Technology is a wonderful thing and enhances our lives in many ways, however, there’s a growing feeling that as a society we need to balance when and how much we use it. From texting while driving, checking phones through the night, restaurants full of people staring at screens while they ignore each other and children glued to screens instead of reading or playing out. It’s all having a direct impact on health and interpersonal relationships.

To combat this on Thursday 7th December 2017, 40 schools, 30 businesses and thousands of families in North Tyneside took part in ‘North Tyneside Unplugged’ and switched off for the day to raise awareness of these issues. 

We hope to do it all again in winter 2018! Please direct any enquires regarding NT Unplugged to


Take a look at some of the feedback on NT Unplugged:

"A brilliant day, really well-received by parents, staff and students. Great resources and really well marketed. Loved it!"

"I thought (the resources provided) were really high quality, informative and clear.  It’s certainly made me think and reflect on my usage - and judging by the students’ reaction to the assembly (an entirely unsolicited round of applause!), it’s made them think as well."

"Our school thought that this was an extremely worthwhile thing to do - for us as a staff but also for our whole school community."

"I spoke to so many more people (on the Unplugged day). I spoke to pupils about how difficult we found it and why which I think is very important to highlight. I learnt a new skill in the time I couldn’t work so gave myself a proper lunch break."

"(There was) much more conversation between me and my children. We did arts and crafts and had dinner together without any interference. It was great!"

"I've realised that it's MY usage as an adult that is problematic at times!"

"The talk from Dr Martin Lee at Cullercoats Primary about the effects of devices on children was shocking. I think this should be rolled out to all parents and it should be part of the primary and secondary curriculum to inform children of these effects."

"I think this should be done at least every 6 months by the school to reinforce these valuable messages."


Listen to North Tyneside Unplugged's coverage on BBC Radio Newcastle

Wondering how you could cut down on your phone usage?  Here's three top tips that are easy changes to make.



We have prepared a collection of free resources for you to use in your school and with the families of your school. They can be used however you like; in the build up to your unplugged day or on the day itself. Click on the links below to view the resources provided.

All resources are in Google Docs format. However, everything can be downloaded for offline access and editing as Word, Powerpoint or PDF documents.

  1. Open the resource kits below
  2. Click the links to open each resource
  3. When the resources open, go to the 'File' menu
  4. Choose 'Download as' and select the format of your choice.

No Phone Zone


North Tyneside Unplugged is working in partnership with

Dr Martin Lee is a Consultant Rheumatologist and Associate Senior Clinical Lecturer currently working for Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Hospitals and Newcastle University. He has a specialist interest in Young Adult and Adolescent care.

Dr Lee has published more than 40 papers and abstracts on topics including adult and adolescent rheumatology, sleep and smartphone overuse in a number of peer-reviewed journals including New Scientist, The British Medical Journal and Rheumatology. He is Deputy Chair of the Barbara Ansell National Network for Adolescent Rheumatology (BANNAR) and Co-Chair of the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Special Interest Group (BSR-BSPAR-SIG).

Dr Martin Lee created the concept of No Phone Zone in 2016 based on his reflections that the overuse of smartphones (particularly at bedtime and during the night) was having negative effects on his patients’ sleep hygiene, mental and physical wellbeing, interpersonal relationships, productivity and online safety.

Supporting Partners 

We're really grateful to all the businesses that are helping to spread the message and support the North Tyneside Unplugged project in different ways.


Olives at the Station Bar & Restaurant, Whitley Bay


Pirate Escape Rooms, Whitley Bay


Gravity Force Trampoline Park, Sunderland


All North Tyneside Council Leisure Centres


BBC Radio Newcastle


Pantrini's Fish and Chips, Whitley Bay


The Crab and Waltzer, Whitley Bay


Frankie and Benny's, Silverlink Retail Park


Nando's, Silverlink Retail Park


Marks and Spencer, Silverlink Retail Park


Pizza Hut, Silverlink Retail Park


Bella Italia, Silverlink Retail Park


Kirkly Hall Zoological Gardens, Ponteland


North Tyneside Business Forum


Eden's Cafe, Whitley Bay


Puddle Ducks Swimming Lessons, Tyne and Wear


Cullercoats Bike and Kayak, Cullercoats


Reflex School of Taekwondo, Whitley Bay


Segedunum Roman Fort, Wallsend


Kiki's Kabin soft play, North Shields


The Splat Centre, Whitley Bay


The Links Art Gallery Cafe, Whitley Bay


The Treehouse soft play, Whitley Lodge


The Boatyard Cafe, Cullercoats


Rockpool School Education, Whitley Bay


Costa Coffee, Whitley Bay, Silverlink and Royal Quays


Cullercoats Coffee, Cullercoats


Rendezvous Cafe, Whitley Bay


Pulp Fiction Future Food, Whitley Bay


Kith & Kin Coffee and Kitchen, Whitley Bay


Room 305, Whitley Bay