Students & Parents

Students in the kitchen at Red Balloon Cambridge

Increasing numbers of young people are missing from education, not because they are not interested in learning or have been excluded from school, but because they suffer from severe depression and social anxiety. What causes this state of mental trauma differs between individuals. Bullying, abuse, mental health problems or life-long conditions are among the most common causes.

We’re here to help young people who self-exclude from school, as a result of trauma or other compelling reasons, to get back on an academic track and reconnect with society. Each student at Red Balloon has their own difficult story, but everyone is linked by their shared desire to secure the future that an education offers.

Students at Red Balloon engage in full-time programme that encompasses education, wellbeing and social re-engagement. These can be at one of our established Learner Centres or via Red Balloon of the Air (our distance learning service). Wherever they are, we want the work involved to be relevant but fun, challenging but unpressured, rigorous but relaxed and always conducted within a community where everyone is treated with unconditional respect. We welcome curiosity and encourage students to think independently as they develop a love of learning.

If you travel through our website you will gain a better sense of who we are and how we can help. Red Balloon isn’t for everybody, so don’t worry if you discover that it’s not for you. Feel free though to make a donation on your way out by clicking here.

Red Balloon believes passionately that everyone should have access to a productive and fulfilling life. If bullying and trauma disrupt your education, prevent you from expressing yourself and scar your personal development – or that of somebody you know or love who might want our help – then please get in touch. We want to hear from you – we do not judge – we are here to help.

Our stories

  • Red Balloon of the Air student

    "I don't know where I'd be without RBAir. The past doesn’t make me feel sad any more, now I just think about the future.”

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  • Eve tells her story

    “I want to do the things I used to do with ease and took for granted, like walking to the shop for sweets or going on holiday.”

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  • Peter's story

    "I wouldn’t have had my voice if it weren’t for Red Balloon".

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