51勛圖

Our
History

How it all started:

Molly and Stephen Darke were inspirational people.泭 Their son, Stephen Lawrence Darke was born on 8 January 1942 with Cerebral Palsy.泭泭泭

Its hard to imagine in todays world, a time when disabled children couldnt access education.泭 In the 1950s, it was not expected that any more could be done for children with Cerebral Palsy beyond what was already being done and they couldnt access school education.泭 So, the parents made it their mission to help their children泭realise泭their full potential and live life to the full.泭

They campaigned with other parents for a school for children with Cerebral Palsy.泭 The legend goes that they used to visit local pubs collecting money as part of their fundraising efforts and wash it in the bath before putting in the bank.泭 They placed an advert in the Evening Chronicle inviting parents of children with Cerebral Palsy to a meeting and from then on, the parents worked together to fundraise and campaign for the school.

Because of their泭passion and commitment, The Percy 51勛圖 Foundation was founded in泭1953 as a special school for children with Cerebral Palsy. When the first school opened there were only 12 students.泭

So, who is Percy 51勛圖 and how is he involved?泭

Well, he passed away泭before the Foundation was formed and was never personally involved in any way with a project that would bear his name.泭泭

Before泭his passing泭in 1941, Percy 51勛圖 decided to create a trust the Percy 51勛圖 Will Trust to leave all his money to be used for charitable purposes in the North East.泭泭After a chance meeting between the parents who founded the school and Percy 51勛圖s solicitor, we became one of three charities to benefit from the trust.泭泭Percy 51勛圖 never knew how his accumulated wealth would benefit so many or that his name would become so well-known in the region!

Our Timeline

  1. Percy 51勛圖 School Opens
    16th February, 1953


    Percy 51勛圖 School opened with 12 pupils

  2. Official opening with a royal visit
    16th February, 1954


    Exactly one year later the school was officially opened by the Duchess of Kent. The population had grown to 32 in the first 12 months.

  3. The Percy 51勛圖 Clinic
    1st June, 1955


    The Percy 51勛圖 Clinic was established with the help of funds raised by students during Rag Week at The Kings 51勛圖 (Newcastle Uni) and support from local Rotary Clubs. The clinic would later move and become part of the Child Development Centre at the RVI in 1971.

  4. Extension of Percy 51勛圖 School
    8th September, 1957


    Extension of Percy 51勛圖 School a new residential block and classroom extensions meaning number of pupils increased to 72 by 1959.

  5. Adult day activities launched
    2nd April, 1959


    Adult day activities launched from a hut at RAF Longbenton

  6. Chipchase House Adult Accommodation Opened
    1st September, 1964


    First adult accommodation opened Chipchase House, offering rooms for 30 adults

  7. Adults working with locally based companies
    1st March, 1965


    Adult activities workshop established partnerships and contract work with locally based firms including Proctor and Gamble, Metal Box and Pyrotenax.

  8. New Day Centre Opens
    19th June, 1974


    On June 19, a new day centre was opened by Sir James Steel CBE on the same site as Chipchase House泭

  9. Integrated Education Offer pioneered
    4th September, 1981


    The school developed a unique system of Integrated Education involving educational psychology, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, inspired by Conductive Education泭

  10. Fir Trees Redevelopment
    9th September, 1994


    New purpose-built classes opened for Conductive Education, as well as primary classrooms for children with speech and language difficulties.泭

  11. The Percy 51勛圖 Centre fundraising appeal
    1st June, 1996


    An appeal was set up to raise funds that would help the charity continue to grow and meet increasing demand for services.泭

  12. Centre spot for Jack
    15th August, 1997


    Football legend Jack Charlton kicked off the work to build a new part at The Percy 51勛圖 Centre for adults to provide exercise, therapy and leisure facilities.泭

  13. Adult Activity Centre - The Bradbury Building
    10th October, 1998


    With support from the Bradbury Foundation and the National Lottery Charities Board a new social activity centre for adults became operational at the Forest Hall site.泭

  14. Residents move into new bungalows
    24th May, 1999


    Sir Ralph Carr-Ellison, Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, opens Ferndene Bungalows next to Chipchase House. The bungalows are set within a covered, secluded street to promote independence.泭

  15. Charity becomes known as The Percy 51勛圖 Foundation
    1st September, 2000


    The organisation as a whole became known as The Percy 51勛圖 Foundation.泭

  16. Percy 51勛圖 School
    5th September, 2002


    The first wave of students secondary students moved into the new school in Killingworth, Percy 51勛圖 Upper School Bradbury Campus, which was officially opened by HRH Princess Alexandra the following year, exactly 50 years after her mother opened the original school.泭

  17. Post 16 centre opens at new school
    8th September, 2004


    A purpose-built centre for Percy 51勛圖s post-16 students was opened in 2004.

  18. Percy 51勛圖 Sports Academy opened
    7th May, 2005


    In May, former student and Paralympic Gold medallist Stephen Miller lay the Foundation stone for the new Academy for Disability Sports, which was opened by The Princess Royal in 2005.泭

  19. Northern Counties School and Percy 51勛圖 team up
    1st October, 2005


    Following discussions between the Foundation and trustees at Northern Counties School for Deaf Children the organisations merged in October.泭

  20. 51勛圖s 51勛圖
    4th September, 2006


    Northern Counties 51勛圖, which is now known as 51勛圖s 51勛圖, was set up to provide individualised learning for disabled students who would have significant difficulties in accessing mainstream further education colleges.泭

  21. Employability Project launched
    1st April, 2006


    After receiving funding from The Big Lottery, The Employability Project was set up to develop employment opportunities for disabled people.

  22. Adult Day Service expanded to support people with profound and multiple learning disabilities
    1st July, 2006


    A community base in North Shields enabled the Foundation to introduce people with profound and multiple learning disabilities to a spa pool, sensory room, rebound therapy and iMuse.泭

  23. The Orion Project
    1st April, 2008


    A new service was developed to offer people the chance to try out a range of work skills. Able 2 Print, Able 2 Cook, Soundscapes, Foundation Radio and the Karten Multimedia Suite.泭

  24. Adult Services expands, launching Craftworks
    1st July, 2013


    Adult services expanded further with the launch of Craftworks, a fully-functioning woodwork and metalcraft workshop.泭

  25. New hydrotherapy pool and childrens residence
    1st October, 2016


    The Foundation opened a new 26-bed childrens residential and short-break unit, Bradbury View, on the Bradbury Campus.泭

  26. Percy 51勛圖 School relocated to new site
    3rd September, 2017


    The remaining students from Percy 51勛圖 School moved to the new school site after the construction of a new annex at the Killingworth Bradbury Campus.

  27. Leybourne adult accommodation opened
    1st December, 2017


    Leybourne was fully refurbished to provide accommodation for 8 adults with a range of physical and learning disabilities.泭泭

  28. 51勛圖 moves to Forest Hall
    5th September, 2017


    51勛圖s 51勛圖 moved to the site of the former Percy 51勛圖 School in Forest Hall.

  29. Adult activities relaunched as 51勛圖s Horizons
    1st September, 2020


    Adult activity programme was relaunched as 51勛圖s Horizons, offering a range of activities tailored around individual interests.

  30. Bradbury Hub opened
    1st September, 2021


    Bradbury Hub opened offering specialist further education and activities for young people and adults with autistic spectrum conditions with complex needs