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What Red Balloon does NOT do!

November 26, 2012

What does Red Balloon do?  – perhaps it is easier to say what Red Balloon does not do.

 

Firstly we do not take children OUT of school; in fact, we work to get kids back INTO school.  All the children we deal with have suffered from severe bullying or another trauma that makes it impossible for them to go to school.

 

Yes, yes, we know that all children have to be educated in the UK.  But what would you do if your daughter or son came to you at breakfast one morning, burst into tears and said “Please Mum/Dad, don’t make me go to school today – the bullies are going to get me again – they say I am a freak because I have got red hair/wear glasses/love maths/hate football.”

 

The ‘getting me again’ of course may not just be comments; it may also be shoving, pushing, thumping, tripping up – as well nasty looks, whispers and giggles.  It may be a sharp command: “You can’t sit here – freak – go to another table!”  It may be humiliating taunts, it may be children putting salt on their dinner – throwing their sandwiches at them, surrounding them and chanting at them.

 

Whatever it is, you are confronted with a child who is begging you not to send them to school.

 

From here a variety of things happen – The best case scenario is that your visit to the school and your talking about the problem with the staff stops the bullying, your child goes back to school and all is resolved.

 

For some that is not the case. You go to the school but things do not get resolved – in fact things are made worse and your child now gets bullied via Facebook, texts and msn.  And what is worse, they are now accused of “grassing/ splitting / telling”.  Within a few months you find you have a child who is now totally refusing to go anywhere near school and you are at your wit’s end.

 

The end of Year Nine draws to an end and you think “after the summer holidays things will be better”.  You brace yourself for the return to school in September. On the first day of term your child says: “If you make me go back to school I will kill myself”.

 

And what parent is going to mess with statements such as that?  Whilst it is true that very few children do take their own life because of bullying, the fact remains some do.

 

That is where Red Balloon steps in.

 

We take children who have been out of school for weeks, months and in some cases years.  They are usually depressed, having been at home in their bedroom for long periods of time.  Some are anorexic, some self-harming, and some suicidal.  They are missing out on education, a social life and expectations that they will go to college and then to university or employment. What do they have to live for?

 

Red Balloons are safe havens for such children – a fulltime education in a domestic house with fourteen other similarly minded children.  These children want to learn and want to progress.  They need their confidence boosted, to get back into learning in order that they can see themselves returning to school or going on to college.  Red Balloons offer one-to-one education, therapy and lots and lots of personal and social education.

 

And it works.  95% of these children who have been at a Red Balloon longer than six weeks return to mainstream life.  Many of our previous students go on to university.  Five have first class honours degrees.

 

Yes, this education costs more – but that is because these children need an intensive care unit.

 

Should a child be denied an education because they have red hair?

 

Help us get this group of children, of whom there are 16,000 in England, get on a proper recovery programme.

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One Comment
  1. Michael Reiss permalink

    Dear Carrie,

    Great to see this as well as the earlier post. But one blog a week is enough!

    M

    From: carrieherbert <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: carrieherbert <comment+pg1hdh1w6ontdhyrybxq8p@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Monday, 26 November 2012 12:56 To: Michael Reiss <m.reiss@ioe.ac.uk> Subject: [New post] What Red Balloon does NOT do!

    carrieherbert posted: “What does Red Balloon do? – perhaps it is easier to say what Red Balloon does not do. Firstly we do not take children OUT of school; in fact, we work to get kids back INTO school. All the children we deal with have suffered from severe bullying or an”

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