Latest News


International Day for Disabled People– Fighting for rights in the post Covid era

02nd December 2021

Friday 3rd December is International Day for Disabled People and as DAD marks 35 years of supporting disabled people and carers we celebrate the work of our many projects that continue to uphold people’s rights as individuals as well as challenging Disability Discrimination and supporting disability rights.

From our Advocates supporting people in Darlington and across the Tees Valley to make sure individuals voice is heard and their rights upheld,

our Direct Payments team supporting people to receive the support they need in the way they want it,

our Children and Young People’s service making sure children and young people have the right to play,

the Independent Living Hub giving people independence and choice about the things they do

to our Self Advocacy groups including Young Leaders and People’s Parliament making sure disabled people have a voice on the issues that effect them and can influence change,

DAD will continue to fight for disabled people’s rights.



COVID-19 communications update

01st December 2021

The Prime Minister has announced new rules to help us all protect ourselves and others from a new variant of COVID-19 called Omicron.

The Omicron variant has extensive mutations from previous versions of the virus so we need to take urgent measures to protect ourselves from it.

UK scientists are working hard to find out more about the new variant. In the meantime, we must all follow new guidelines to help slow its spread:


Face coverings

New COVID-19 rules on wearing face coverings in England will go ahead from 30 November.

Face coverings must be worn in shops and other similar businesses such as banks, post offices and personal care venues like hairdressers, as well as on public transport. This is enforceable by law and people face fines if they do not follow the rules.

People with certain medical conditions are exempt.



The Government is also bringing in measures to prevent new cases from abroad.

All travellers arriving into the country from 4am on Tuesday 30 November will be required to take a PCR test on day 2 and self isolate until they have received a negative test result. These PCR tests can be purchased from private providers.

A number of countries have been added to the red list. UK residents arriving from these countries must isolate in a government-approved facility for 10 days. During their stay, they will be required to take a coronavirus test on day 2 and day 8.


Isolation rules

If you come into contact with someone  who tests positive with a suspected case of Omicron you will also have to self-isolate for ten days, even if fully vaccinated.

The new measures on our borders, self-isolation and face coverings will be reviewed in three weeks.



We have good reasons for believing booster vaccines will provide some protection from the new variant so it is important that everyone who is eligible for vaccines or a booster jab get them as soon as possible.

You can book online and join the 17 million people who have already had a booster or third jab.


By practising key safer behaviours and actions, we can continue to protect ourselves and others and help reduce the virus spreading.


Please encourage people in your community to follow these behaviours and actions that include: Wash your hands regularly; Test regularly; Stay at home when you feel unwell; Download and use the COVID-19 NHS App.


Ensuring these protections are a part of our everyday behaviours will control transmission of the virus.


The details of the Prime Minister’s announcement are online. There is also a version of his announcement on YouTube with BSL. Please share these links with your networks.

Free Training for direct payment employers funded by Skills for Care

29th November 2021

DAD have successfully gained some funding from Skills for Care, and we are looking to hold sessions over Microsoft Teams for direct payment employers.  These sessions will be delivered by employment experts. They aim to help new and experienced employers learn and gain more knowledge about how to be a good employer and meet employer responsibilities.

The first two sessions will focus on different levels of employer experience. The dates of the sessions will be:

Tuesday 7th December starting at 13:30. This is for new employers.

Friday 10th December starting at 10:30. This is for more experienced employers.


Following on from these meetings there will be a smaller group meeting which will be more personalised. The dates of the sessions will be:

Tuesday 18th January starting at 13:30. This will be aimed at new employers.

Wednesday 21st January starting at 10:30. This will be aimed at experienced employers.


All sessions will be recorded and then made available for anyone who couldn’t make it to the meetings. There will also be a learning book available for those who would like it.

Please call us on 01325 360524 or email us at if you wish to attend.

UN Convention on the Right’s of the Child (UNCRC) Awareness survey

25th November 2021

The Department for Education has launched a survey on Children’s Rights Awareness, aimed at children and young people aged 8-18.

This survey is a qualitative look at children and young people’s perspectives on their rights, and is part of a wider-scale project which aims to engage with children to allow them to participate in the conversation around the UN Children’s Rights Convention on the Child.


16 days of action 2021

15th November 2021

Learning Events  

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that commences on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. 

During the 16 days of Action, specialist providers would like to invite you to participate in a series of online learning events which are aimed at increasing professional understanding of domestic abuse, sexual violence, honour based violence & sexual exploitation.

Tuesday 23 November:   1:30 – 2:30  (in advance of the 16 days programme)   Halo Project and IDAS

Insight into honour based abuse (HBA) and coercive control experienced by black and minoritised victims and survivors.  Enhance safeguarding knowledge through specialist guidance and survivor stories

Zoom virtual event:


Thursday 25 November:  Family Help

For everyone.  Visit Family Help’s White Ribbon stall at the indoor market

Just turn up to show support by signing the pledge to end violence against women and girls. 


Thursday 25 November:  10:00am – 2:00pm   The Soroptimists  

For everyone. Visit the Soroptimists Orange the World stalls at The Dolphin Centre and the Cornmill shopping centre

Just turn up and show support for the orange the world campaign  “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”


Friday 26 November:  2:00 – 3:00pm  Dr Jane Monckton Smith - Homicide Coercive Control and  Stalking 

Virtual Session.  Places are limited.  Register your interest via email to:


Friday 26 November:  9.30 – 11.00am  Durham Safeguarding Adults - For professionals only. 

Safeguarding adults from domestic abuse.  The aim of this session is to focus on domestic abuse in the context of adults with needs to care and support, and includes:  Definitions, The Legal Framework, Patterns of Coercion and Control and Warning Signs, Highlights Some Approaches and Toolkits to Support Good Practice.

Register using the following link:


Friday 26 November:  1.30 – 3.00pm  Hour Glass - Elder abuse

For professionals only.  This briefing is to raise awareness on Elder Abuse.  Hourglass is a UK based Charity focusing on the abuse and exploitation of Older People in the UK. The session will enable you to look for signs and indicators of elder abuse, how to support someone who is experiencing elder abuse and the support Hourglass can offer

Virtual session via Zoom.  Register using the following link:


Monday 29 November:  Darlington Borough Council’s Housing Options

For everyone.  Housing options in Darlington - The Housing Options Team discuss their approach to supporting survivors of domestic abuse.  The team discuss what support is available and how they work with a number of different agencies.

Virtual session:  Access the link to the pre-recorded event on the Darlington Borough Council webpage:


Monday 29 November:  Family Help refuge

For everyone.  Family Help refuge. Virtual session. Access the link to the pre-recorded event on the Darlington Borough Council webpage:


Tuesday 30 November:  Dr Wendy Shepherd  “ Silence is not an Option “- sexual abuse and violence

For professionals and Voluntary and community organisations only.  Seen, Heard, Believe Project.  Virtual session via Microsoft teams

To register interest and receive log in details please Contact:


Tuesday 30 November:  11am -12.30pm   Homes For Cathy

Open to all professionals.  Women, homelessness & violence: How can the housing sector improve its response?

Free workshop.  Register Interest via link:  Women, homelessness & violence: How can the housing sector improve its response? | Homes for Cathy


Wednesday 1 December:  11.00 – 12.00pm  Harbour - Impact of domestic abuse on children

For professionals only. Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 862 8219 6589    Passcode: 679684


Wednesday 1 December:  11.00am – 12.00pm  Darlington Borough Council Community Safety Team, Andrew Allison

For everyone.  Meeting :  To explore actions being taken in Darlington to address violence and intimidation against women and girls, To explain the partnership approach adopted in Darlington, To highlight the benefits of the Purple Flag scheme, To inform delegates of the various work strands linked to the ‘Safer Streets’ schemes  Teams session


Thursday 2 December:  10:00 – 11:00am  We are with You - Substance misuse and domestic abuse

For professionals only (Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland service but available to all areas).  The correlation between substance misuse and domestic abuse;  Services that are available and the work that WAWY does; and How professionals can work collaboratively to support individuals with complex needs who experience domestic abuse.

Google meet.  Email We are with You to book your place


Friday 3 December:  10:00 – 11:30am   Hour Glass - Introduction to Elder Abuse

For everyone.  This briefing is to raise awareness on Elder Abuse.  Hourglass is a UK based Charity focusing on the abuse and exploitation of Older People in the UK. The session will enable you to look for signs and indicators of elder abuse, how to support someone who is experiencing elder abuse and the support Hourglass can offer.   Virtual Session   Contact Hourglass via email to book a space:


Monday 6 December:  11.00 – 12.00pm  Harbour - Why do we need to work with perpetrators?

For professionals only.  Zoom meeting

Join zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 892 9503 4462   Passcode: 644406


Monday 6 December:  1.00 – 2.30pm   PRIDE - LGBTQ+

For professionals only.  This briefing is to focus on LGBTQ+ and domestic Abuse, covering the Myths, Challenges and to provide an overview of the work that PRIDE do to support.

Virtual session  Register using the following link:


Tuesday 7 December  10:00am  ARCH

For professionals only.  Disclosures and Support.  Virtual Session

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 820 0581 4865   Passcode: 317928


Wednesday 8 December  9.30 – 11.30am   Simon Finch - Cyber stalking and domestic abuse

For professionals only.  The aim of the session to increase participants awareness of cyber stalking.  The session will be facilitated by Simon Finch who will cover:  An Overview of cyber and digitally assisted, stalking and legislation, The challenges and benefits of relationships in the digital age, How technology and social media are used to stalk and harass, Key strategies and actions to identify and remove surveillance apps and technology, Sources of help and support.

Register using the following link:


Thursday 9 December  2.00 – 4.00pm  Darlington Borough Council Safeguarding Training - Domestic Abuse Awareness (level 3)

For Darlington Safeguarding Partnership members.  For practitioners who have responsibility for undertaking child and adult protection enquiries and who work with complex cases.  For those who hold professional or organisational authority and a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy to act on child and adult welfare concerns.  Full safeguarding training directory can be found at:  virtual-2021-training-programme-2nd-edition-01-06-21-31-12-21.pdf (

To book a place please contact: or 01325 406452


Thursday 9 December:  ARCH - Supporting parents and caregivers of children who experience child sexual exploitation

For everyone.  Virtual session.  Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 873 8743 7451    Passcode: 211331


Thursday 9 December:  10:00am – 3:00pm  Darlington Borough Council and Harbour support services - Awareness raising stall at the Dolphin Centre

For everyone.  In person at the Dolphin Centre.  Darlington Borough Council and Harbour support services will have a stall set up in the Dolphin Centre reception area.


Friday 10 December:  11:00am  My Sisters Place - IRIS training

Professional Only.  GPs Improving identification and Response to Domestic Abuse.  Virtual Session

Join Zoom Meeting.

Meeting ID: 816 3758 2699   Passcode: 718874


Friday 10 December:  3:00 – 4:30pm  Arcus and Darlington Unity Group - LGBTQ+ seminar

For everyone.  Zoom session.  Contact Arcus to book your place:

Council for Disabled Children / NHS England Survey - Annual Health Checks

15th November 2021

Council for Disabled Children are working with NHS England to gather the views of young people with learning disabilities around annual health checks. The survey is now live so please do share the link below with young people who would like to be involved and share their thoughts.

A great opportunity for young people to have their say.


25th October 2021

From 24th October 2021, and for the next 12 months, Co-op Members will be able to support Darlington Association on Disability - Young Leaders as part of the

Co-op Local Community Fund.

For every £1 Co-op members spend on selected Co-op branded products and services, 2p will go into their membership account.

The same amount will support community organisations and local causes including DAD’s Young Leaders.

To collect rewards and contribute to a cause, Co-op members must swipe or scan their membership card when they shop.

Please ask in store if you would like to become a Co-op member or visit

DAD’s Young Leaders are linked to the following Co-op stores and services;

  • Co-op – Mowden store
  • Co-op West Park Store
  • Co-op West Auckland Road Store
  • Co-op Cockerton Store
  • Co-op Funeral Care Darlington

Even though we are linked to local Co-op outlets, money raised through Co-op Membership can be generated anywhere in the UK, as long as a Member is buying selected products or services from the Co-op Group, please select Darlington Association on Disability – Young Leaders when selecting a cause to support.



DAD have Trustee vacancies

22nd October 2021

DAD currently has vacancies on our Trustee Board.  DAD is a registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee and as such Trustees are required to oversee and provide governance to the running of the organisation. All Members are entitled to put themselves forward for consideration to act as a voluntary Trustee of the organisation.

Ideally, we are seeking people with skills in Finance, Human Resources or Marketing and or knowledge of disabled people’s issues particularly across Tees Valley and County Durham.

As an organisation supporting equality, in all its forms, we are seeking Trustees who reflect our community who are currently underrepresented including: women, people from minority communities and young people. There will be a selection process involving an informal interview with Trustees. The organisation must be led by a majority of disabled people and this will be taken account of in any Trustee appointments.  

For more information about being a trustee: ‘5-minute guides’ for charity trustees -  Charity Commission guidance - GOV.UK (

If you are interested and would like further information please contact Lauren Robinson, Chief Executive or Gordon Pybus, Chairperson  for an initial discussion

3 R's Project

08th July 2021

DAD has been supporting people through COIVD to stay connected and understand the guidance. The next steps as restrictions ease is supporting people to become reconnected. With support of our funders we have launched a new project called the 3R’s.

It is called the 3 R project as it supports people to:


Regain confidence

Regain Skills

Jenny Byers is co-ordinating the project with the support of Margaret Langan.  It is great success so far supporting over 15 people.  Support has included helping people to access the community and develop friendships naturally and outside of our support, peer support session, transport training and confidence building, mindfulness sessions and other session to help develop well-being including bowling, circus skills, walks.   

Other sessions will include developing IT skills, creative expression and art sessions, development of self-advocacy.  Four sessions are delivered each week and the aim is that they are community based and COVID secure to enable to people to regain confidence, skills and friendships to last in the long term which will support people to remove some of the barriers which COVID has brought.

We are evaluating the project throughout and look forward to seeing the positive outcomes it will bring.


How you can support us

As a local organisation we very much rely on the support of our local community, and continue to support people flexibly to have greater choice and control and remove the barriers that disabled people and children experience in their everyday lives. We support over 2,000 people every year.  But we need your help.

Click here to find out how you can support us

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