Red Balloon Learner Centres

Education support charity, Red Balloon, was seeking structural engineering advice to support the redevelopment works of their outside space at their Cambridge hub. Structural and Civil Engineering company, Davies Maguire, we able to offer these much-needed services.


Cambridge, UK

Red Balloon is a 27-year-old charity that helps to  recover severely bullied, traumatised or highly anxious children who are excluding themselves from school and therefore missing important education.

Their aim is to restore confidence and give young people a good academic education, support with therapy and social events and return them to mainstream education.

This is achieved via eight education hubs throughout East Anglia, north London, Berkshire and West Sussex.

Key to Red Balloon’s success is their innovative full-time programme of education, therapy and social activities for students and it is important that their centres are well-equipped to deliver this vital work.

The charity wanted to make better use of the outside space at their hub in Cambridge and requested some Structural Engineering advice regarding the decommissioning and filling in of an unused in-ground swimming pool. The charity planned to fill it in with rubble from a wall that was due to be demolished before realising that they would need advice on how to do this safely and in a manner that left the area structurally sound.

Due to the high costs involved they turned to the LandAid Pro Bono Programme which was able to match them with Des Mairs of Davies Maguire. They generously stepped in at short-notice to provide the charity with the advice they needed.

Thank you so much Des - the structural advice and information you gave us was invaluable and we have made great progress with landscaping the garden ready for learners to use, including decommissioning the old unused swimming pool. LandAid's help was really welcomed when a project needed some professional pro bono advice to get underway and this advice enabled a construction project to progress which was stalled due to lack of funding.”
David Golding, Head of Safeguarding at Red Balloon