Red Balloon Learner Centre Group
Some children are bullied so badly that they can no longer go to school. They stay at home 'under the duvet', stop seeing their friends, think they're worthless, and don't get an education. Red Balloons are set up to offer these children a safe learning environment where they can regain their feeling of self-worth, get back on an academic track and learn the social skills that they need in order to face the outside world. Once recovered they can move back into mainstream school, or go on to further education and into employment. The Centres are set up in domestic houses, take no more than 15 students at any one time, and are more like a family than a school. The children have to: a) want to be there, and come every day (9 to 3.30); b) want to learn and make academic progress; c) behave with respect and consideration towards the other students, the staff, the property and any pets we might have. We currently have Centres in Cambridge, Norwich, North-West London at Harrow and Preston. Merseyside will open in April, Warwick in June, and others will open later this year or next year in Reading, South Yorkshire, Braintree (Essex), Newcastle-on-Tyne and Dublin. The funds that we raise go towards setting up new Centres - we aim to provide a UK-wide service for as long as it is needed. If children stop being bullied, Red Balloons won't be necessary. In the meantime, there are children out there who are staying at home, have no social life, and are missing out on education. We are the only organisation which specifically seeks to help them recover and get their life back so that they can contribute to society.