Jo Parsons – Paediatric Physiotherapist
Jo Parsons has been the clinical lead at Heel and Toe since November 2016 and heads up the whole clinical team. She graduated from Northumbria university in 2002, and has over 5 years specialist paediatric training. She is passionate about helping children achieve the goals and loves to celebrate even the smallest step towards those goals. She is particularly interested in hippotherapy – a therapy that uses the movement of a horse to achieve physiotherapy goals. She is a member of the association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (APCP), and the Northern Region Paediatric Special Interest Group (NRPSIG), as well as the chartered Physiotherapists in Therapeutic riding and Hippotherapy (CPTRH). She is also HCPC registered and a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP).
‘I love working at Heel and Toe Children’s charity where every child has the opportunity for fulfil their potential using a range of therapies. It is incredibly rewarding to see children make the progress they never thought possible.’
Rob De Giovanni – Paediatric Physiotherapist
Rob moved up to Newcastle in 2011 to study physiotherapy having previously worked as a Personal Trainer but finding a greater interest in the rehab aspects of training and exercise. He graduated from Northumbria University with a BSc Honours degree in Physiotherapy in 2014 and has been living and working within the Newcastle area ever since.
Rob has worked across a wide variety of physio disciplines with specialist experience in paediatrics. Prior to starting with Heel and Toe Rob was working at the Great North Children’s Hospital and the Freeman Hospital on the Paediatric Cardiac Unit. He was involved in the care of acutely unwell children providing specialised respiratory care, developmental input and intense neuro-rehab including hydrotherapy, for children with a variety of medical and respiratory conditions. During that time Rob developed specialist skills within the paediatric setting around neuro-rehab and treating children with complex conditions and health needs.
Here at Heel and Toe, Rob sees children from age 0-18 helping them work towards their and their family’s goals. Rob feels it is important to incorporate family members into a child’s treatment sessions as this is a significant part of their development and potential progress.
“Working at Heel and Toe is a great experience, where you can see that every team member is truly invested in helping families and children achieve their goals. I find it so rewarding being able to help children make small steps towards big achievements and here at Heel and Toe it allows me to be part of that!
I am a keen cyclist, riding and competing in races for a local club. I love being outdoors, if I’m not out walking the dog I’ll probably be on a bike! You’ll normally find me somewhere out in Northumberland searching for a new café to visit.”
Caroline Clay – Occupational Therapist
Caroline Clay is an Occupational Therapist with over 35 years’ experience of working with children and adults. She specialises in sensory processing difficulties and uses innovative, creative and playful approaches to involve children and parents in OT sessions.
Occupational Therapy is about purposeful “Occupation” – in other words “what we do”
Children learn through playing and doing, so her sessions are both “Fun and Functional”
Caroline is trained in Sensory Integration and is a lead trainer in the Developmental Play approach. She spends her free time travelling, working and supporting children and families in India and Asia as a Consultant OT, and has a well stamped passport.
Caroline has lived in Durham for 30 years and doesn’t intend to move!
Rachel Farley – Speech & Language Therapist (SALT)
Rachel qualified as a speech and language therapist from Newcastle University in 1996. She worked for the NHS in London and then in Durham, supporting children with speech, language and communication needs in schools for 10 years. She then set up an independent practice working in schools as a speech and language therapist around the North East. Rachel is passionate about working with children to support their play, interaction and communication development. She is very excited to now work with the families and other therapists at the Heel and Toe Charity.
Rachel is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language, Association of Speech and Language therapists in Independent Practice and HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council)
Rachel lives with her husband, two children and 11 rescue guinea pigs, so you can imagine what she spends most of her spare time doing!