I just wanted to say thank you to all of you today but seeing Ally so upset to be leaving got me choked up and I found myself unable to speak. It may sound silly but I really can't express my thanks and I don't think you can ever imagine the difference your support for Ally has made to the whole family over the last years.
From the first time we came to visit, Ally loved the feel of Red Balloon, she told us it felt like Tracy Beakers ‘dumping ground’. She was so scared and didn't want to leave her old school and "friends" and she was determined not to be different. I feel very lucky and grateful that we were recommended to Red Balloon, and that she was accepted when many others had turned her down and written her off.
Ally found somewhere she could be herself and not be judged. I only wish we had known of you earlier and she could have had more time with you guys, I truly believe the support and friendships she has received and made at Red Balloon have turned Ally’s life and ours around for the better. I will never be able to thank you or show you how much her time with you has changed all our lives and how thankful we are that she was given a chance to be herself and belong.
So now for the next phase. I feel as scared as Ally but I know she has learnt so much and been prepared for taking this next step, so we move on together. She will be back to visit - she has already told me this.
Ally’s gone from a young girl, confused, angry, off the rails and out to harm herself to a much happier, smiley, fun-loving young lady looking forward to life and aiming high.
Thank you again for all your support, patience and kindness in taking care of Ally.