HELP –  Hadrian Education Leisure Partnership

The Dream Big Project at Hadrian School (click here for more information)

Hadrian School is a primary specialist school in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England, serving the needs of 184 children aged 2-11 with a wide variety of additional needs. Hadrian is a lot more than just a school. It acts as a hub for the community and has longstanding ambitions to serve the needs of the disability and abled bodied community in our region.

We have long been frustrated that the excellent specialist offer in terms of curriculum access to sport, leisure, creative arts is diluted post 19. We want to overcome that barrier to leisure, creativity and health opportunities by creating a unique Leisure Hub, on site, utilising our expertise in Rebound Therapy, Hydrotherapy, Creative Arts, and Disability Sports whilst creating employment opportunities for adults with learning disabilities in our new on site Café and as coaches.

We appreciate dreaming big means raising the bar and inevitably funding the costs of future proofing HELP (Hadrian Education Leisure Partnership) for our disabled and non-disabled communities. However, this population deserves our ambition, their voice needs to be heard loud and proud and if we don’t fight their corner who will? With your support, we can make these dreams become a reality and we can create a Community Leisure Spa fit for purpose that will serve the needs of our community for decades ahead.

It’s so important to make this dream a reality because at present there are hundreds of families in our region that need to access additional therapies, with Hydrotherapy, Rebound Therapy, Music Therapy and Massage in huge demand. We want to also secure the future employment opportunities for adults with disabilities with the building a café’ and through accredited training courses utilise the disability communities coaching skills on site. Our current Rebound Therapy Centre runs clubs on evenings, weekends and holidays but we would like to expand this offer to include a package so people can access Rebound then Hydrotherapy, then have a massage and something to eat with friends and family. It will be a bespoke package that is currently not available anywhere else in the country as far as we are aware? The new pool will also be accessed by outside clubs and service providers, and will be available for individual hire. We have also had a lot of interest to support the rehabilitation of victims from accidents for example, to help them get their lives back on track with their physical recovery from companies like Irwin Mitchell.


When we think about beneficiaries of our work it’s a very wide spread net. Obviously the 184 children at our school are key beneficiaries of the work of the Friends of Hadrian School (our charitable arm), and also our non-profit Training Company HEADS. With the current support we give to the local disability community this can expand to supporting children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities in the north east region. If we think about the work we currently do we already support somewhere in the region of 400 families/individuals at present, equating to around 1200-1300 people. Our training through our HEADS limited company around disability support also currently extends to around 1000 people per year, but we will invest in capacity to grow this training offer too.

Together we Make a Difference

Due to the lack of support in terms of facilities and resources for the disability community in our region, families already rely on Hadrian School for support. Not just the families of the children at our school but also the families of children at other specialist schools, and the adult disability community too.  With a lack of services on offer regionally Hadrian School is able to currently offer support to families through our social events, training for parents and professionals, Rebound Therapy, Massage therapy, Hydrotherapy, advice and support, the use of our facilities for disabled clubs out of school hours and in the school holidays. But we need to extend and enlarge this offer to the post 19 community.

Our Project

Our vision is to add a bespoke disabled friendly Hydrotherapy Pool, complete with overhead tracking from the changing rooms to the showers with access to additional leisure facilities including our current Sports Hall, Soft Play, Sensory Integration Room and Rebound Centre. The new hub will include an accessible pool, a Spa Pool, Gym, a Massage/ Therapy space and a Café run by adults with learning disabilities that will service the new Centre and our HEADS Training facility. This Café will also serve the community using our Sports Hall for Wheelchair Basketball, Karate, Pilates, Yoga and Fitness. Our Dance/Music Studio for music and movement activities, drama and sensory theatre, our Soft Play Room, Sensory Integration Room, amazing outdoor learning resources including a Yurt, Stagecoach Bus, Caravan, Outdoor Fire Pit, Music Shack and Mud Kitchen. The combination of our indoor and outdoor facilities, together with the Café, will make this a unique destination for children and adults with and without disabilities. The Centre will be open all year round and the opening hours will be governed by the community desire to make use of these outstanding facilities. The new development will cost in the region of £2 million.


The school are an equal opportunities employer and we have Equality and Diversity policies in place. We do not discriminate against anyone employed by us or anyone who accesses our services, we have a School Accessibility Policy, and our facilities are all disability friendly. We have families with 16 nationalities in school and we make everything accessible for them. We are situated in an area of Newcastle with a diverse population of ethnic origin and we have a strong history of supporting diverse cultures for over 25 years and take part in Schools of Sanctuary projects.


As a Foundation Trust School we are part of the Compass Trust which consists of two specialist schools, ourselves and also our secondary school Sir Charles Parsons (SCP). We work in close partnership with SCP as the majority of our Year 6 pupils transfer to this partner school in Year 7. Our secondary aged students still access our services, including Rebound Therapy and also our social community discos, and theatre workshops which have been a huge success. They also access our holiday clubs and social events open to the community such as our fundraisers, bonfire night celebrations and Halloween disco’s throughout the year.

Over the past 25 years we have formed many partnerships through our school networks, community networks, and charity networks. Our training company HEADS supports school with around £40,000 per year to enhance extended and additional opportunities for the children and over the last 15 years has donated around £700,000 to school. HEADS is also supporting the HELP – Dream Big Project.

We have established significant relationships with the local business community who support our school, e.g. Newcastle United, St James Wealth Management, Sage, Sunshine Fund, Eldon Square, LA Taxis, Blakelaw Social Club, TimbaDash Theatre Company and a range of building firms, and many more. One of our biggest partners and advocates is a local businessman Rob Armstrong who has been a long standing supporter of our school. Rob first was involved with our school about 18 years ago when the school was burgled and all the computers were stolen. Rob watched this on the news and reached out to replace the stolen items with new computers. We rekindled the relationships around eight years ago and Rob was instrumental in helping to fund our £1.4 million Rob Armstrong Rebound Therapy Centre. With Rob’s support and contacts he helped to raise over £800,000 of the funds that were much needed, meaning the dream became a reality for us. Rob is on board again with the new project and has already managed to get many of his contacts on board too, which could mean support of up to £500-700,000 of work and materials in kind to develop the construction of the new build.

We also work with a range of specialist schools in the region. We manage the North East Federation of Leaders in Special Education (FLSE) which is a body of over 30 specialist schools in the region. We also host and Chair EQUALS ( which is the largest charity supporting the work of Teachers in Specialist Schools and Mainstream settings. From meeting with partner schools we talk and learn about the needs of the disability community and help benchmark good practice too. From these meetings we can also share the services available on offer to each other.  This has helped make huge inroads into meeting the needs of the disability community in our region and auditing where the deficit in need still exists. One of these deficits is definitely the out of hour’s access to therapy, in particular Hydro and Rebound Therapy.

Case Studies

The Rob Armstrong Rebound therapy has been one of our most proud achievements. This £1.4 million project took 3 years to fundraise and build but it is a legacy for the school, and the only one of its kind in the UK. Please see the link below to more information about the project. We have also included a link to


We would love to welcome you to our school so you can witness the work of our community at first hand and hopefully inspire you to join our mission to develop the best leisure and creative arts opportunities for our community.