How To Find Us

  • Sir James Spence Institute,
    Queen Victoria Road,
    Newcastle upon Tyne,
    NE1 4LP
    United Kingdom

What We Do

Making Serious Stuff Fun - We focus on improving the health and well-being of children and young people in the North East. So, how do we make a difference to people's lives and how can we help you? For 30 years we have worked with amazing people in the North East to achieve great things.

How we address need:

We want all North East children and young people to be happy and healthy. We want them to feel loved, respected, feel they have a voice and are heard. We achieve this in two ways;

1. Within Child Health Establishments

Clown Doctor Project

ensuring vital therapeutic play is received each week by children experiencing distress and anxiety during their treatment and stay in hospital. This currently runs in The Great North Children’s Hospital.

Story Chair Project

We fund a story chair and book trolley at The Great North Children’s Hospital in Children’s Outpatients so parent/carers/family can read to their child/children while they wait for appointments to help ease worry, anxiety and spend some quality time together

2. Within communities

Food and Fun activity packs

We continue to adapt our work in response to COVID-19 and are assembling and delivering ‘Food and Fun’ activity packs to families and children in need. Throughout the pandemic our fantastic team and volunteers have been dropping off these packs. To find out more or to request a pack please click the following link: Click here to Request a pack. The food parcels enable families to cook and provide healthy, hot meals for the weekend for them and their children. The activity pack includes things that encourage quality family time such as a board game, a storybook or craft activity that can be done with siblings, parents/carers or wider family members. We are fully committed to making sure children do not go hungry and determined to end inequality in their health, which includes poverty and holiday hunger.

“I Can’t thank you enough for the food and activity packs that have been dropped off today. My cooker broke this month so I have been struggling even more than normal. I am now sitting getting beat off my son playing Connect 4. Happy kids = Happy mam. Thank you!”

Therapeutic Horticulture Project

Therapeutic Horticulture, establishing accredited gardening projects (City & Guilds Level 1 Practical Horticulture) in secondary schools so support and tuition can be given to disadvantaged young people, those struggling within the classroom environment, those with behavioural issues or those on reduced school timetables or on the verges of exclusion.

Fuzzy Subjects!

Mental health workshops in primary schools using fuzzy puppets as a tool to engage children and young people in the subject of mental health and well-being, increasing awareness, understanding and resilience in young people.

Couch to 2k

Couch to 2k – is our new pilot project improving young people’s fitness, health and well-being. Referrals come via Paediatricians at The Great North Children’s Hospital. Our Youth Workers then support young people to run 3 times per week in Leazes Park Newcastle, building up to a timed 2K at the end of 4 weeks. To encourage participation and remove barriers for young people to get involved, each young person receives an e- voucher to purchase sports clothes, trainers etc. and they also receive a basic fit-bit watch and Children’s Foundation water bottle.

Surf Club

Following on from a successful 2020 summer scheme we now offer a weekly kids surf club suitable for 8-16 year old’s at various times throughout the year. This is in partnership with South Shields Surf School with an emphasis on fun and fitness in a friendly environment. Instructor lead sessions provide children with an opportunity to try something new, meet new people, engage in a physical activity and learn new skills.

Contact Us

Nurture Project

Providing a safe space after school for isolated and marginalised young people to find a voice, grow in confidence and build positive friendships.

Green Mentor

The Green Influencers scheme encourages young people aged 10 to-14-years-old to create meaningful connections with the natural environment and implement positive, long-lasting change in their communities through environmental social action projects.

Young people benefit from ongoing mentoring and expert advice from our Green Mentor to support in the design and delivery of impactful projects and making contact with relevant community members. There will also be grant funding available to support individual projects and opportunities to develop leadership skills. All projects organised through the Green Influencers scheme will be youth-led. As a result, the scope of the projects will be varied, depending on what the young people would like to see happen in their communities such as clearing up litter and tree planting. Further information about the Green Influencers scheme itself can be found on The Ernest Cook Trust website.

The scheme is funded by The Ernest Cook Trust and match-funded through the #iwill Fund, a £50m pot created by The National Lottery Community Fund and Department for Culture, Media & Sport to support young people to access high-quality social action opportunities.

To get involved contact Robson Steele; Email: [email protected] – Telephone: 07983930118