Student bursary and hardship fund

Red Balloon student

Red Balloon’s Student Bursary and Hardship Fund

Our students are amazing! Children – who, months before, were too afraid to leave their bedrooms – begin to flourish and take their first steps into the adult world thanks to our unique educational, well-being and social re-engagement programme.

School may not be for everyone but we believe that education should be. Children also have the right to self-belief, confidence, friendship and a place in the community around them.

Children like John…

“I think Red Balloon honestly saved my life. When everyone else gave up on me – apart from my family of course – Red Balloon was the only organisation that was there for me. I did four GCSEs, and sat the exams at Red Balloon’s offices. I took Double Sciences, Maths and English Language and got the results I needed; I’m now studying biomedical sciences at my local Regional College.

Will you help transform the lives of more children like John by donating to our Student Bursary and Hardship Fund?

Bursary support

It costs an average of £22,000 a year for a place at one of our Red Balloon Centres, and £13,812 for a place at Red Balloon of the Air.

Some children have their places at Red Balloon funded by their local authority (through an Education, Health and Care Plan) while, for others, their families have to meet the costs. Sometimes parents can’t afford it so students are forced to rely on a blend of funding sources, including our Student Bursary and Hardship Fund.

In 2018-19, the average bursary was £2,491 per student.

Will you make a donation to our Student Bursary and Hardship Fund to ensure that Red Balloon is available to more vulnerable young people who need us?

Hardship help

Children sometimes need extra help to cover day to day learning costs too. Two-thirds of our learners are from low-income families and any additional burden on the family budget can be a painful strain.

Students at Red Balloon of the Air, for example, may need additional visits to the Satellite Centre to prepare themselves for the exam environment and the cost of the train or bus fare can be prohibitive. We currently have learners in 11 counties so travel costs can be quite a burden for some.

Our learners need on average £200 a year to meet travel and study costs.

The difference you will make

Will you help?

In 2018/19, Red Balloon’s Student Bursary and Hardship Fund enabled 14 young people to join our life-changing recovery programme. We awarded a total of £34,877 in bursaries, supporting 12 students at Red Balloon of the Air and two students in our ‘bricks and mortar’ Centres.

Please be assured that we have rigorous processes in place before submitting a request to the Student Bursary and Hardship Fund. However, the reality is that some of our students will need additional support.

Your gift would make a life-changing difference, opening up a world of opportunity for vulnerable children to fulfill their potential.

On behalf of all the children who will benefit from your kindness: thank you.