Our Journey

Heel and Toe was established in 2008, after a realisation that children’s therapy services were difficult to source in the North East.

It was 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
Angela Kirtley
Angela KirtleyWard Hadaway
Heather Hastie
Heather HastieMobile Beauty Therapist
Peter Bartley
Peter BartleyBradley Hall
John Brady
John BradyRetired
Anthony Guest
Anthony GuestBibby Financial Services
Heather Plunkett
Heather PlunkettAkzonobel
Mark Ward
Mark WardBrick Services Limited
Jackie Turner
Jackie TurnerSt. James Square Law
Mark Clasper
Mark ClasperPartner at Ryder Architecture

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, 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.

Cycling group – Stanley Peddlars that Andrew is also a part of, organises a charity cycle challenge every year to raise funds for us. So far the team have raised just under £10,000.

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

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

Brad Groves – Chairman at Spennymoor Town Football Club

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.

Helen Roseberry – Director at Ramside Estates Ltd. 

Mike Roseberry – Managing Director ar Roseberry Group.

Helen an Mike Roseberry have been supporters 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.

Mike Roseberry is an ex-cricketer and now runs his own company. He has a hand in organising various Sportsmans Dinner events at Ramside Hall which donates profits to Heel & Toe Charity.

We are delighted to have Helen and Mike on board as Ambassadors of the charity.

Michelle Meldrum – 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

Darren Grooms – Starkold Building Services Ltd.

Darren is Managing Director at Starkold Building Services Ltd. He has been a fantastic support to the charity over the last 8 years, taking part in various fundraising cycling challenges raising thousands of pounds and helping to spread awareness of Heel & Toe with his colleagues and business contacts.

Electric Nite Entertainment – Sean Havery

Sean Havery from Electric Nite Entertainment has been invited on board as Heel & Toe Ambassador in recognition of his support and commitment to the charity.  Electric Nite first adopted H&T as their chosen charity in 2013 and have supported us ever since, providing free and discounted AV at our fundraising events.  Sean and the ENE team go over and above to put on a fantastic night and make sure our events run smoothly and a great success.

Normedica Medical Supplies – Ross & Joanne Tomkins

Ross and Joanne own and operate several healthcare businesses based in the North East of England and have a proven track record of developing proactive occupational health and wellbeing strategies for public and private sector organisations across an extensive range of industries and professions. Their long term goal is to improve health and wellbeing world-wide.

In their spare time they can be found out walking their dog, Blue, being busy mums and dads and training together in the gym. Both have a love of travel and Ross often combines this with the great outdoors. Previous expeditions include hiking through Torres del Paine in southern Chile, the Inca Trail in Peru, along part of the Great Wall of China, reaching the highest point in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro 5895m in Tanzania, the highest point in North Africa, Mount Toubkal 4170m in Morocco, the top of the most glaciated mountain in Contiguous North America, Mount Rainier 4392m and the highest mountain in Europe, Mt Elbrus 5642m in Russia in July this year which formed part of his Triple Challenge for Heel and Toe.

Bill and Helen Hope

Bill and Helen Hope have been avid supporters of Heel & Toe since 2012.  Both volunteer at numerous events throughout the year, regularly help out in the office and also fundraise.  Helen has taken part in fire and ice walks and Bill has completed numerous zipslides, the Great North Run and is taking part in the Hadrian’s Wall Challenge this year.  Helen is also on hand with her expert wrapping skills to make all our prizes look amazing! We are delighted to appoint them as Charity Ambassadors in recognition of their continuous support and dedication to Heel & Toe.

Ian Silcock

We are delighted to appoint Ian Silcock as a Charity Ambassador.  Ian has supported Heel & Toe since 2014, hosting charity events, taking part in zipslides, abseils and fire walks.  He has also secured donations through his links with the Masons.  Ian is a committed and much appreciated supporter of Heel & Toe.

Simon Atkins – Pertemps Recruitment

Simon Atkins - Pertemps Recruitment

We are delighted to appoint Simon Atkins as a Charity Ambassador.  Simon has supported Heel & Toe throughout the years by taking part in a number of our sponsored events. In his role at Pertemps as Manager in Work Based Learning and Skills Recruitment Division, Simon has been able to secure funding for our charity and continues to spread awareness within his work and home community.

Gary Maskell – Hunter Security Services

We are delighted to appoint Gary Maskell as a Charity Ambassador.

“My son Hunter has been attending Heel and Toe since 2016 and in that time, he has achieved so much because of Heel and Toe. I cannot thank the charity enough for the support they have offered my son and us as a family. I have always supported the charity in sponsored events, but now that I have my own business, I know I can support them more. I was thrilled to sponsor the Mini Great North Run t-shirts as it is an event Hunter can take part in every year. I am honoured to be an ambassador and I look forward to supporting the charity and raising awareness”.

Gary Maskell, HFS Group

Ian Bradgate – Area Contract Manager SLM – Everyone Active

We are delighted to appoint Ian Bradgate as a Charity Ambassador.

To date Ian has attended our sporting events, took part in the Great North Run and Ghyll Scramble, and now looks forward to taking part in the total warrior 2023 with a team of staff members.

“I am so honoured to be an Ambassador for Heel & Toe Children’s charity and support the great work that they do for children and their families, to see the children having so much fun and giving their families the help they require is fantastic”.

Ian Bradgate, SLM - Everyone Active

Sarah Skillen – Co-op Distribution Centre, Durham

We are delighted to appoint Sarah Skillen as an Ambassador.

Sarah and the team from the Co-op Distribution Centre have been a fantastic suppport to the charity over the years. From donations of snacks and prizes for our events, to their staff taking on fundraising challenges.

“I was first introduced to the team at Heel & Toe when I started my role with Co-op Distribution Centre two and a half years ago.  I have had the opportunity a few times to visit the centre at Pelton and see the great work the team do.  We have done various fundraising events at work to raise funds for them, I also took part in the Hadrian’s Wall Challenge last year which was a great experience.  I am honoured to have been asked to take on the role of an Ambassador for this great charity and look forward to what is to come”.

Sarah Skillen, Co-op Distribution Centre, Durham

Dan Long – Owner at FlexAbility Fitness

We are delighted to appoint Dan Long as an Ambassador.

To date, Dan has completed the Total Warrior twice for Heel and Toe alongside clients from FlexAbility Fitness, he held a charity ball for us, and held gym sessions for children at FlexAbility with a paid contribution coming to Heel & Toe.

“I find it very humbling that you have offered me the role as ambassador. It is so amazing that what we do can make a change to children’s lives, and it is phenomenal that the community I have behind me can all make that difference. I am very proud and honoured to be a part of a prestigious charity, and a charity that cares. With myself and the rest of the FlexAbility community behind me, I know we can do great things for Heel & Toe. It is amazing what a little support and motivation can do, I am very proud to support the charity. Thank you”.

Our Patrons

Lee Clark, Ex NUFC Football Legend

Wallsend born Lee, began his career as Midfielder for Newcastle United Youth Football Team following on to play in the Premier League for NUFC . He represented England in the Under 21 team, then went on to play for SUFC and Fulham. Lee was also known as one of Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers alongside Rob Lee and John Beresford.

Former Football Legend and Manager – Lee Clark said “I’m delighted and honoured to become Patron of this fantastic charity. The staff are amazing with the children and to see the smiles on their faces while working in session is just inspiring.  I’ve been totally blown away and can’t wait to start fundraising and raising awareness”.

Danny Graham, Ex 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 – North East Host & Entertainer

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.”