About Us

mencap-image-1Gateway North East is a registered charity  originally set up by young people with a disability and their parents/carers in Sunderland and was known as Sunderland Gateway and in North Durham as Wear Mencap. Our name was changed to Gateway North East and at this point Wear Mencap became a separately constituted group.


Our aim is to provide appropriate and identified leisure, life, recreational and educational opportunities to young people with disabilities or barriers to learning, young carers and their families.

As local authority services decrease our organisation continues to grow. Gateway North East relies on funding from grants, local authorities and parents/carers.

We are committed to employing young people who have a barrier to learning or a disability and to encourage and support people into work. This has contributed significantly to our accreditation as ‘Leaders in Disability Achievement’.

Gateway North East aims to

  • To provide for young people with disabilities or a 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 for children of reception age to 25 years, arts, independent living activities, sleepovers, camping trips, drop in and parent support, Stepping Out schemes, Focus schemes as well as a number of educational schemes including campaigns run by our young people.
  • To recognise and accredit otherwise unrecognised skills.
  • To encourage achievement through alternative means- placing focus on what a child or young person can, rather than can’t do.
  • To provide young people with disabilities or barriers to learning and their families emotional, physical, spiritual and practical support.
  • To help to educate society about the needs and positive attributes of young people with disabilities or barriers to learning and their families.
  • For all staff to be mentors to the children that access our schemes. (We find these are the most effective mentors.)

Our aim is to ensure that the children and young people that we work with have a positive attitude to life and themselves enabling and equiping them with necessary skills to achieve their potential.