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Kids 1st Nurseries Backs Young Disabled Footballers

Hundreds of disabled children in Northumberland are set to benefit from specialist football coaching thanks to a partnership between Newcastle United Foundation and childcare specialists Kids 1st Nurseries.

A generous donation from the Nursery Group means almost 250 disabled children aged six to 17 can play regular football with Newcastle United Foundation in schools throughout the county.

The initiative is backed by family-run business, Kids 1st Nurseries, which provides award-winning childcare across the region, including two nurseries in Northumberland in Hexham and Wansbeck. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Kids 1st was named the ‘Highest Quality Childcare Provider in the UK’ by Nursery World.

The Foundation and Kids 1st partnership launched in 2013 and has already benefited 800 children in 45 special educational needs schools across Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside. Specialist coaching by the Foundation means children with a range of disabilities, including visual impairments, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities, can play and enjoy football, keep fit, make friends and have fun.

One of the schools taking part is community special school Hexham Priory with pupils Tom Shepherd and Connor Clark participating in the sessions.

Liam Robson, Teacher at Hexham Priory said:

“The scheme has impacted on the boys considerably as I believe they have both been given the chance to not only apply themselves within a familiar setting but also challenge each other competitively within a sport they both have a great passion for.”

“The coaching is of an excellent standard and the experience of coaches allowed sessions to be altered to best suit any challenges faced.”

Sarah Medcalf, Development Manager, Newcastle United Foundation said:

“We would like to thank Kids 1st for their generous support in allowing us to expand our football coaching to special schools in Northumberland this year. It means that children of all abilities can enjoy the game. We could not have done this without Kids 1st.”

The schools taking part in the county are:

Atkinson House, Barndale, Cleasewell Hill, Hillcrest, The Dales, Hexham Priory, The Grove, Collingwood and Northumberland Church of England Academy.

For more information about our Disability Football programme, please contact

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