We aim to:
- Challenge Stigma & myths surrounding mental health
- Promote self-care & exercise to improve Wellbeing
- Offer supportive, accessible and affordable services – where possible offering fully funded services free to members
- Raise awareness of mental health issues & work towards normalising them
- Reduce loneliness/isolation
- Provide a non-judgemental support service
- Offer Peer Support programmes
- Get the inactive active
- Inspire & motivate individuals and groups
- Support businesses with their Wellbeing offer
- Focus on prevention of mental health issues
- Work alongside other organisations on suicide prevention and reduction
We aim to help our members improve and manage their mental health, through physical activity and talking. Our team all have their own lived experiences, and are trained to be supportive, encouraging and motivating.
We are committed to working together with our members, the local community, organisations and health professionals, to offer an inclusive and safe space for people to learn to manage their physical and mental health, with a network of support behind them.
We are dedicated to helping build a happier and healthier environment, where mental health can be discussed as openly and as confidently as physical health. We aim to reduce stigma, raise awareness of the trickier subjects such as suicide, work towards suicide prevention and help bust any myths around mental health.
STARTING ON FRIDAY 25TH JUNE
We have our brand new Walk & Talk Group starting in Middlesbrough.
The group will take place at the beautiful Stewart Park at 11am every Friday morning and the meeting point will be in the car park.
Red Balloons are delighted to announce that we have been granted Charitable Status by the Charity Commission.
2021 is proving to be an exciting time for us and we’re very proud to have gone from an online blog in 2017 to a fully fledged Charity by the middle of 2021. This is testament to the hard work of our founder, Claire, who has worked tirelessly to support people struggling with their mental health. Claire was joined by Volunteers and Trustees in 2019 and, with their support, the organisation has gone from strength to strength. We’ve embraced the challenges of the Pandemic and ensured that we continued to offer services throughout the last year. We’re looking forward to continuing our journey, building our team, working alongside other organisations and above all, continuing to support people facing difficult times and ill mental health in the community.
We're over the moon to announce that Red Balloons has been successful in securing funding via the National Lottery Community Fund to set up and run our Community Wellbeing Ambassadors Project across Tees Valley. This funding will allow us to recruit, train and support Volunteers to become Ambassadors in their communities – organising and running Walk and Talk Sessions and Run and Rant Sessions and supporting people with their mental and physical health. We will ensure that Volunteers receive relevant training and have 100% support and that the project offers them valuable personal development opportunities. The project will also build capacity in the organisation allowing us to support many more people to improve their mental and physical health while giving them someone who will listen and do their best to support.
We'd like to send a massive thank you to the National Lottery Community Fund for believing in us, supporting us and giving us the opportunity to work towards realising our vision and mission. We'd also like to thank National Lottery players without whom this funding wouldn't be available.
For further information on Volunteering Opportunities, referrals, partnership working, support available – please contact Leigh via email – email@example.com
Do you have:-
Lived experience of ill mental health and/or a chronic physical health condition personally or as a Carer
The ability to listen in a non-judgemental way with empathy
A desire to support others
A passion for being active and understanding of how this can improve mental and physical wellbeing
A few hours free per week
100% support and encouragement
Walk/Run Leader Training
Other relevant Training when funds allow
Confidence building and leadership skills
Access to an amazing community of
Volunteers for support and friendship
If you'd like to know more please message us directly and we'll be in touch to organise an initial chat
* IMPORTANT COVID 19 UPDATE *
As we are now following the government roadmap out of lockdown, we have some answers to frequently asked questions below
WE ARE OPEN!
🎈 FAQ's 🎈
What services do you have available?
ONE TO ONE'S & Group Walks & Talks. These are available across all of the Tees Valley area.
MESSAGE SERVICE. 7am - 7pm every day.
What are the session guidelines?
ALL sessions MUST be pre booked. 2m distance required where possible. Masks are optional but encouraged on walks. All participants should carry their own hand sanitiser.
We are still facing restrictions, why are you still operating these sessions?
We are very concerned about the indirect effects of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, including isolation, loneliness and increased feelings of anxiety, depression and stress. The government have allowed us all to continue exercising but some may not have the support of other people to do this with them. We also know life could be very stressful with working from home, home schooling and very little escape. Our sessions could offer people a chance to have some vital time to themselves.
What happens if a session can't go ahead due to weather/ill health?
We keep a close eye on all weather updates and do daily risk assessments around safety. Should a session not be able to go ahead (snow/ice/heavy rain/illness) we aim to give 1 hours notice and expect the same in return where possible.
If a session can not go ahead, an option to change to a video or telephone call session will be offered.
How do I book?
To book a place, you can message us or send us an email.
For those who don't use social media or the internet, there is a telephone number that can be requested, to offer a text message option.
What exactly do these sessions offer?
All sessions, whether one to one or group, offer a safe, non judgemental place to gain support. They can also offer relief from isolation. They are fully confidential. All volunteers offer a "lived experience" support, sometimes referred to as "Peer Support". We are not trained counsellors or therapists, but we have an invested interest in your overall wellbeing, and helping you improve that, especially throughout the pandemic. There is no pressure to talk or to participate beyond a level you are comfortable with. We ask that you respect our volunteers and any other members that may be present.
Who can attend these sessions?
We can work with anyone aged 12 years and above, for both Walk & Talk's and Run & Rant's.
What "lived experience" do you have?
All our volunteers have some form of lived experience, from a variety of subjects, including but not limited to: anxiety, depression, bipolar, post natal depression, bereavement, eating disorders, abuse and suicide.
Do you have to have a mental health condition to use your services?
No. We are an inclusive community. All we ask is that you have an interest in your overall wellbeing.
What do your services cost?
ALL our services are FREE! We also aim to provide all sessions in areas that are easily accessible.
Should you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are all in this together. You are not alone!
🎈A daily message service from 7am - 7pm. If you need a friendly ear, somewhere safe to express any worry or concerns or simply for some friendly conversation, please message the Red Balloons page, and Claire or one of our team will be there. PLEASE remember, we are NOT trained counsellors or doctors. We are trained to listen and support on a peer to peer level. https://m.me/redballoons2017
🎈Our new traffic light system🚦will posted on our Facebook page periodically - simply comment ❤️ 🧡 💚 on any of our posts, or privately if you prefer. If you’re a ❤️ one of our team will be in touch.
🎈 A PRIVATE community chat group in order for you to chat safely and privately amongst yourselves. Maybe it is to share tips about how to manage your wellbeing during self isolation, what coping techniques find work for you, or simply to discuss the new series on Netflix. Click JOIN on our Wellbeing Support group ⬇️ and lets support each other
Find out more about our story, our mission and our future plan
Learning more about our awesome team
Interested in volunteering, find out more.
See what people have said about us.
Want to raise money for us or just make a donation?
Check out everything you need to know about our additional services during the Coronavirus situation
Start your fitness journey. An opportunity to talk to like minded people.
Improve your fitness and get those worries off your mind
Start your fitness journey. An opportunity to talk to like minded people.
Monthly parkrun meets
NEXT MEET - TBC as all parkrun events nationwide are currently suspended due to Coronavirus
Does Claire’s story resonate? Do you want to raise mental health awareness within your organisation? Do you want to help motivate and inspire your staff and community?
We offer a variety of workshops, designed to get people talking and to think about what they think they may know.
Sessions designed to encourage people to come together and talk, in a safe, non judgemental environment.
Have you an idea for a group you want to set up in your community? Are you unsure where to start? Would you like some information and advice?