The Carolyn McTimoney Occupational Therapy Scholarship for Primary Schools in Darlington

Yesterday afternoon, Future Steps hosted an event for representatives from mainstream primary schools in Darlington. We invited them to our Darlington Clinic to inform them of a scholarship opportunity that would offer them a year of complimentary occupational therapy support in their school.

The Carolyn McTimoney Occupational Therapy Scholarship for Primary Schools in Darlington has been created in honour of a life-long and deeply missed friend and colleague. Carolyn was a friend, colleague and supporter of Future Steps from day one, back in 2013. Carolyn lost her life to cancer on 3rd March 2018 and in her memory, Julie has set up this long-lasting tribute to her, an incredible scholarship opportunity in recognition of her contribution to children’s occupational therapy.

Representatives from 12 schools in Darlington received a guided tour of the Future Steps Darlington Clinic and therapy rooms, learning more about our treatments and facilities. Julie then delivered an emotional and passionate presentation about Carolyn, the role she played in Julie’s life and in the setup of Future Steps. Julie shared with attendees that she chose Darlington as it was Carolyn’s hometown. She wanted to keep the scholarship close to home but also allow it to make an impact to as many children who would really benefit from occupational therapy intervention as possible. Julie talked attendees through what training and support the scholarship provides and how significant it could be for the children, parents and education staff in the chosen school.

The scholarship is equal to £5565 of occupational therapy support and offers the chosen school one year of:

  1. Training
  • 3 sessions on: Sensory Processing, handwriting and SMART (Sensory, Motor and Regulation Therapeutic intervention)
  • Training session for children in school
  • Parent Training on sensory processing and understanding why behaviour occurs


  1. SMART and EARTH Handwriting Manuals for Early Years
  • Reception
  • Year 1/2


  1. STRIVE Consultancy Sessions
  • 11 x 3 hourly sessions covering assessments to determine child’s gross/fine motor, handwriting, and perceptual skills and the support and interventions needed.
  • 15 SMART screening tools
  • 15 Handwriting/Perception Tools

The scholarship will focus on ensuring that effective practice and provision is in place, that ultimately allows the child to develop and access their learning. With the scholarship we aim to assist in the understanding of children who enter education and cannot access the curriculum, or struggle to learn or respond effectively due to sensory-motor challenges. These challenges can often result in the child disengaging and lead to the child exhibiting challenging behaviours, which may lead to exclusion.

Julie feels passionately about the scholarship and what it could mean to the children and their families. She wants to make sure that it is as successful and effective as possible in Carolyn’s memory. We will work alongside any existing occupational therapy support you may already have, adjust the programme and tailor it to your school’s requirements and provide essential equipment if necessary. In return Julie asks that you place a plaque in memory of Carolyn McTimoney Scholarship in the school for the duration and that you are open to Future Steps photographing and documenting the treatments and programmes throughout the year.

This incredible opportunity is open to all mainstream primary schools within Darlington. Upon applying you will be asked various questions about your staff and pupils, the services your school currently engages with and any previous grants/scholarships you may have had. You will also be asked to comment on how you believe your staff and pupils will benefit.  The recipient school will be chosen by a selection of impartial board members including Julie, members of the McTimoney family, an educational professional, and legal and financial advisers.

To request an application form to apply for the Carolyn McTimoney Occupational Therapy Scholarship for Schools in Darlington or to find out more information please contact:


Telephone: 01325 254688


One Response to The Carolyn McTimoney Occupational Therapy Scholarship for Primary Schools in Darlington

  1. This is amazing Julie ~ I wish I could pick up my school and drop it into Darlington!
    There’s going to be a massive impact from your passion, generosity and dedication.
    How proud and humbled would Carolyn be! Good luck.
    Sheena x

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