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North East Wellbeing is working in a gap between how things are and how they should be. Children need a secure base to form attachments, good vocabulary to talk about how they feel, and a colourful, creative space to express themselves. For too many children, daily experience does not permit this because of specific experiences, lack of confidence, poverty in all its forms. NEW has projects, people, and the clear intention to use them, bridging the gap between how things are and how they should be.

How we started

We started in 2012 as the brainchild of our founding trustee Nick Blackburn. As a headteacher committed to the education of the whole child, Nick saw that classteachers often need extra help to reach out to children and to keep their curriculum delivery fresh. NEW began working in Darlington schools in the North East of England and we remain focussed on the region. The social and emotional aspects of learning remain the core of our various projects, because we believe that there are certain core conditions that need to be satisfied before complex learning can happen.

What guides us

We are led by the experience of all those who care for children, trying to deliver the best provision despite the challenges. We are developmental in outlook and we aim to provide experiences to fill missing stages in a child’s journey to fulfil his or her potential. This means for us looking at the whole picture of academic, social, emotional, linguistic and personal development, and trying to do our bit to place the child and his or her needs at the centre of the picture.

 What we currently do

North East Wellbeing provides the governance and funding structures for a family of related projects that you can find out about with a few clicks of the mouse. We have a strong sense of purpose: NEW is an exciting place to work as we reach out to schools and communities with new blends of educational and social support. We are connected to the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University and have a long history and three PhDs working on our applied social research programmes.

 How you can get involved

Please follow the links on the project pages if you would like a call from one of the team to tell you more about what we can do in your school or in your community. If you run a project that you think would fit with us then please make contact too.

Dr Toby Quibell

Dr Toby Quibell


Toby Quibell is a teacher and charity leader. As a class teacher, social researcher and voluntary sector leader, Toby has worked with children and schools throughout his career. Having assisted Nick Blackburn in establishing NEW, he took over as Chief Executive in 2013. With special interest in the causes of disaffection, Toby is focussed on providing solutions that address the needs of children that are associated with poverty, trauma, and adverse circumstance, and believes that NEW is an innovative and effective force in delivering these solutions to children.

The best thing about being part of NEW? The people are wonderful and the effects of their work visible and uplifting.”

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