Latest News


3 R's Project

08th July 2021

DAD has been supporting people through COIVD to stay connected and understand the guidance. The next steps as restrictions ease is supporting people to become reconnected. With support of our funders we have launched a new project called the 3R’s.

It is called the 3 R project as it supports people to:


Regain confidence

Regain Skills

Jenny Byers is co-ordinating the project with the support of Margaret Langan.  It is great success so far supporting over 15 people.  Support has included helping people to access the community and develop friendships naturally and outside of our support, peer support session, transport training and confidence building, mindfulness sessions and other session to help develop well-being including bowling, circus skills, walks.   

Other sessions will include developing IT skills, creative expression and art sessions, development of self-advocacy.  Four sessions are delivered each week and the aim is that they are community based and COVID secure to enable to people to regain confidence, skills and friendships to last in the long term which will support people to remove some of the barriers which COVID has brought.

We are evaluating the project throughout and look forward to seeing the positive outcomes it will bring.

IMPACT: IMProving Adult Care Together

10th June 2021

IMPACT stands for ‘Improving Adult Care Together’. It is a new £15 million UK centre for implementing evidence in adult social care, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, and the Health Foundation. It will be led by Professor Jon Glasby at the University of Birmingham, with a Leadership Team of 12 other academics, people using social care services, and policy and practice partners - along with a broader consortium of key stakeholders from across the sector and across the four nations of the UK. 

What is IMPACT trying to achieve? In the words of one of the people using services who has helped to shape proposals for the new centre, IMPACT believes that “good support isn’t just about ‘services’ – it’s about having a life."

IMPACT are interested in hearing from everyone who is involved with adult social care in whatever capacity.

Please complete this survey:

This is the English version.  Translations to Bengali, Gujarat, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu and Welsh will follow. We will also launch an easy read version later in the month.

IMPACT have recently launched our website which will enable you to keep up-to-date with our activities as these progress. We will start to update this over the coming weeks.

Do you care for a child with a neurodevelopment need?

07th June 2021

If you live in Darlington, Middlesbrough or Redcar and Cleveland, Contact's Listening Ear Service can provide free emotional support, practical advice or strategies to help you cope.

You can book a telephone appointment with a family support advisor using this link

Find out more by emailing or phoning their free phone number 0800 2540890


GIVE THEM WINGS The Autobiography of Paul Hodgson

13th May 2021

Paul is someone who has been involved with DAD for some years.  Paul has written an autobiography 'GIVE THEM WINGS'

Disabled as a result of childhood meningitis, Paul Hodgson has written this autobiography in order to challenge the stereotype of the wheelchair-bound victim.

Far from being a passive spectator, we learn how Paul struggled to care for his mother through several strokes and Alzheimer’s disease and of the rift this caused within his family. He also speaks of the Community Care system, his experiences of education and employment, and the loyalty of his friends.

This is his account of life as a fan of Darlington Football Club which reveals another side to Paul’s nature, with its fascinating compendium of mishaps and drink-fuelled escapades, which are invariably laced with his own brand of black humour.

Give Them Wings is a graphic story of one man’s fortitude in the face of severe odds, it offers a unique insight into what it means to be disabled in modern society.

Also, please see below the link to Amazon in order to buy the book.


Ties in with a blockbuster film of his life, Give Them Wings due to be released in summer 2021.

Directed by Sean Cronin, who has appeared in Harry Potter and Bond movies, the film stars Daniel Watson (as Paul) andEighties punk singer Toyah Willcox.

Give Them Wings won the 'Best Feature' at The London Independent Film Festival. Below is a link to the film trailer

Forewords by former Darlington FC forward Mark Forster and Aston Villa legend Brian Little.



Positive Travel Project

10th May 2021

Positive Travel Project

DAD’s Positive Travel Project, funded by London North Eastern Railway (LNER), will support disabled people and carers of all ages to tackle the barriers they face in accessing transport and travel. The project will offer a range of options including;

Travel training for those who have never used public transport due to their impairments, lack of confidence, skills etc. This will include accessing all forms of public transport including introducing non rail users to the rail network for the first time. Individuals would be supported for 6- 12 sessions to learn the skills needed to access public transport such as journey planning, booking tickets or taxi’s, safe routes to transport, booking and using support. These sessions will be bespoke to meet individual needs and tailored to their communications need.

Improving access to a range of social activities for disabled people who are isolated and have not been able to get out and about due to the barriers they face. Disabled people and their families will be supported to access group outings that they plan, enabling people to visit new places, meet new people and potentially make new friends therefore tackling isolation and loneliness.

Enabling disabled people to participate through education, skills, conferences and networking to improve their prospects and support their communities to participate.

The project will gather feedback about people’s experiences of travelling and using public transport, locally, regionally or nationally, to identify any common experiences or issues that people are facing and what works well and look at ways of removing barriers and improving services and experiences for disabled people

For more information about the project or if you would like to share your experiences please contact David Thomas on 01325 489999 or email


Free Coronavirus Video

23rd March 2020

Free Coronavirus Awareness eLearning Video from IHASCO

In this short free Coronavirus eLearning video, IHASCO provide practical advice to raise awareness of what Coronavirus is, how to reduce the risk of the virus spreading and what to do if you’re showing symptoms.

This free resource is for anyone wishing to find out more about Coronavirus and how to minimise its impact.

Raising Awareness: Watch the 8 minute video below and share with friends, family and staff!

Fear of the unknown and feeling like we have a lack of control certainly contributes to further panic. But what’s important is learning what there is to know at the moment, and how this information can help us to take preventive measures, whilst also knowing what to do if further action is needed.

Thankfully, there are a few things that can be done.

With this in mind, iHASCO felt it is their duty to use their expertise and resources to provide a free online awareness video about the Coronavirus.

Here is a link to the video

Daily Updates Coronavirus

13th March 2020

Daily updates about the Coronavirus

There has been lots of information on the News about Coronavirus.

This easy read information tells you more about what Coronavirus is, how you get Coronavirus, the symptoms and what you should do if you think you have Coronavirus.

You can find daily updates on the Government website

or you can find more information on the NHS website

These updates are not easy read so you may need some support to read the information. Link to an easy read version


How you can support us

As a local organisation we very much rely on the support of our local community, and continue to support people flexibly to have greater choice and control and remove the barriers that disabled people and children experience in their everyday lives. We support over 2,000 people every year.  But we need your help.

Click here to find out how you can support us

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