Newcastle Disability Forum

Newcastle Disability Forum

At a glance


  • Campaigning
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Human rights
  • Learning disabilities / difficulties
  • Local / community
  • Mental health
  • Older people / later life
  • Physical disabilities
  • Training / employment support
  • Voluntary sector support

Other details

Geographical remit: 


The Forum works to promote the relief of all disabled people and to advance the education of disabled people and their carers, and, primarily, to assist those persons by the provision of a forum and respond to issues of interest and concern to the disabled community in north east of England, with particular emphasis on Newcastle upon Tyne and the surrounding area.  We strive to provide an empathetic, informed, impartial and confidential service according to their need and understanding. We provide information, support and signposting. Much of our work is focused on individual needs and situations and as such is very varied.  Sometimes all that we need to do is provide a listening post to allow a person to offload his/her frustrations.  Sometimes we need to liaise with another person/organisation on behalf of the disabled person to help clarify information or relieve stress.  In rare instances the Forum facilitates discussion in a non-threatening environment  between public or private sector organisations and disabled/elderly people to help resolve specific differences and/or prevent them escalating.

Additionally the Forum assists the public and private sector on disability and access-related issues, with information and advice based on the 'lived experience' of its members. The City Council, East Coast (now Virgin Trains) and Nexus are some of the organisations which call on the Forum for comments/advice when issues involving disabled access arise. The Forum also delivers disability awareness training for taxi drivers helping to ensure appropriate and considerate access to this essential form of transport.  Frequently the impact of work we influence (such as ensuring that tactile pavements are not metal which is slippery and therefore dangerous when wet) benefits all who live, work or visit Newcastle upon Tyne.


We hold regular meetings for our 50+ members, where relevant issues are discussed, information is disseminated and where members can raise issues.  Depending on funding, the Forum offers activities and courses, most of which are also open to disabled/elderly members, non-members and carers.  For example, we recently delivered a series of courses entitled 'Keep Me Safe, Healthy and Independent' to small groups around the City in order to help strengthen individual and community resilience and encourage social interaction to reduce loneliness and isolation.  This is currently being redeveloped to appeal to a wider audience including people with long-term conditions which are not necessarily identified within the Disability Discrimination Act.

We work with other organisations to help advance research, to ensure that the voice of disabled people is heard and to achieve outcomes to benefit disabled people.  Organisations we have recently worked with include Newcastle City Council, Age UK and East Coast (now Virgin Trains).

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