About Us

Skills for People logoSince 1983, we have been working to make sure disabled people and their families are well supported, to have good lives, to be in control of their own lives, and to be included in the communities of their choice.  We support people across North East England and promote good practice nationally.

Our Values

  • All people should be valued and treated fairly.
  • Disabled people and their families should have the same chances, choices and rights as everyone else, so they may lead good, healthy and meaningful lives
  • Disabled people should be able to play their full role in society. They have talents and strengths which enrich our society.

What we do

We support disabled people with learning disabilities and/or autism and their families to improve their lives, wellbeing and health with:

  • information
  • advocacy
  • support
  • community connecting
  • opportunities to get together to learn, have fun and support each other

We support organisations which provide services, in order to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism with:

  • co-production
  • consultation
  • service user engagement
  • training & consultancy
  • Quality Checkers

We support innovation and collaboration in order to bring about improvements in society and services.

How we work

Disabled people and their families are at the heart of Skills for People, working here as employees, volunteers and directors.

Our services are designed by and for disabled people and their families: helping them to be healthy, happy, and resilient.


Skills for People started in 1983, inspired by Sherry Cook, a mother of a child with learning disabilities, and created by disabled people working with allies from family carers and professionals working in health and social care. Since then the organisation has grown hugely, but our vision and aims have remained the same.

In 2017 we merged with another local charity, Northeast Special Needs Network to strengthen and improve our work with families of disabled children.


Meet our staff team

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