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.’

Sarah Smith – Highly Specialised Paediatric Physiotherapist

Sarah is a Highly Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist with over 12 years’ experience. She has specialised in both adults and children with Neurological conditions. Once she graduated from Northumbria University she went onto work in Gateshead, Aberdeen and Newcastle.

She has been a guest lecture at Robert Gorgon University and Northumbria University. Sarah is highly skilled in the treatment of children with complex Neurological conditions. She has completed a multitude of post graduated training course including: Halliwick hydrotherapy, Constraint Induced Movement Therapy, Bobath, Taping, and Paediatric Gait Analysis. She is currently studying a Msc in Rehabilitation Studies at Strathclyde University. She has a specialist interest in biomechanics and orthotics within the neurological patient. Sarah has extensive experience in treating children with acquired brain injuries and works closely with solicitors and Case Managers across the region in providing specialised packages of care for families that are involved in litigation cases.

Sarah is passionate about being a Paediatric Physiotherapist and loves helping families and children reach their goals. She believes that Physiotherapy should be patient led and that as a physiotherapist she can enable the child to be the best they can be no matter what their needs are. She has spent time volunteering for a number of different children’s organisations including Whizz kids and The RDA.

Sarah is a member of The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapy (APCP) and Health Professionals Council (HPC).

Sarah has 2 little girls of her own and loves to spend her weekends having adventures with them. In the summer they can be found anywhere there is water either surfing, paddle boarding or kayaking. In the winter they are up in the hills with snowboards and ski’s. She is a big softy that loves to take care of everyone and everything including the menagerie of rescue animals they have in The Smith house.

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 – 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!