About Heel & Toe 2017-06-12T09:20:07+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
Claire Nesbitt
Claire Nesbitt
Neil Parkinson
Neil Parkinson
Mark Hooper
Mark Hooper
Peter Bartley
Peter Bartley

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

Last year Andrew Scott, Director of local travel company Stanley Travel, ran the Paris Marathon for Heel & Toe, again 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.”

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!’

Ashley Crossey - British Formula Ford Racing Driver

Ashley Crossey – British Formula Ford Racing Driver

Ashley Crossey - British Formula Ford Racing Driver

Ashley is at the beginning of his professional racing career and his sister has Cerebral Palsy which gives him first hand knowledge of  what our children and parents are going through in their daily lives.

Bristol born Ashley has had a keen interest in racing since the age of 4 and this led on to his first race at the age of 11 years old. Ashley understands the importance of the service Heel & Toe provides and is passionate about spreading awareness. The charity  provides free conductive education therapy to children with Cerebral Palsy and other physical disabilities without any government  funding.

“My sister was born with Cerebral Palsy of the brain, leaving her entirely dependent on others. My parents have always been there to support her as have I. I understand what others are going through in terms of further complications further down the line in her life. I was doing some background research as to who was supporting these disabilities and came across Heel & Toe, which immediately sounded like something that I could support.”

Adam Marshall – Royal Navy Air Traffic Control Officer

Team Monge’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”.

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.

Tony Gent - Chairman Darlington Lions

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!”

Our Patrons

Danny Graham, Premiership Footballer

Danny is a Premiership Footballer with Sunderland. 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 Radio DJ

Brian Moore is a DJ for Metro Radio and hosts from 10am until 2pm 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.”

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.”