Our History


In April 2012, after a decade of working for a national disability charity in both local and national roles, Katherine Murray and fellow director Dawn Brown launched Northern Rights, initially based in Peterlee.

In the years since, the social enterprise has expanded rapidly and now has offices in Peterlee, Sunderland and South Shields.

Katherine and Dawn have brought together a talented and highly experienced team of individuals chosen to work for Northern Rights for their empathy, knowledge and sheer determination to assist those living in the North East who need help to progress, build up their skills and confidence and move into sustainable employment.

“We offer a tailored, personal service to participants, who for one reason or another have struggled to find secure, long-term employment. Our approach is highly effective as everyone we work with is supported in a way which best suits their individual needs. And the feedback we’ve received has been outstanding. We all find it so incredibly rewarding to see the positive difference we are making to people’s lives and get such a buzz from helping them move into a job that is right for them.”

Dawn Brown, Director of Northern Rights

    “We are immensely proud of the success Northern Rights has achieved in the decade since we launched. We have all worked extremely hard to compete and succeed in the welfare to work sector dominated by the financial might of national and multinational corporations. Through our localised model, which has been developed by people with a real understanding of our local communities, we can offer appropriate levels of support to the people who need it most, ensuring everyone leaves Northern Rights in a stronger position and achieving their full potential, whether that be into sustainable employment, with enhanced skills or generally a greater confidence to live an independent life.

    “Northern Rights has been helping people for 10 years now but we still get as much satisfaction today as we did when we first started – we know what we do matters and does change lives.”

    Katherine Murray, Director of Northern Rights