Telephone: 01904 639056

Area Manager – children’s services: Nicole Hutchinson

What we do

The Children’s Society in York works with disabled children and young people through three projects:


Future Links (York)

The Future Links Project works with the most marginalized groups of disabled young people (aged 14 – 25) in York and Selby, helping them to raise their educational and employment aspirations and increase their integration in the community.

Disabled young people are more likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET) than any other group. And only 50% of disabled people of working age are in work compared with 80% of non-disabled people. Future Links is addressing these issues through positive community activities and learning.

What we do

  • Personalised one-to-one work with a mentor to set personal and learning goals and increase confidence and self-esteem. Find out what is important to the young person.
  • Running group activities such as games group and arts club.
  • Engaging disabled young people in mainstream schools with extra-curricular activities.
  • Supporting young people into volunteering and work placements. Young people will be encouraged to work towards an accredited volunteering award.
  • Mentoring young people to get involved in sports and complete their FA coaching course.
  • Encouraging young people to complete The Children’s Society volunteer training and become mentors themselves.
  • Empowering young people to join clubs, youth groups and activities, to build relationships with their peers.
  • Ensuring young people have support to complete an ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) short course through the project.

Who we are

  • Emily Collins
  • Carole Jackson 


Friendship for all (York)

What we do

Friendship for All is funded by Children in Need and works in partnership with disabled young people, parents, professionals and foster carers to increase friendship opportunities for disabled children who receive short break and foster care services.

The Children’s Society has been delivering short beak services in York for over 30 years and this three year project will find out more about the particular difficulties disabled children encounter when making and keeping friends. 

There are many problems which might prevent disabled children from enjoying friendships and for those in care, these can be increased by instability, or sudden and unexpected changes. Our overall aim is to support more children and young people to have the chance to see their ‘real friends’ out in the community and for short breaks service providers to become more adaptable and confident about making this happen.

We are working with City of York Council to pilot different approaches to short breaks. While we are testing out different ways of delivering short breaks locally, we want to find out more about how other local authorities currently deliver their short breaks, what we can learn from them and how they might benefit from the learning outcomes of our pilot.

We want to increase and implement friendship opportunities for disabled children throughout the country through the creation of evidenced based resources and a carer training pack based on what works best, available in an app format to raise awareness and provide practical solutions and guidance to professionals.

Who we are

  • Anna Barrett
  • Lynda Corker


SMILE Project (York)

What we do

The SMILE project works from York and also The Children’s Society’s LEAP Programme in Leeds. The aim is to increase cultural learning, raise young people’s aspirations and share good practice for working with young people with disabilities.

Young people from the project in York and Leeds will travel to Finland and Turkey to gain a broader understanding of what inclusion means for other countries in the EU.

York and LEAP will host visitors - from Finland, Turkey and Czech Republic. The guests will meet the Mayor of York, have a tour round Askham Bryan College, talk to the Blueberry Academy staff, make a cream tea and have a disco.

The project aims:

  • To develop a transformational and effective international partnership between representatives in Turkey, Finland, Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom.
  • To achieve a programme of international visits to progress the partnership.
  • To develop tools and strategies for sharing good practice.

Who we are

  • Emily Collins
  • Carole Jackson


Tower House
York YO10 4UA
United Kingdom
Phone 01904 639056
53° 57' 4.0536" N, 1° 4' 31.4796" W