In August 2010 Red Balloon Learner Centre Group commissioned the first national survey to ascertain the number of young secondary school children aged between 11 and 15 absent from school because they had been subjected to severe bullying. The research was undertaken by NatCen, Britain’s largest independent social research organization, and was funded jointly by Red Balloon Learner Centre Group, the Foyle Foundation and the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA). Its findings are dramatic.
Red Balloon, whose Patrons are Esther Rantzen CBE, founder of Childline, Doug Richard, a former ‘dragon’ from BBC Dragons’ Den and Professor Peter Smith, author, academic and expert on bullying, currently has four Centres operating in the UK as well as a virtual “Red Balloon of the Air”. Red Balloon works with Local Authorities, schools, parents and teachers to help severely bullied children, half of whom have considered or attempted suicide, to recover from the effects of their experiences.