NEW ANTI-BULLYING FILM LAUNCHED BY TRUETUBE AND RED BALLOON
BAFTA- nominated educational website, TrueTube has collaborated with young people’s charity Red Balloon Learner Centre Group to make a new film about bullying called Stronger. Launched in time for this year’s Anti-Bullying Awareness Week, the short film can be used in assemblies, form times and lessons to help students understand the consequences of bullying.
Stronger follows the traumatic experience of a young girl called Hannah who was severely bullied at school. A moving story, she describes the struggle she went through to deal with her situation and the isolation and depression she, and many other victims of bullying experience. We learn how her journey to recovery began by telling her parents and teachers, and how she took back her life with the help of Red Balloon, which provides specialist, intensive care through one-to-one or small group learning opportunities as well as large group wellbeing sessions.
Stronger has been released ahead of Anti-Bullying Awareness Week, which this year takes place from 14th – 18th November, encouraging children, teachers and parents to take action against bullying. The film is designed to give victims hope, and encourages them to seek help and support, as well as giving others the confidence to come forward if they know about an ongoing issue. It raises awareness through an insightful case-study that demonstrates how victims can, with help from parents, teachers, friends, and through the use of specialised services, progress towards a better and brighter future. As Hannah says in the film, “You’re not a victim, you’re a survivor”.
Jonathan Green, director of Stronger, commented, “I was incredibly moved by Hannah’s story, and we’ve dramatised her resilience in a short visual portrait. We hope to offer comfort to bullied children across the country, and make bullies aware of the damage they can cause. I feel Hannah’s story is a testament to the strength that children can show when dealing with difficult circumstances."
Carrie Herbert, founder of Red Balloon Learner Centre Group said: I am delighted and thrilled with the film that TrueTube has made about the issue of bullying and self-excluded children. Hannah beautifully shows the stress and torment suffered by a thirteen-year-old who is forced to leave school as a consequence of systematic and severe bullying. With the right help and support, as the sixteen year old Hannah demonstrates so well, young people can find themselves and emerge as confident and positive young people ready to face the next chapter of their educational career.
TrueTube is a multi-award-winning, BAFTA-nominated, free online resource for schools, designed to support teachers in RE, PSHE and Citizenship. The site host hundreds of short films which are ideal for lesson starters, provoking discussion, and firing students’ imaginations. Red Balloon, who collaborated with TrueTube to make the film, is a charity established in 1996 to support children and young people who have left school due to bullying. They provide therapeutic programmes and offer short-term educational services to encourage students to regain their confidence and self-esteem that will eventually help them reconnect with society.
Red Balloon is the only charity in the UK that provides short-term educational and therapeutic programmes to children who have been so severely bullied or traumatised they cannot go to school. The charity gives these young people their lives back by raising their self-esteem, building their confidence and encouraging them to value themselves and take control of their lives.
By joining forces, Red Balloon Learner Centre Group and TrueTube have created a film which powerfully illustrates how victims can respond to being bullied. This resource will allow teachers to show students how bullying can harm a person both mentally and physically, and how bullied young people don’t have to remain victims.
Following the ceremony, attendees at the celebration enjoyed a delicious barbecue served by Pabulum’s catering staff. A special cake had even been prepared by the company’s Operations Manager, Colin Wills, a former patisserie chef, who donated his time to bake the anniversary cake.
As a long term supporter of the Reading centre, Pabulum staff were keen to put on an extra special celebration for the cause they care so deeply about. Deborah Harvey, Pabulum’s Chairman and a Trustee of Red Balloon commented: “The Red Balloon Learner Centre does such important work with incredibly vulnerable local children, who have often experienced things that no child should. In many cases these children simply have nowhere else to turn, that’s why we make it our mission to support the centre all year round with fundraising efforts and donating our time. Reaching 20 years is a major milestone for the charity, they’ve made such a difference to a great many children’s lives in that time. As a company, it feels very special to be part of this milestone and to have had a role in helping the centre continue with its valuable work.”
Red Balloon which was founded in 1996 by Carrie Herbert, provides an academic and therapeutic programme for children who are no longer able to attend mainstream school. By creating a safe environment, the charity aims to help build children’s self-confidence and enable them to return to mainstream education or move into employment or training. Originally operating out of founder Carrie Herbert’s home, with just ten children, Red Balloon now has four centres around the country, plus an online centre too. Over its 20-year history the charity has helped with the recovery and rescue of more than 420 children.
Carrie Herbert, Founder and President of Red Balloon Learner Centre Group spoke about the special occasion: “When I opened my home to the first Red Balloon student in 1996 I had no idea what the future held. Today, 20 years later I am still shocked that there are so many students who experience bullying and for whom there seems to be little support. We have grown significantly and now help to recover over 100 children a year - but there are so many more children who need help and support. Red Balloon could not have grown without the support of friends, family, advisors and donors - and we are extremely grateful to them all. Pabulum is a valued supporter of both Red Balloon Learner Centre Group and Red Balloon-Reading and we are extremely grateful that their staff, clients and customers have helped us in a variety of ways to recover severely bullied and traumatised children.”
RED BALLOON OF THE AIR WEEKEND SAILING TRIP 9 - 10TH APRIL 2016
A small group of Red Balloon learners and a member of staff joined Captain Bob and his skipper Tye for a memorable weekend of sailing, setting off from Ipswich Haven Marina to venture on the waters of the River Orwell and up to Harwich. The trip was organized by our most competent intern Alexander Peter who briefed us on what to bring with us and organized the food as well as even cooking our dinner which comprised of three versions of spaghetti bolognese for all possible dietary requirements! This was hugely appreciated as was the fact that Carrie Herbert drove us to Ipswich and picked us up there again on Sunday.
Only one of the students had previous sailing experience so it was a real adventure for all, not least braving the elements as we hit cold windy weather and sub zero night temperatures. Of course this all added to the general adventure of the trip as the pontoon was frozen at 6 AM on the Sunday morning as one student venturing out for a hot shower found out! Being an old ship the facilities were not as modern as some might have wished so, although we had comfy bunks, it was freezing at night with no heating. We maneuvered ourselves admirably as a little team in the small space making each other hot drinks, helping with cooking chores, washing up and general tidying up duties (the worst being washing up on deck in the cold due to the restricted space below).
It was a privilege for us all to be able to enjoy this time on a Victorian gaff racing cutter which was built in Greenwich in 1891 and restored by the Leila sailing Trust for sail training. This ship is sixteen metres long and 9 berth, which makes it really stand out on the waters and keeps all the other plastic boats at a respectful distance with potentially twenty tonnes of solid oak to contend with.
We were all able to do a fair bit of crewing, which involved taking the helm and learning about navigation maps and rules of the waterways; helping pull up and take down the sails; and being coordinated in all the mooring procedures which were quite involved having to manage such a long vessel. Also we learnt all the basic safety procedures, tying knots and generally always keeping a lookout for potential hazards on the water. We were all made to feel constantly aware of safety procedures in case of fire hazards and wearing lifejackets at all times as well as keeping vigilant on deck not to trip over ropes etc.
RED BALLOON-NORWICH CELEBRATES 10TH BIRTHDAY
Red Balloon-Norwich, which supports the recovery of severely bullied or traumatised children in the Norwich area, celebrated its 10th birthday on Friday 11 March with an afternoon party. Guests invited to attend the celebrations included supporters of Red Balloon-Norwich, its alumni, former staff as well as trustees, current staff and students. Entertainment was provided by Cultural Revival Among Interested Communities (CRAIC) an Irish Band, accompanied by some of the students currently attending the Centre.
Speaking at the event, Angela Hewett, Coordinator of Red Balloon-Norwich, said: “Access to education for severely bullied children who have self-excluded from mainstream education is a major problem and RB-Norwich is committed to providing such children with an opportunity to restore their self-esteem and confidence and to help them reach their own academic ability. Our aim is to help our students return to school and move on to further education so they can enjoy the rest of their lives. Our 10th birthday party has given us the opportunity to recognise and celebrate our success over the past decade and most importantly to say thank you to all those individuals and companies that have supported RB-Norwich, without whom none of our achievements would have been possible.”
The Chair of Trustees, Dan Kelly, spoke of his pride in the work that Red Balloon-Norwich carries out saying: “To have been able to assist in the recovery and education of so many young people in such a profound way that they have become positive contributors to society has been, for all of us involved, a genuine privilege and joy.”
The event was also attended by Quintus Travis, CEO of Red Balloon Learner Centre Group, who commented on the sense of community that is central to Red Balloon’s ethos: ‘Over the last ten years Red Balloon-Norwich has overcome many obstacles to establish itself as an outstanding school that is dedicated to helping vulnerable young people reconnect with the future that an education offers. At its heart, Red Balloon is about people and today we can celebrate all those who have formed Red Balloon-Norwich into what it is today: trustees, staff, students, supporters, parents, and commissioners. It is a wonderful group to enter the next decade with.”
The 10th anniversary of Red Balloon-Norwich coincides with the 20th Anniversary of Red Balloon Learner Centre Group, which was founded in 1996 by Dr Carrie Herbert MBE. Over the past 20 years, Red Balloon has grown from a small provision for only a few children, into four physical Centres (Cambridge, NW London, Norwich, and Reading) and an online provision, Red Balloon of the Air, which together successfully recover over 100 children each year.
Big and Proud Pop Group Releases Debut Charity Single “Fat’ll Do Nicely”
to Help Victims of Bullying
Curves Allowed are four ladies who are tired of being pigeonholed due to their size, so have come together to create an anthem for plus size women
Curves Allowed is a new big and proud girl band on a mission to make everyone of every size feel good about their bodies and get on the dance floor. Their debut single, ‘Fat’ll Do Nicely’ is a feel-good hit about body confidence and directly takes on those who bully others about their size. It also gives direct help to the victims of bullying with 20% of the proceeds being donated to Red Balloon Learner Centres, which provide an education in a supportive environment for children who have left their schools as the result of bullying. The single is being released to tie in with National Anti-Bullying Week (16th – 20th November).
Ahead of the official radio launch on Friday 13th November, a preview version of the music video can be viewed on Youtube here:
The group comprises four women from across the UK - Kelly Aphrodite (model and blogger), Donna Preston (comedy actress), Simone Cornelius (singer and actress), and Alexsia Louca (singer and actress), who united through a Facebook page set up to fight against body shaming stories in the media. The group have big talent and big personalities – they are the perfect antidote to the music industry’s parade of identical stick-thin starlets. Curves Allowed is the voice of all of us who are fed up with being told how we should look, leading the movement against zero size models and ads that say you can only be ‘beach body ready’ when you’re stick thin. Through their charity fundraising, they also want to show people that you don’t have to run a marathon or hike up Everest to raise money for causes you believe in. It’s about doing something you love for a good cause.
Although the girls have a clear mission, they are also having a laugh, comfortable in their own skin. As part of this, the video for the single features the girls taking on guest star Lord Jofre Cakes (played by actor and theatre director Jofre Alsina) in a battle of the sexes. Superstar Lord Jofre prepares for a gig in his plush rehearsal room, thinking of himself as the sole star of the show. Support act Curves Allowed make their way to the gig to take control of the stage for curvy ladies everywhere – of course by the end they replace him and take their rightful place at the top of the bill.
Curves Allowed can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/CurvesAllowed
Curves Allowed contacts (for more information and imagery)
Matt Bundy: firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0)7791524608