More bullied and traumatised children to receive support thanks to Red Balloon’s new Cambridge centre
Red Balloon Cambridge has been given the green light by the Department for Education to open a second Centre in the city, meaning it can support even more bullied and traumatised children with its award-winning educational and therapeutic programme.
Red Balloon offers education and wellbeing support for students who are unable to go to school because they’ve been severely bullied, have mental health problems or some other trauma in their lives.
The charity already has a well-established Centre in Warkworth Terrace, and the new Centre is on Norfolk Street. Jessica Lechner, Red Balloon Cambridge’s Co-ordinator, is excited by the new development, just a stone’s throw away:
“We’re delighted to be able to welcome more students into our Red Balloon family, and our new Norfolk Street Centre is perfect for them in so many ways. It is a small setting, which is really important, because our students have had traumatic experiences at school and they need an environment which is non-threatening, calm and as home-like as possible. What’s great is that it is close to our other Centre, so students and staff can share space and resources. It is also well located for public transport, and there are lots of amenities nearby as well as great outdoor spaces like Parker’s Piece.”
Students started taking their educational and wellbeing sessions in the new building on 16th November. Jessica adds:
“Thank you so much to everyone who donated furniture which was so difficult for us to gather during lockdown. But we now have everything that we need and students are settling in well.”
Rob Watson, Director of Education, explains how this second Centre fits into the charity’s development plans:
“For almost 25 years now, Red Balloon has been supporting bullied and traumatised children who are unable to attend school. Our ‘recovery’ programme has already been successfully replicated in Red Balloon Centres in Norwich, NW London and Reading, there is also Red Balloon of the Air which offers a blend of online and face-to-face support for children who can’t get to a Centre. Our mission is to make our provision accessible to all who need it, so this second Cambridge Centre in Norfolk Street is vital to meet demand and provides a template for the growth of our provision across the UK.”
Red Balloon Cambridge Warkworth Terrace will continue to support 20 students a year, and Red Balloon Cambridge Norfolk Street will support an additional 18.