Everyone is accountable.  Everyone has a clear vision in mind because if we can aid ability, we can give a brighter future.


Daniel Wilson


I have worked in the care industry for the previous 10 years working primarily with adults who have disabilities as well as running a business focusing on children with disabilities and offering advice and support to families and professionals.
I began my career working within Pupil Referral Units and SEMH before moving to working with adults aged 18+ within SEND settings. I worked as a personal tutor for 8 years teaching a host of subjects including woodwork, cooking, budgeting, Maths and English as well as developing learners skills around independent travel training. My learners had varying needs and abilities but with inclusive working we were able to help them reach their personal and educational goals.
I then began working within the social sector developing existing and lifelong skills of service users. This is where I recognised a hole within the system. I had the opportunity to create Lifelong Ability North East (LANE) where we would look to develop work based skills, independent or assisted living skills and social skills through a person centered approach. With this approach we will be able to take our Clients on a meaningful journey which reflects their personal goals. We empower our clients to reach their potential using this targeted approach.

I have worked in the care sector for 12 years, 10 of which as a support worker, higher level therapy support assistant and a personal assistant for adults with physical and learning disabilities predominantly autism, PMLD and cerebral palsy.
I work to my fullest potential with a caring and positive approach and I enjoy a challenge. I have completed numerous training courses throughout my career to upskill and progress within my roles.
I am passionate about my job and like to see each individual happy, thrive and achieve their goals whilst helping them along the way.

Higher Level Support Assistant

Nicola Knox


Family Liaison and Training Officer

Andrew Tanner


I have worked in the care industry full time for the last 10 years in various capacities including voluntary roles, support worker, direct personal assistant and therapy assistant. I have worked heavily with clients with both physical and learning disabilities such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy and PMLD and ensure a high standard of care is always achieved.
In my previous jobs, I have completed training courses and delivered to the staff team with regular updates to apply new knowledge and improve my skill set.
Although this is my first role as a Family Liaison Officer; I have always maintained positive relationships with colleagues, parents, carers, families and external professionals throughout my career. I’m very much looking forward to my new role here at LANE and can’t wait to help build and develop this service with a great staff team, our clients, and their families.

Throughout my career, I have always had a role that is centred around people and their needs and I am immensely proud of this. Over the last two years, I have been working with children who have physical and learning disabilities. Recently I have also worked with adults who have similar needs and Cerebral Palsy.
In work and general life, I pride myself on my attention to detail and drive to support others. I like to adapt to the people I interact with and I believe this helps me create a bond with them and a high level of trust.
This is my first role as a support assistant but I am confident all of my personable attributes and skills will help me succeed and unlock my potential to learn and grow. As I am fairly new to this sector of work I’m sure a fresh set of eyes and ears will help to put forward new ideas and benefit those around me.
I am excited to grasp this role with both hands and can’t wait to meet future clients, parents, carers and staff.

Support Assistant

Harry Wright


Chair of Trustees

Wendy Hawley


I am a dedicated and experienced professional who has worked in the field of special educational needs (SEN) for over 20 years. With a passion for ensuring equal opportunities for all individuals. I have made significant contributions to the education sector, particularly in supporting children and young people with SEN.
Throughout my career I have worked tirelessly to advocate for the rights of individuals with SEN, striving to create inclusive environments that foster growth, development and success. My extensive experience has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by individuals with special needs and the importance of tailored support systems.
I have held various roles within SEN sector, including teaching positions and leadership roles. These diverse experiences have provided me with a comprehensive perspective of the lifelong learning sector.
In addition to my practical experience, I have also actively engaged in research and professional development to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field of SEN. I have attended numerous conferences, workshops and training sessions further enhancing my knowledge and skills.
As Chair of Trustees I bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, ensuring the organisation’s policies and practices align with the needs of the individuals we represent. They are committed to promoting inclusivity, advocating for the rights of individuals with Autism and SEN and driving positive change.
I firmly believe that every individual, regardless of their abilities, deserves access to quality lifelong learning and support. 

Since joining Newcastle University in 1992, I have held a number of positions, including the roles of Clerical Support Officer working in Primary Health Care research carrying out the administration, research and data analysis as part a small project team; Personal Assistant to the Director of a research Institute; Project Manager of a number of projects, from a variety of funders, all in the area of ageing; Deputy Institute Manager and Research Support Officer, providing research support to over 300 staff; and Institute Manager of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing societal challenge theme.
I am currently Special Projects Manager in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University, which involves scoping and advising on a variety of projects as well as managing a team of project managers. I also hold the role of Collaboration Operations Manager for the NIHR Dementia Translational Research Collaboration (D-TRC), part of the UK government’s response to the growing challenge of Dementia, working with world-leaders in dementia translational research, based within the top NHS-university partnerships which involves collaboration with industry, academia, charities, policymakers and the NHS to advance research in this area.
My main interests lie in supporting research to improve lives by providing project and budget management, so the role of Treasurer for Lifelong Ability North East (LANE) fits my interests and skill set well.
LANE’s ethos to support and value all adults with a disability and/or autism, and their families, to live safe, well and fulfilled lives in communities, and to be treated with dignity and respect is a strong motivation to work with this Charity. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams and, with the support of LANE, I am confident we can provide the skills and confidence needed to open up new life opportunities to all of our clients


Sharon Denley



Sara Jenson


After moving to the North East over 30 years ago from the South, I fell for the area and it’s communities. I have raised two daughters in Northumberland whilst working in the voluntary and private sectors of the North East and am always particularly drawn back to local communities of North Tyneside, a truly amazing people. My passion has always been working with children and young people – being part of their development and giving them strength. I firmly believe that everyone has the ability to flourish. I am excited to be part of Lifelong Ability North East (LANE)., a forward thinking, compassionate and inspirational organisation that supports everyone that comes into contact with them and I am honoured to be a trustee of this organisation which values everyone and I look forward to being part of it’s progress and growth, ensuring that everyone has a voice and is heard.

I am a Speech and Language Therapist with a passion for partnership working. I have served for more than 25 years within the NHS, providing support for children, young people and families, and as a trainer for the children’s workforce.
I am also Company Director and Animal Assisted Therapist, for NAATA CIC (Northern Animal Assisted Therapies & Activities). I work alongside my therapy animal team in light-hearted and playful ways to boost wellbeing and participation among people from all
parts of our community.


Lesley Forrester



Gill Gray


I was born and brought up in Wallsend where I also raised my two children. I have worked within the Early Years and Childcare sector since 1985, having worked in both the Local Authority and the Private and Voluntary sector. I became chair of Wallsend Action for Youth in July 2019 after being a governor at Churchill Community College for 17 years. I currently work as a Senior Partnership & Innovation Officer for Wallsend Children’s Community. I am excited to be part of Lifelong Ability North East (LANE) There is no other provision like it locally.

I have cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs and I am a full time wheelchair user. I have attended the Percy Hedley Foundation from the age of 3. During my time a the college, I was asked to mentor a classmate who was struggling with his mental health. I really enjoyed the challenge and feel that the experience gained will help me in my ambitions to develop LANE to become a successful provider.
More recently, I have been involved in a project to deliver disability awareness training to students at Newcastle College as well as a number of other groups. I have also advised companies on accessibility and appropriate adaptions needed to make their premises more accessible.
I was delighted to be asked to be a trustee of LANE and feel that I can offer essential insight from a wheelchair users point of view. This is my first position as a trustee. I am looking forward to working with the team and contributing positively to the project.


Harry Bucknall