A CHILDREN’S charity is celebrating its tenth birthday with the opening of a new state-of-the-art therapy centre later this year.

Heel and Toe, which is based in Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, will enable thousands of children with physical disabilities from across the region and beyond to have life-changing support.

The charity launched the Footprints Appeal last year to raise money to convert a derelict building in nearby Perkinsville into the only centre in the region to house a hydrotherapy pool.

It will offer sessions for families with a therapist, plus therapy rooms, a Gait analysis suit, rebound therapy on a trampoline, a charity shop and accommodation for families who are travelling from outside of the region at reduced rates.

Over 500 children a month have free therapy sessions with the charity and this figure is expected to rise to 600 a month in time for the planned opening of the new centre in October.

Charity boss Doug Long said: “This will help transform the lives of children and young people living with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities and their families.”