Well, here it is! We couldn't wait any longer! Our amazing news!!
A HUGE Thank You to Mark Plumb , and House Masters for supporting us, and the fantastic Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, and helping raise funds, but most importantly, mental health awareness!!
Get your dancing shoes on, and help us celebrate Red Balloons 3rd Birthday in style!!!
Click on the link below to put it in your diary!
WE HAVE A NEW CHALLENGE
Wondering what to do now #RedJanuary is coming to an end? Wanting to find something to motivate you through February?
Not wanting something too strenuous or time consuming? Well, we have the answer!
Join Red Balloons "Fitness February" Walk Challenge!
The concept is simple. Set yourself a goal for the month of February. Whether it be 5 miles or 500 miles. Get your walking shoes on, and GO!
ALL participants who sign up will get a certificate of participation to display proudly! If you hit your distance goal, you get an extra special distance personalised certificate!
Walking is an overlooked and under utilised form of exercise, that can be done as part of your every day life!
Watch out of the sign up link being added below very soon...
Following on from the Government's new Tier 4 announcement, we have some answers to frequently asked questions below. We are very relieved to say however, that WE ARE OPEN!
🎈 FAQ's 🎈
What services do you have available?
GROUP Run & Rant. Mondays, 6pm. Tees Barrage. GROUP Walk & Talk. Wednesdays, 1030am. Tees Barrage ONE TO ONE'S Walks and Runs. 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. Groups can operate for up to 15 people. 2m distance required where possible. Masks are optional but encouraged on walks. All participants should carry their own hand sanitiser.
Why can you still operate when my run club/gym/exercise group can't?
We are a voluntary, charitable organisation that offers support to those in need. We work predominately with those who suffer long term physical and/or mental health conditions. Our services offer a vital form of support that helps improve and maintain overall wellbeing. As all our sessions are already held outside, we have not had to cancel or close but adapt what we offer.
It is winter. 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 call session will be offered.
How do I book?
To book a place, you can message us or send us an email. For group sessions you can also click "GOING" on our Facebook event. 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. Our new group sessions are for ages 18 and over. Should there be a demand, we could look at introducing a Youth Group, but this is not operating yet.
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! #COVID19 #Update #Tier4 #WeAreOpen #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #YesYouCan #BeInspired #BeYourGreatest
As a small, unfunded organisation, we rely heavily on the amazing generousity of our community to grow and develop.
With this in mind, we want to ask our members, and the wider public, a small favour. Ditch the Christmas cards, and donate the small cost to Red Balloons!
Cheeky arent we?
All donations will go towards to the recruitment and training for our volunteers, to be able to expand our services and reach more people who could benefit from what we offer!
If you would like to donate, please pop us a message for the link 🎈
#ChristmasCardAppeal #Donate #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #YesYouCan #BeInspired
After last nights announcement, I am sure many of us are feeling many emotions. I know personally, I am in a state of worry and confusion.
Myself, and my team, are working behind the scenes to formulate a temporary action plan, going forward from Thursday 5th November, following guidance of a second national Lockdown.
As soon as we have more information I will be the first to let you know, but one thing I can absolutely promise, WE ARE HERE TO HELP. In as many ways as we possibly can.
Our traffic light system is back. Comment or message us your colour, and if needed, we will be in touch.(or you can message us directly - https://m.me/redballoons2017)
Take care of yourself, and each other, but never forget, we are in this together. Together we are stronger!
#coronavirus #lockdown #WeAreOpen #TrafficLight #HowAreYou #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #YesYouCan #BeYourBestSelf
You can find out more information about what we're doing on our Wellbeing Hub page
We thought it would be appropriate to share what actions we take to ensure our sessions are all ran safely during the Corona Virus pandemic.
We are dedicated to continuing our work as we believe it is necessary and needed more than ever. We want all our members to feel safe and protected, while getting whatever support is needed.
As all our sessions are held outside or online, currently masks are NOT compulsory. However, if you would feel safer wearing one, please feel free.
We follow all government guidelines, and these are checked regularly. Any updates are shared to our team, and then to our members. You are what is important and why we do what we do.
We understand everyone has their own personal thoughts and opinions on the pandemic. However, we expect respect and courtesy for each other, and the rules that are in place.
If you have any thoughts or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We have One to One slots still available, but these are limited. Don't miss out!
#coronavirus #covid19UK #OurPromise #KeepingEveryoneSafe #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #YesYouCan #BeInspired
20 hours!!!! 20 miles!!!! On the hour, every hour!!! On Saturday 10th October, beginning at 4am, the amazing Lisa will be running 1 mile every hour for 20 hours.
"This is my opportunity to appreciate the positives from this year like my increased fitness and an appreciation for our local mental health services who are always there when we have struggled at some point over the last few months! I'm doing this in aid of such a charity that has massively helped me with getting my head into running and using fitness as a tool to aid mental health. They offer multiple services all tailored to your needs and can be reached in person and online at various locations around Teesside and way beyond.
Please, PLEASE show us your love and support and donate what you can."
Following on from Michael's truly amazing achievement in August, this month sees our own team member, Phil, tackle the the Great North Run Reimagined on Sunday 13th September.
“On Sunday 13th September, I should have been running my third Great North Run but, like every other major race this year, the current pandemic has put pay to that plan. This was particularly a blow as I’d intended to run this year’s race in aid of Red Balloons.
Many of you who know me, know by now, about my involvement with Red Balloons and what that involvement means to me personally. When, in December 2019, I joined Claire and her amazing team of volunteers, it very quickly became a big part of my life, it’s an organisation I’m immensely proud to play a part in and a cause I’m incredibly passionate about.
So, when Great Run introduced the concept of a Virtual Great North Run - the idea of running a half marathon anywhere in the world, but all setting off at the same time on the morning of Sunday 13th September, it felt only right that I took the opportunity to do just that and raise money for Red Balloons as originally planned.
Now here comes the hard part (well for me anyway), had I been running the actual Great North Run, and had it been on the back of a summer of other races, I’d be in a very different place, running wise, than I am currently…or to put that another way, I would have done a damn sight more training.
So, on Sunday 13th September, it won’t be pretty, it won’t be fast and it will probably be painful but I will drag myself round the 13.1 miles regardless because it will be in aid of a cause that is close to my heart and hope that you can support me and Red Balloons in some small way. Thank you Phil”
We want to introduce you all to this fabulous gentleman - Michael. He has chose to set his own fundraising challenge, 4 4 48, to raise £500 for us! Check out his story below:
"December 2017 I found a group called Red January, after suffering a horrible breakdown, alongside many years of suffering with both depression and anxiety. Through this group on Facebook I met some fabulous people who over the following months gave support and were also available any time for a chat, message or just to listen.One of those was Claire; mad, nutty but incredible, with some fabulous ideas. One was to start this amazing charity, Red Balloons.For me it might be something which is a million miles away but seems like it is just around the corner, they are always open for a chat, message and anything else. They have helped more so when I was at my lowest then anywhere around me. The regular virtual "Run & Rants" and "Walk & Talks" are fabulous and at some stage I will definitely be joining in, in person, not just virtually.With all the hard work Claire and the amazing Red Balloons team put in, I just have to somehow give something back, so the plan is to run 4 miles every 4 hours in 48 hours, an approximate total of 48 miles, starting at 18:00 on Friday 28/08/2020 until 14:00 on the 30/08/2020. I would like to raise £500 for this fabulous cause. A million thanks to Claire and all you wonderful people that do so much.
Much love and hugs Michael"
Good Luck Michael, and Thank You
For anyone who would like to donate, please see the link below.
Claire chats with Aron from Healthy Fit Academy
A few weeks back, Claire was interviewed by the lovely Alex, for her YouTube channel - Positivi-Tea!
The link is now live if you would like to pop over with a brew, and see what they had to say about staying positive during lockdown!
See our very own Claire talking to ITV news about the weekly #ClapForCarers
We think it is a great way to boost your mood, improve social interaction SAFELY within our community and increases our sense of being part of something. Something important and supportive.
Catch takeheartxo Louise's chat with Claire last week. What an absolutely lovely lady who made it so easy to talk! Massive thank you for helping spread the word!#JoinTheConversation #CuppaAndChat #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #YesYouCan #BeInspired
We have successfully been chosen as KP Snack's Charity of the Year!
We are incredibly proud to finally share our amazing news! Thank you to all our members for being so patient. We know we love to tease! This is a fantastic opportunity for Red Balloons, and going forward we can see big things on the horizon! More services, more partnerships but most importantly, the ability to help and support more people. A massive Thank You to all at KP Snacks for choosing us. We can see this being a year to remember! #CharityOfTheYear #KPSnacks #Partnership #WorkingTogether #community #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #YesYouCan #BeInspired
This Saturday morning sees our second Run & Rant parkrun meet and this will take place at Stewart Park, Middlesborough. To find out everything you need to know on the day, click the button below to take a look at the Stewart parkrun home page.parkrun is a weekly 5km timed run and is open to everyone, free, and safe and easy to take part in.The events take place in pleasant surroundings and encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; we welcome you all.If you've never done a parkrun before, don't forget to register to get your free barcode - https://www.parkrun.org.uk/register/#RedBalloons2020 #RunAndRant #physical#mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #BeInspired #YesYouCan #parkrun
STARTING THURSDAY 27TH FEBRUARY - 5:45PM - OUTDOOR GYM, KIORA HALL GROUNDSWe are really looking forward to working alongside Big Local Roseworth and helping get the lovely residents of Roseworth happier and healthier!Community spirit is huge and we are proud to be a part of it 🎈#CommunitySpirit #BigLocalRoseworth #partnership #WalkNTalk #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #YesYouCan #BeInspiredSTARTING SATURDAY 29TH FEBRUARY - 10:30AM - OUTDOOR GYM, KIORA HALL GROUNDSOur Brand New Roseworth Run & Rant launches!Ideal for beginners and returners to fitness, we don't focus on speed or distance. We just want you to take part, have fun and enjoy the encouragement and support!#RoseworthBigLocal #RunNRant #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #YesYouCan #BeInspired #ShoutOutSaturday getting a sweet deal.
🎈 RED BALLOONS IS 2 YEARS OLD 🎈
On 20th February two years ago Claire hosted the very first Red Balloons Peer Support group, at St Bede's Catholic Academy, Stockton.
She wanted to provide a safe place, where people could talk as well as gain information and encouragement on improving and maintaining their physical AND mental health.
Fast forward to present day, and we are now a recognised organisation that offers support to our members through a variety of different services, with a team of amazing volunteers and big plans for the future.
We want to say the biggest THANK YOU to everyone who has helped us get this far. It means everything.
If you would like to gift us, a cheeky review would mean the world! ❤🎈 #shybairnsgetnowt
🎈🎈🎈 MEDAL UPDATE 🎈🎈🎈
Apologies for the delay in getting the #NewYearVirtualRun medals posted out to you! We are currently awaiting collection at our end, and will get them posted out to you ASAP.
Once these have been posted, we will publish our "Wall of Motivation".
We appreciate your taking part, but also in your patience and understanding ❤
Can't wait to see your Medal Selfies!!
Roseworth Big Local Development Worker Claire, Roseworth Big Local Chair Karen and Claire from Red Balloons had a really productive meeting this morning planning out the new Roseworth Running group and Walking group.
Running group will start Saturday 29th February, 10:30am - 11:30am
Walk and talk group will start Thursday 27th February 5:45pm - 6:45pm
More information will be coming soon - thanks to all residents who sent us messages with suggestions about days/times - it was really helpful!
#residentled #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #YesYouCan #BeInspired
Listen back to Claire’s Red Balloons Radio Shows on Radio Stockton here
This years theme was BE KIND!
If you missed any of our Mental Health Awareness Week coverage including our quotes and songs of the day, our live sessions or Claire's appearance on ITV Tyne Tees then you can catch up here.
Let us all #SpreadKindnessLikeConfetti ❤
Did you find our for hearts of encouragement around Teesside, and further afield. A little symbol of hope, a sign to those that might need it, that you are never alone. Someone is always listening.
If you spot a heart, share your pics with us, and put it in a new location! Let’s see how far we can get these hearts to spread! Check out our gallery here!
For your own hearts to drop, check out Take Heart on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or check out them out here!
January is over, so time to take on February!
How do you like the sound of a challenge that will get you active, increase your fitness and support Red Balloons at the same time?
#FitnessFebruary challenges you to do some activity every day of the month. Anything at all - walking, running, dancing, gym, swimming, hiking etc, do 10 minutes a day or 3 hours a day - it's up to you.
If you can, for each activity put £1 away to support Red Balloons' work and help us to expand our services. We will support you every step of the way and you'll have access to a private FB group for you to log your progress and support each other.
Go on, you can do it. #YesYouCan!
#challenge #community #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #BeInspired
To provide evidence to Red Balloons, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) OR direct message us with link to your activity and/or with photo proof, by 14th January 2020 to ensure you receive your medal. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Emails will be popping into your inboxes too, so make sure you favourite our address! #NewYear #VirtualRun #RedBalloons2020 #WallofMotivation #physical #mental #wellbeing #MentalHealthMatters #BeInspired #YesYouCan