Roots & Shoots have recently formed a partnership with the charity Red Balloon. JGI are encouraging Roots & Shoots groups in Liverpool and across the UK to help raise money for the Red Balloon appeal as part of their human community projects.
The first Red Balloon Learner Centre was set up in a private home in Cambridge in 1996. The vision was to provide an ‘intensive care’ programme of full-time education in a safe learning environment for children unable to go to school because they had been severely bullied. There are now Centres offering a safe learning environment for students of secondary-age in Cambridge, Norwich and Northwest London at Harrow.
In March 2008, Esther Rantzen and Denise Fergus launched the Red Balloon Learner Centre James Bulger House Appeal in Liverpool. This is aimed at raising £1m to fund the first refuge of its kind in the North of England.
Two year old James was abducted from a shopping centre and murdered on a railway line in Liverpool, by two ten-year-old boys on 13th February 1993.
Said Esther: “Next Sunday would have been James’s eighteenth birthday. With the help of people in Liverpool and around the world who love and care for children, together we will create James Bulger House, to protect our children and save more lives. The house will be run by the Red Balloon charity, who gives hope to children who have been so badly bullied that their lives are at risk. In James’s memory, they will save and transform many more lives of Merseyside’s children in the years to come.”
Denise Fergus, the mother of James Bulger said “I was shocked to learn how many children commit suicide every year because of bullying. If James Bulger House can help save the life of just one child in that terrible situation then it will be a fitting tribute to my son.
We need to raise one million pounds to buy a house in Liverpool for Red Balloon. Any donation, no matter how small, will help raise the money we need. I am appealing to everyone for their support and I’m sure we can count on the public to be generous in making donations to this very worthy cause.”
Dr Carrie Herbert, Founder and Director of Red Balloon, is determined to make a Red Balloon Liverpool a reality before too long.
Carrie said: “To be able to set up a Red Balloon in Liverpool in memory of James Bulger is the most important development yet in our on-going work to help bullied children rebuild their lives. Over the last twelve years, I have witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of both physical and psychological bullying. I’m pleased to think that Red Balloon will be able to ensure that James’s tragedy is never forgotten and that young people in Liverpool who are subjected to all forms of bullying will have a precious and, in some cases life-saving, resource.’
Donations should be sent to:-
Red Balloon James Bulger House Appeal
PO Box 1305