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About Us

Gateway North East is a group that was originally set up by young people with a disability, or a barrier to learning and their parents/carers in Sunderland (Sunderland Gateway), and then following this, in North Durham (Wear Mencap). The group is now a registered charity (registered charity number: 1140476 and EY465981). The aim of the charity is to provide appropriate, suitable and identified leisure, life and recreational opportunities to young people with learning difficulties, young carers and their families. The charity is also committed to employing Young Apprentices who have a barrier to learning as part of our constitution to encourage and support people into work; this has contributed significantly to our accreditation as the ‘Leaders in Disability Achievement’.


Some of our aims that we strive to achieve are as follows;

To provide for young people with learning disability or barrier to learning and their families educational opportunities, meaningful work experience, access to leadership, coaching opportunities and training in the areas in which they are interested. (This includes, sports, short breaks, days out,  holiday schemes in every school holiday for children aged reception to 25 years, arts, independent living activities, sleepovers, camping trips, drop in and parent support, savings club, short young apprentice schemes as well as a number of educational schemes including campaigns run by and alongside our young people.

To provide young people with learning disabilities or barriers to learning and their families with emotional, physical and practical support.

To help to educate society about the needs of, and positive attributes of young people with learning disabilities or barriers to learning.

We aim to ensure that the children and young people that we work with have a positive attitude to life and themselves by enabling and equipping them with the necessary skills to achieve their potential.70% of our leaders and staff and coaches have a disability or a barrier to learning.

Gateway North East is a charity that relies on donations and fundraising to enable us to function. For many of our activities there is a financial parental contribution, however no child is excluded on the basis of finance and alternative ways of funding activities are always looked into,

Gateway North East is a registered centre for ASDAN, Sports Leaders UK and British Safety Council and also has registered assessors for the Arts Awards and teachers who can deliver music and drama and other national curriculum subjects and exams.

 Many of the skills that children and young people acquire while they are growing up are often not recognized because of the emphasis in school on academic subjects, although we believe education is important we also believe that other aspects of the child's life are equally as important however are frequently unrecognized. For instance a child may be involved in sport or a hobby, a youth club or uniformed organisation, a church or religious group, where they excel but this may not be part of the school curriculum. Many children have caring responsibilities at home which require particular skills and talents, young people volunteer or are good at one particular aspect of a subject but may not be able to manage another. Some children who require additional therapies such as speech therapy or physio are not rewarded for improvements and achievements; therefore by enabling young people to take part in Lamda awards and qualification from a young age or singing they can progress at their own pace.

Things moved very quickly and in 2012, Wear Mencap was established and it is a key part of the parent group Gateway, and therefore works alongside Gateway North East. Wear Mencap provides activities, services, projects and campaigns that support and encourage young people. Our members have opportunities to try new things, gain qualifications, socialize, and earn money by working with us. We also provide support groups for parents and respite opportunities.

On this website are various links to the different things that the group provides. Please feel free to have a look at the site and see if you would like to get involved in the exciting things that are happening at Gateway North East.

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