Red Balloon Norwich Re-Launch

Red Balloon Norwich Re-Launch

This year there have been many changes at RB Norwich, primarily our move to a new centre building at Galley Hill, NR3, and the welcoming of new Head Lisa Andrews.

RB Norwich is now housed in an extended and recently renovated Victorian pub building, on the outskirts of Norwich. The building feels as though it was tailor-made to be an education centre. We are fortunate to be opposite a large public park with lots of facilities, linking to a nature reserve, cycle paths, and residential and business areas. We are within walking distance of a supportive library, post office, an array of local shops including Polish supermarkets, charity shops and a community pop-up hub. We are able to use a local church hall for our winter sports sessions.

Our Head Lisa Andrews has helped to make the centre a homely safe haven and is establishing new ways of working. Lisa joined us in August, from a local High School. She has a particular passion for personal development and strengthening our mental-health focus. Lisa has established staff working groups around ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’, Building Learning Power, metacognition, tracking, safeguarding mapping, parental engagement, and ‘careers information, advice and guidance’. We have also established a more regular pattern of CPD.

We have introduced an extra space at the end of the day for everyone to spend time together as a community, where we explore a theme of the week, philosophy, current affairs, have a quiz of the week, and do silent reading.

New teaching staff members have joined our team too, following retirements at the end of last year.

We hosted an official re-launch event on Monday 7th November. A red ribbon was cut at our front door, by BBC weather presenter Julie Reinger. Past and present pupils, Trustees, educational specialists, organisational partners and local residents were given tours of the centre, which already looks and feels very much like home. Canapes were on hand and red balloons were in abundance. A presentation was given by Lisa, including a film showing what we do and hope to go on to do in the future. A presentation was given to thank long-serving outgoing finance Trustee Tony Dunn.