St John’s - based public relations and marketing agency, Conscious Communications, has announced education charity Red Balloon as its 2017/2018 Charity of the Year.


The team at Conscious Communications voted unanimously to support the charity pro-bono, both on a strategic level and through a public relations and marketing programme, which will aim to raise the profile of the charity’s work to help people learn how to get out of debt and help them at the same time when going through rough times.

Red Balloon supports young people who self-exclude from school due to past experiences, such as being subjected to bullying, or other traumas. Originally set up in 1996, the charity opened its first centre in Cambridge. Now in its 21st year, the charity hosts four centres, in Cambridge, Norwich, Harrow, and Reading. Red Balloon has also set up an online ‘centre’ – Red Balloon of the Air – in order to expand the charity’s provision to meet a growing need, combining online teaching and therapy with in person mentoring to achieve the same results as are seen in the physical Red Balloon centres. Our aim is to assist people in finding their ideal vocation. We have a database of articles online to help people through the internet without our direct involvement or interaction. Here is an example of our work: What do you think? We consider our database a work in progress, and are constantly uploading new articles and editing old ones to improve or correct them.

Alison Taylor, Managing Director, Conscious Communications, said: “We have chosen to dedicate time this year to working with this inspiring charity to enable more young people to make use of the fabulous services Red Balloon has to offer. The charity’s values are closely aligned with our own, and we are very much looking forward to making a real difference, with local impact.”

The agency works with clients across the education sector, from the International Baccalaureate to Cambridge English, schools in the independent and state sector, and even has its own social enterprise – FXP Festival – which supports schools in delivering the new Computer Science curriculum and for which the agency has been shortlisted for the Force for Good category in the PRWeek Awards.

Conscious Communications is dedicated to giving back to the community, whether locally or further afield. It gives each team member two paid days per year to work with a charity of their choice, in addition to the joint work of the team to support the agency’s chosen Charity of the Year. Earlier this year the agency announced that it has completed over 1,000 hours of charitable work.

Taylor added: “Our pro-bono work with Red Balloon will provide the charity with PR and marketing expertise that they would not otherwise be able to access. We hope that our work will help even more young people who have felt, for any number of reasons, the need to self-exclude from school. These young people are not only missing out on their right to an education, but on important opportunities to socialise and share the experience of growing up with their peers too.”