ACE Network NE

Is managed and run by Mr Al Coates MBE having originated in 2017 as part of CEL&T to provide a dedicated area for anyone interested in understanding more about Adversity in Childhood and the impact this can have on later life and throughout adulthood. To help promote wider understanding and share information CEL&T developed


2 free understanding Adversity courses

Understanding ACEs Part 1 and Understanding ACEs part 2- full details link

The Network itself

The Network was established and developed by  Dr Wendy Thorley, former Academic at University of Sunderland and Mr Al Coates; building on their work to date. The launch of the Network was made in November 2017 with the 1st ever screening of ‘Resilience’- an internationally acclaimed film documentary about Adverse Childhood Experiences and the relationship between ACEs and chronic health conditions in adulthood.

Following the screening many more similar events were developed and delivered with increasingly high numbers of individuals wanting to know professionally and personally. Alongside this a high number of requests were made for conference input, CPD provision, INSET training and community support. For this reason, Mr Al Coates and Dr Thorley established ACE Network NE as a social media platform via Facebook to share information and develop community supportive, adverse aware and responsive approaches. 

In 2018, a partnership between the University of Sunderland Interdisciplinary Research Network Adverse Childhood Experiences and the ACE Network NE was established. This partnership enabled a range of opportunities to evolve.  The demands on ACE Network NE rapidly expanded and with the support of the Interdisciplinary Network at the University of Sunderland with Sarah Martin-Denham as Convenor.  Key events were scheduled complimenting those undertaken by the Network itself.

The success of the Network overall is evidence in the reach of ACE Network NE-  current reports show a reach in excess of 10k via ACE Network NE Facebook and CEL&T twitter feeds, with word of mouth leading to many more individuals contacting the network on a daily basis.

In 2019 ACE Network NE organised a larger collaborative event at St James Park with over 600 delegates and speakers from a variety of life's including James Docherty, a highly respected speaker form Scotland and Lisa Cherry. To mark the event Dr Thorley worked with collaborators and edited ACEs: why all the fuss? to profile the range and levels of adversity that existed across the North East; a regional area recognised as one of high multiple deprivation and increasingly high levels of not only adversity and childhood adversity but one that is continuing to seek to address the higher risk behaviours known to be outcomes of adversity and recognise 'Behaviour is Language.


As part of this event ACE Network NE also worked with Newcastle College students to develop and produce a short documentary on what ACEs meant to a range of individuals across different organisations and professions.