About Heel & Toe2018-11-26T11:27:19+00:00

Our Journey

Heel & Toe Chidrens Charity - Our Journey

In 2008 after years of frustration in trying to find suitable therapy for his daughter Paul Bannister decided to try to establish a charity to provide this service.

Paul put the first few steps in place to set up and launch Heel and Toe.

Paul decided early in the charity’s journey ‘That No Child Should Be Denied Therapy Due To a Lack of Money’.

Heel & Toe Children’s Charity was established in June 2008. The ‘Not for Profit’ organisation was granted charity status on the 4th September 2008 and the centre was opened on the 4th October 2008, offering FREE Conductive Education Therapy for any child with Cerebral Palsy in an annex based at the Meadows School in Spennymoor County Durham.

Due to an increasing demand for the expanding services offered at Heel & Toe it was decided in 2009 a new building was required. The trustees decided to relocate to a more central place in County Durham, and found premises to rent in Framwellgate Moor.

This made travelling to the charity from North or South of the region easier.  A satellite centre in Darlington was also established.

Demand continued to increase for the range of services now available from Heel & Toe.  By the end of 2012 the charity trustees decided it was time to find and purchase a building that would become a legacy for the children and parents of County Durham in the North of England.

Premises were found in Pelton and funding secured to refurbish a facility for the children of the North East Region.  The desire of the board of trustees is to establish a centre of excellence for the delivery for a range of therapies which will benefit the children and their families for many years.  We can only continue to do this with the ongoing support of the people of the North East and beyond.

This centre is a Beacon of Excellence and offer a range of Therapies in one building improving the lives of all who access it.

“On behalf of Heel & Toe and my fellow Trustees – Welcome to our website, we hope you find the site useful and informative. We continue to strive for excellence within our field of therapy and with your help and input we can achieve this. Please feel free to contact the charity through the online contact form on the site.”

Paul Gilsenan, Chairman

Board of Trustees

Paul Gilsenan
Paul GilsenanChairman
Paul Martinson
Paul Martinson
Angela Kirtley
Angela Kirtley
Heather Hastie
Heather Hastie
Peter Bartley
Peter Bartley
John Brady
John Brady
Anthony Guest
Anthony Guest

Our Ambassadors

We are thrilled to announce we have a new level of support.  We now have ambassadors for the charity.

Our Ambassadors have accepted the responsibility for promoting the charity in their professional positions and in their personal lives.   

Andrew Scott – Joint Owner Stanley Travel

Andrew Scott - Joint Owner Stanley Travel

Andrew Scott, Director of local travel company Stanley Travel, ran the Paris Marathon for Heel & Toe two consecutive years, after seeing first-hand how the charity improved the children’s quality of life, increasing their mobility and movement and also their independence.

Andrew raised over £3,000 from the Paris Marathon and then his family followed suit, with son Gavin taking part in the Great North Run and daughter Megan doing a zipslide for Heel & Toe.

I really am very honoured to become an Ambassador of Heel & Toe. It is a fantastic charity that is very close to my heart and has been my main focus over the past year. The fact that Heel & Toe is the only charity in our region to offer free conductive education and that they actually receive no government funding, makes me more determined to help them in any way I can.”

“Stanley Travel is a local family-run business and we feel it is important to show our support, not only to a charity on our doorstep, but also to one where we could see we were making a difference. I am looking forward to becoming even more involved in the charity and to carry on doing whatever I can, whenever I can to support them.

Andrew Scott, Stanley Travel

Paul Alexander – Owner & Personal Trainer at Elite Together

Paul is the owner of Elite Together. Based in Newcastle, Cramlington, Stockton and Manchester they specialise in weight loss and body transformations.  They provide all of our their clients with specialised training plans and nutritional plans which are designed to get them the results they want.  Paul and his wife have had two extremely premature boys and have always been aware of the Heel & Toe Charity.

Paul has friends who he met in special care when his children were born, who’s children use the charities services.  Paul and his wife have supported Heel & Toe and understand the importance of the free service Heel & Toe provides and are passionate about spreading awareness.

I feel extremely honoured and proud to be associated with such a fantastic charity. I’m passionate about Heel & Toe and want to spread the word about Heel & Toe’s amazing work!

Paul Alexander, Elite Together
Ashley Crossey - British Formula Ford Racing Driver

Adam Marshall – Royal Navy Air Traffic Control Officer

Team Monke’s Fist & H2O Cycle Team

Adam is a Royal Navy Air Traffic Control Officer from Gateshead.  A keen fundraiser and supporter of great causes, he fell in love with the centre, the children and the work they do when he visited in 2012.  He is now dedicated to concentrating his efforts on raising funds and awareness for Heel & Toe through a series of epic long distance adventures.

I am delighted and at the same time humbled to be named as an ambassador for Heel & Toe. The charity provides an important and superb service to a great many of the region’s wonderful children and it’s an honour to help them in any way I can.

Adam Marshall, DS at We Can Be
Ashley Crossey - British Formula Ford Racing Driver

Brad Groves – Chairman at Spennymoor Town Football Club

Ashley Crossey - British Formula Ford Racing Driver Brad Groves - Chairman at Spennymoor Town Football Club

As well as running multiple businesses,  Brad is also the Chairman of Spennymoor Town Football Club who have recently named Heel & Toe as the clubs official nominated charity. Brad is extremely passionate about promoting local businesses and services and endeavours to gain support for the charity at every opportunity.

Tony Gent – Chairman Darlington Lions

Tony has been a supporter of our charity for many years in his role with the Darlington Lions Club.  In his year as Chairman, Tony nominated us as the Lions chosen charity and the Club raised nearly £5,000 from various fundraising activities including a Christmas Fayre, Tombola at our Easter Walk and Book Shop.  More recently, Tony was in charge of organising the Annual Swimathon which is held in association with the Lions Club and local Rotary Clubs and chose us as the charity for 2015.  More than £4,000 was raised at this event.  In addition, Tony and his wife Anne have completed our Fire and Ice Walk to raise funds and to show our appreciation for his continuous support, we are delighted Tony is now an Ambassador.

Roy Watson – Partner Manager at Barclaycard

Having worked at Barclaycard for over 8 years, Roy has developed a great passion for helping customers which he has incorporated into his commitment to charity. Roy's role with Barclaycard involves managing relationships with a number of key strategic partnerships mainly connected to E Commerce. He is therefore able to promote Heel & Toe to Barclaycard partners and also to their clients. In the last couple of years Roy has been able to secure prizes from a number of clients who have also committed to providing the charity with the same ‘year on year’ going forward. He has also arranged for a client to attend the 2017 Sportsman’s Event. The client is very well respected both locally and throughout the UK and is therefore potentially able to provide Heel & Toe with a number of valuable networking opportunities.

Rachel Ord - Branch Manager at Barclays Washington

Rachel has been with the Barclays team for almost 10 years. Her dedication to to Heel & Toe Charity began 2 years ago when she committed to support the charity's Annual Ball by offering her staff  the opportunity to volunteer at the event. This led to the staff not only helping to raise money at the event but also matching the money raised through their pound for pound scheme within Barclays. Rachel is now part of the Annual Charity Ball Committee and also helps to raise funds and awareness, throughout North East Barclays branches.

I think I can help raise the profile of this small local charity that provides amazing care to fantastic kids in the area. You know exactly where the money is spent and can see the impact this charity makes not only to the kids but also the families. It really is a charity at the heart of the community. I am hoping to link into other areas of the bank to get people involved whether it be matched fundraising or volunteering at events making a difference!

Rachel Ord, Barclays UK

Helen Roseberry - Director at Ramside Estates Ltd

Helen Roseberry has been a supporter of Heel & Toe for a number of years, helping the charity raise funds through its Annual Charity Golf Day.   Last year Helen faced her fears and along with four others members of the Ramside Golf Club staff jumped off the Tyne Bridge on a zipline, all for Heel & Toe.  She has also been instrumental in helping the charity make new contacts and donated fantastic prizes for various H&T events.  We are delighted to have Helen on board as an Ambassador of the charity.

Michelle Dunlop - PA at Meldrum Construction

Michelle has been supporting Heel & Toe Charity through her role at Meldrum Construction over the past few years and is delighted to come on board as an Ambassador.

I was first introduced to Heel and Toe over a year ago and I was instantly caught up in their passion to make a difference. Meldrum have supported numerous charities over the year with our aim always being ‘to make a difference’.  I had the honour of visiting the centre and meeting with Tara and her mam whilst she was in the middle of a therapy class and it was amazing to see the smile on her face all the way through. A thoroughly deserved charity of all the support it can get.

Chloe Hammond

Chloe Hammond has cerebral palsy but never let's her condition stop her from achieving her goals. Chloe was one of the very first children to begin therapy, almost 10 years ago, when Heel & Toe was set up. Chloe now regularly fundraises for the charity, helping to spread the word about how Heel & Toe has changed her life for the better. Chloe has just finished studying Media at college and is going on to study Performing Arts, with the hope of becoming an actress.

I feel extremely grateful that I have been chosen to become an Ambassador for Heel & Toe. I am 1 of 4 children to attend the charity from the beginning. Heel & Toe has been part of my life for a massive 10 years. I attend the charity and therefore regularly receive Conductive Education Therapy which helps build and maintain muscle strength in my upper and lower limbs. I help raise money for Heel & Toe by taking part in tin collections in local stores and attending events. I also help out at the Great North Run Charity Tent, meeting and greeting the runners. I even write blogs for the charity website. Heel & Toe will always be part of my life, that's for sure!

Chloe Hammond, Heel & Toe Charity Service User

Steven Armstrong aka Boy Geordie (Tribute to Boy George & Culture Club)

Steven Armstrong has been performing around the North East region as Boy Geordie for the past few years. He provides a brilliant likeness to the superstar, and also has the charm and charismatic personality to match.

Steven is thrilled to be part of Heel & Toe Children's Charity and recently performed at the charity's 80's Night which raised just over £4,500 on the night. In April 2019 Steven will be performing as part of an 80's music night at the O2 Academy in Newcastle.

As an ambassador for the heel and toe charity, I would like to make a difference by promoting the charity in a positive way making a valuable contribution not only as myself but as boy Geordie. Showing kindness, empathy and Compassion including disability rights and empowerment, learning as I go from the valuable members of the charity who already do such amazing work. God bless you all, love Steven aka boy Geordie x

Steven Armstrong - aka Boy Geordie, A Tribute to Boy George and Culture Club

Our Patrons

Danny Graham, Professional Footballer

Danny is an English professional Footballer currently playing for Blackburn Rovers as a Striker. Danny became a patron whilst playing for Watford. From Gateshead, Danny was eager to become involved with a local charity. “I’m genuinely delighted to be involved with a brilliant charity like Heel and Toe”

“Not only do they do great work with disabled children but they are a North East charity. It’s close to my heart and means a lot to me. “It’s only a small charity but the staff and volunteers work their socks off to make a difference.”

Brian Moore, Metro 2 Radio DJ

Brian Moore is a DJ for Metro 2 Radio and hosts from 2pm until 6pm weekdays. He has hosted a range of charity events including our Music Night at Hallgarth Social Club and we are thrilled Brian will aslo be hosting, alongside Steve Walls, at our 'Annual Black Tie & Heel's' Charity Ball at The Hilton Hotel, Gateshead in November.

"I was delighted to be invited to come on board as a Heel & Toe Patron, after supporting this wonderful charity for a number of years. They do an amazing job, helping disabled children across the North East improve their everyday lives, by using a variety of therapies to increase their mobility and their independence."

Steve Walls - Compare

A Presenter, Compere, Comedian, Vocalist, Auctioneer and Voiceover Artist.... Steve Walls has covered every genre of TV, Media & Light entertainment. He has been a Presenter on Sky and Terrestrial TV, and is generally regarded as one the UK’s best live event host / compere’s. From touring as a comedian with star names, to cruising the world as a vocalist and comedian, he’s done it all! Steve isn’t a “Jack of all trades”, but a master of many. His vast experience in many fields, is the reason he is one the busiest entertainers in the UK, and constantly in demand!

“I have had the pleasure of hosting the Heel & Toe Ball for the last five years. It is such a lovely charity. The people involved are so passionate, you can’t help but feel that same passion. They help hundreds of children each year, and rely on people’s kindness and generosity. I get asked to be a patron / ambassador for many charities, and because of work commitments, I have to turn most down. How could I turn down a charity like Heel & Toe? I am proud to be involved.”

Anne Wood

Anne who was born in Spennymoor, taught as secondary school teacher in the county, before moving with her family to Surrey and setting up her own production company.

She got involved with the good cause after hearing about the thousands of youngsters in the region who struggle with their disabilities every day.

“I’m delighted to be involved with such an inspirational charity like Heel and Toe,” she said. Not only do they do great work with disabled children, but they were based in the town where I was brought up; it’s close to my heart and means a lot to me.

“Heel and Toe is a small charity that work really hard to make a difference to the lives of these children and their parents.”