on 07907256189 or email malcolmbarnes63@gmail.com

Whizz Kidz Wheelchair Skills Days

Saturday 10 June and 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

Contact a Family Birth to Five Workshops

Monday 12 June 2017: Encouraging positive behaviour

Monday 19 June 2017: Support and Information

Monday 3 July 2017: Building Parental Confidence

Monday 10 July 2017: Money Matters

All held at Riverbank Children's Centre, Gilmour Street, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees TS17 6PF

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

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

Tuesday Afternoons 1.00-3.30pm

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.

Contact a Family Free Siblings Workshops

Tuesday 13 June 2017 at Barndale House School Howling Lane, Alnwick Northumberland NE66 1DQ

Wednesday 14 June 2017 at BLISS=Ability, 34-36 New Green St, South Shields NE33 5DL

All workshops will run from 10.00am-12.00pm and will then be followed by lunch and time to chat, share more experiences and gather more information.

Parents we meet often tell us they worry about not meeting the needs of their non-disabled children because they need to spend so much time concentrating on their disabled child. This workshop is an opportunity to share some of those concerns with other parent carers, explore how you can support siblings with their own feelings and look at strategies to help support your whole family.

Places are very limited and so please contact us if you would like to book by email at northeast.office@cafamily.org.uk or call 0191 213 6300


Moving On Preparing for Adulthood Regional Events

Tuesday 20 June 2017 - Middlesbrough Football Club
Tuesday 4 July 2017 - Newcastle College

Both events will run from 10.00am-2.00pm (registration and refreshments from 9:30am). Refreshments and lunch provided.

North East Regional SENDIAS Services invites parents and carers of young people 14+ with special educational needs and/or disabilities to attend one of these two regional events.

The day will consist of a brief introduction then a carousel of three workshop sessions giving you information on:

  • Post-16 funding: Personal Independence Payment, college funding, personal budgets and direct payments.
  • Transition: from child to adult services in relation to health and social services and information on the mental capacity act.
  • Moving on: independent living, supported internships, employment, independent travel and community links.

To book a place or for further information, please contact Rebecca Hinton on 0191 5873541 or email rebecca.hinton@durham.gov.uk

Legal surgery

Thursday 6 July 2017
Dene Centre, Castle Farm Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 1PH

Need legal advice about a disability-related legal issue?  Not sure who can help? Then these free legal surgeries could be for you.

Disability North & Contact a Family, in conjunction with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, are running another series of free legal surgeries to provide advice in relation to disability-related queries. The legal surgeries will be held at Disability North's Dene Centre in Newcastle and will be attended by a legal adviser 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.

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

The legal advice surgeries are completely free of charge. If you wish to take any legal action following the initial advice at the legal surgery this may involve a cost. The legal adviser will discuss the costs involved in taking your case forward and the funding options available.

If you are interested and would like to book an appointment, then please call us at Contact a Family on 0191 213 6300. Please note, as there are limited sessions on offer, they will be available on a first come, first served basis but we will try and offer you the next available date if they are fully booked.

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.