Red Balloons are a voluntary organisation based in Stockton that cover the Tees Valley.
They run group and 1-1 activities supporting people to use physical activity to improve their mental and physical wellbeing while giving them someone to talk to.
All Volunteers have lived experience of ill mental health and difficult times. They have, along with other organisations, adapted their services due to Covid 19 and Government restrictions.
Leigh Trimble, Chair of Trustees, said – ‘We realised when the first Lockdown was announced that our services were going to be needed more than ever. We were determined to continue offering our services in whatever way we could to support people and give them someone to talk to. Initially we offered online 1-1 sessions and phone calls to support people and, as soon as we were able to, we started offering face to face sessions again. Our 1-1 sessions have continued throughout Lockdowns 2 and 3 with Walk and Talk Sessions being the most popular.
We started counting attendees at sessions towards the end of February 2020 and on 16th February this year we reached the milestone of 750 attendees at our sessions in the last 12 months. This just shows what a small group of passionate, committed Volunteers can achieve. We’re looking forward to continuing to offer our services and are hoping to be able to access some funding support which will enable us to recruit and train more Volunteers and expand our services.’