What is the red balloon foundation?
RBF is a registered charity that works to create opportunities for everyone to discover and become who they were designed to be. We achieve this by creating and supporting projects alongside a wide variety of partners including churches, schools, local authorities and other voluntary sector organisations that mainly give children and young people to the opportunity to unlock passion, build aspiration and achieve potential.
We primarily work across Essex, Hertfordshire and Greater London but also work with regional and national partners on more wide ranging initiatives. We do not have one standard 'package' that we deliver, but rather we match up our skills with the needs of particular individuals, communities or localities and build bespoke projects in each area. In one place we might be mentoring, in another we might be running youth clubs, or toddler groups, emotional wellbeing workshops or even a pantomime... every person, every place is gloriously unique and so our delivery in each place is crafted from the ground up to meet those needs.
What Does it Mean to be a Christian Organisation?
It means that our beliefs are at the core of everything we do, but we aren’t out to hit anyone over the head with them! We wear our faith on our sleeve but have a heart to serve which means in practice we can regularly interact and partner with secular organisations like schools and councils as naturally as we do with churches.
Where an activity that we lead or partner in is directly faith-based and will have elements of Christian teaching and ideas communicated through it we will always clearly advertise that fact in advance. We have no interest whatsoever in ‘tricking’ people into being involved in Christian activities or shifting goal posts so things that seemed to not be faith-based suddenly start including a Bible study, but we will never pretend we do not believe that Jesus is the one who did the 'designing' we mention in our mission statement.
Our team consists of trustees, staff and volunteers who are Christians, those who are not and those who are still exploring exactly what they believe in - just like the projects we lead, everyone is welcome and we find strength in our diversity, allowing us to understand how we communicate connects with all different parts of our community.
statement of beliefs
We believe that God...
Designed every person to be in relationship with Himself by His Holy Spirit, which is released to us by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross;
Designed every person long before they were born, and that when people are helped to discover that original design they experience wholeness, freedom and fulfilment;
Designed every person to live in strong, vibrant and passionate communities, be that expressed as His church or in the wider world;
Has blessed the Red Balloon Foundation with a special role in helping to build up individuals and communities to fulfil the potential He has given them to reflect the Kingdom of Heaven;
Has blessed the world with His church which is the primary way that He means that His Kingdom should be established and that main function of a parachurch organisation such as ourselves must be to strengthen and support the church in that role;
Has blessed every individual with skills, talents and gifts which when discovered, practiced and developed equip them with what they need to fulfil His calling on their life, and it is our pleasure and privilege as an organisation to be part of that process.
We believe that we...
• Are first a family where every individual, be they staff, volunteer or member of the public accessing a service should feel
welcome, valued, equipped, accountable and empowered;
• Are second a team who are dedicated to calling out God’s original design in people, in churches and in the wider
community to see them achieve their potential;
• Are third an organisation who will work alongside and partner with other groups be they Christian or secular who share
common goals with ourselves.
We believe that we are called by God to work...
• To advance the Christian Faith;
• To advance education;
• To promote the voluntary sector through supporting other charitable and voluntary groups.
Therefore we believe in...
The one true God who lives eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
]The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
The dignity of all people, made male and female in God's image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers—given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit's gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.
WHY 'RED BALLOON'?
If we had a Frequently Asked Questions page on our site, top of the list every time would have to be ‘So why is it that you’re called ‘Red Balloon Foundation?’ We’ll be honest from the outset, if you aren’t a Christian, or you don’t believe that God communicates with His people directly, the answer to that is going to seem fairly odd, but bear with us because whether you share our beliefs or not, the effect that red balloons have had on us is profound and if not God, then this is a story of some truly incredible coincidences...
Luke Lowrie, one of the founders of RBF, was bought a magazine when he was around four years old, which came with a free poster. On that poster was an elephant holding a red balloon which his parents duly put up in his bedroom at his request. Years passed and while other posters and decorations came and went, this child’s poster of an elephant holding a red balloon endured.
When he finally got married, the poster even came with him to his new house as it had been part of his home for as long as he could remember. Seemingly completely separate from this (and Luke never made the link at the time), at two significant moments while he was working as the Children’s Pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Loughton, people shared prophetic words (that is, pictures/symbols they believed had been placed into their mind by God to communicate a message) with him that both incorporated red balloons. Then, in a very intense spiritual experience, Luke believes that God spoke to him through a dream that woke him and his young daughter up in the middle of night, with the Holy Spirit Himself present in the room and ‘highlighting’ the still displayed poster of a red balloon.
At the invocation of that dream, Luke laid down his role at St. Mary’s Church and began to seek God for a new calling. On the very last activity that Luke organised for the young people of the church - a trip to the Soul Survivor festival in Somerset - where he was seriously questioning his decision, he had the privilege to pray for a young person who then collapsed to the floor, so powerful was his experience of God’s presence. After a good ten minutes, Luke spoke to this young person whom he had never met before and asked him what was so powerful that it had caused him to fall over, and the young person replied, “I just saw this image of a red balloon and was completely overwhelmed.”
Luke and his wife Samantha took this as heavenly affirmation that it was right for them to leave St. Mary’s and then soon after for Samantha to also lay down her career as a primary school teacher. Since then, red balloons in visions and in physical form have cropped up in the strangest circumstances at apposite moments, steering and guiding them to launch the ministry of the Red Balloon Foundation - living out a calling and bringing to fulfilment a journey that started decades ago when a little boy put up a poster on his bedroom wall.
Luke and Sam feel like they are now doing, or at least beginning to do, what God created them for, and they are passionate about seeing others, be they Christians or not, also being released to be the people He always meant them to be as well...
What is the Red Balloon Family Ltd?
The Red Balloon Family Ltd is a registered company (number 08332184) that is wholly owned by the Red Balloon Foundation. It is currently dormant and exists as it holds the rights to some of the Foundation’s intellectual property. Any documents which appear to be from the Ltd company can be treated as if they are from the Foundation.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Like any organisation RBF has a series of policies and procedures which guide us on how to safely and effectively provide services to children, young people, families and the wider community. If you have any questions about the content of these policies or have feedback you would like us to consider in our annual review cycle, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also happy to help other organisations with the drafting of their own policies, often for free or a minimal fee. If you would like to use an RBF policy as a template please let us know. Where our copyrighted materials are used without permission we do make reports to appropriate enforcement agencies.