Message of peace from Harlesden students turns up in Essex

Family in Brentwood find a white balloon in their front garden

When a school in bustling Harlesden decided to release a message of peace they could not have dreamed it would brighten up the day of a family living 30 miles away.

Year 7 pupils at Newman Catholic College honoured World Peace Day by letting off 50 white balloons into the sky, each with a personalised hand written message. One found its way to the Halbert family, in Brentwood, Essex.

Speaking to the Times, Rachel Halbert, said her three-year-old twin daughters Jasmine and Bryony spotted the balloon, a little worse for wear, in her garden and she was amazed when she discovered the journey it had been on.

She said: “It appeared in our front garden, I was busy so I left it there but my daughters kept asking me to go and get it.

“When I did I realised there was a tag with the school’s name and ‘World Peace Day, please write back’ written on it.

“I contacted the school straight away because we were so touched by it.”

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Richard Kolka, headteacher at the school in Harlesden Road, said he was “absolutely delighted” to receive a reply.

He said: “We felt it would be an appropriate way of marking the day to send off 50 white balloons.

“It was amazing to hear that one had made it all the way to Brentwood and arrived on the same afternoon. It’s an amazing thought to imagine it floating across the city, the M25 and all those fields.

“The message of peace is clearly a powerful one!”

In their response to the school the family wrote an email saying: “We were delighted to find the balloon on International Peace Day.

“We wanted to say we also believe in world peace and think that focusing on this at a young age (at school) has to be good for future generations.”

International Peace Day, held this year on September 21, is a global honouring of peace.