Work begins on new specialist therapy centre for youngsters with physical difficulties
Work has begun to create a specialist therapy centre which will help increase support for the region's young people with physical disabilities.
Heel and Toe children’s charity currently provides 12,000 hours of free therapy in Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language, conductive education and special educational needs tutoring.
Douglas Long, chief executive at Heel and Toe, said: “This is a fantastic step forward for Heel and Toe to increase its capacity to bring further specialist support for the children of the North East.
“As we receive no government funding, the new Heel and Toe Therapy Centre has only been made possible thanks to those who have fundraised and donated, so we would like to say thank you to every person and organisation which has supported us.
“We would also like to thank BH Planning and Design for assisting us in gaining our planning permission for the site. They provided an extensive and high-quality service which helped make the process seamless.”
The charity launched the Footprints Appeal last year to raise money to convert a derelict building in nearby Perkinsville, into the only centre in the area to house a hydrotherapy pool.
Planning permission for the state-of-the-art therapy centre was granted with the help of BH Planning and Design, which is a sister company of North-East chartered surveyors and estate agents Bradley Hall.
Mr Long added: “We would also like to thank BH Planning and Design for assisting us in gaining our planning permission for the site. They provided an extensive and high-quality service which helped make the process seamless.”
Mark Ketley, director at BH Planning and Design, said: “Bradley Hall has a long-standing relationship with Heel and Toe, and as a sister company of the firm it was great to further build on that relationship.
“The charity carries out fantastic work and offers support which wouldn’t be accessible without them. We are proud to be part of a project which will undoubtedly be life changing for its users and their families.”
Bradley Hall director Peter Bartley acquired the building for the charity and has been a trustee of Heel and Toe for many years.
The therapy centre will offer sessions for families with a therapist, plus therapy rooms, a Gait analysis suit, rebound therapy on a trampoline, a charity shop and accommodation for families who are travelling from outside of the region at reduced rates.
More than 125 children a month have free therapy sessions with the charity and this figure is expected to rise to 250 a month in time for the planned opening of the new centre.