Wellbeing: supporting students to flourish

Every young person should have the support they need to flourish and to believe in themselves.

That’s why our wellbeing programme is, quite simply, central to Red Balloon.

“I was in a dark place before I joined Red Balloon but now I’m much happier. I’ve become a lot more confident, active and better at socialising and dealing with things.”

Students’ personal development is nurtured through every single conversation, every session, every day.

We operate under a principle of ‘unconditional positive regard’ which is the basic acceptance and support of a person, regardless of what they say or do. This helps each student build the self-confidence, as well as the strong relationships that are vital for their progress.

Students flourish thanks to timetabled wellbeing sessions. They can take part in creative activities such as visual arts and music, as well as non-competitive sports and physical exercise. These can range from mindfulness walks and swimming to skateboarding and boxing. Students are encouraged to engage with the healing power of nature through gardening projects, Forest School or the Duke of Edinburgh award. They may have individual timetabled support with trained therapists (eg. talking, music, art or equine therapy).

At Red Balloon of the Air, mentors often visit students at home and support them in leaving the house. This is done in gradual steps at a pace tailored to each individual child. This might start with standing outside the front door, and move on to walking the dog, and going into town. When they’re ready, students come to one of our satellite centres (in Milton and Danbury) to take part in wellbeing activities and develop their social skills in a supportive environment.

“I have become way more confident… I have learnt a lot in terms of friendships, self-worth and being able to speak my mind more.”