Red Noses Day thanks Flanders for six fantastic years

28/09/2022

For six years, Red Noses Day has managed to inspire and touch the heads and hearts of people in Flanders. At its inception, the ambition of Red Noses Day was to remove the taboo on mental problems among young people and ensure they could be discussed at every table in the country, both the kitchen table and the negotiating table of politicians. Over the years, the focus has expanded to empowering all young people.

Together with campaigners all over Flanders, Red Noses Day campaigned for more and better care solutions for young people who are struggling mentally. It put a face to young people with small and big problems. Flanders responded with compassion, and year after year campaigns were launched toraise money and build support.

After six years, the story has not ended, but is evolving into a broader concept. Promoters VTM, HLN, Qmusic and Belfius have chosen a new direction.

Kris Vervaet, CEO DPG Media Belgium: ‘Together with all my colleagues, I am immensely proud of Red Noses Day’s track record. We were able to bring attention to a very delicate subject in a very accessible way. A lot of young people are struggling with mental problems and thanks in part to Red Noses Day, many of them now have the confidence to talk about them. I hope Red Noses Day has opened the door to them seeking help and starting conversations. Of course, we would not have been able to do this alone. My sincere thanks therefore to everyone who has supported Red Noses Day over the past few years: the campaigners, the many Red Noses Day schools, the politicians who supported us and finally our loyal partner Belfius.’ 

Olivier Onclin, member of Belfius' executive committee: ‘Belfius, as a socially aware bank and insurance company, invests in long-term projects that are meaningful and inspiring for Belgian society. Young people shape our future, which is why we felt it was extremely important to help roll out Red Noses Day from day one. In recent years, we have been working to empower young people and give them the tools to do so. For this, we could count on numerous experts, schools, teachers and campaigners, to whom we are extremely grateful. We look back on the past few years with great pride and we look to the future with great ambition.’

A brand new concept

VTM, HLN, Qmusic and Belfius are currently finalising a brand new, innovative and contemporary youth concept. The end of Red Noses Day will mark the beginning of a new commitment that the promoters are taking on for the current young generation. They will continue to have young people’s backs more than ever, and want to tailor their support to their needs even more. We will tell you more about that very soon!

So can you give us a hint? Kris Vervaet and Olivier Onclin: We intend to return to the essence of who young people are and the crucial role they play in our society. We are great believers in the strength of this generation and want to put them in the spotlight. More than ever, we want to give young people a voice and discover along with the people of Flanders what they are capable of. Our message to everyone who also believes in what young people have to offer us is: keep an eye on our communication channels and clear your calendar for the spring of 2023!’

Red Noses Academy to become Sidekick Sam Academy

The finale of the latest edition of Red Noses Day is the creation of a genuine Red Noses Academy, which will be officially launched in October. This platform has been specially developed for teachers who want to make an extra effort in their schools to lend their ear to young people. Teachers who register for this, also known as Sidekick Sams, get access to everything the Academy has to offer: hands-on materials that Sidekick Sams can use to get started, as well as inspiring testimonials, webinars and a forum where teachers can engage with each other. 

Needless to say, this Academy will continue to play an important role in the new story. Only the name of the Academy will change to Sidekick Sam Academy.

Red Noses Day lives on in numerous initiatives

After 6 years of Red Noses Day, it is time for a new story, but many initiatives, supported by the Red Noses Fund at the King Baudouin Foundation, are still making a difference today.  Just think of the 30 OverKop homes established in recent years with Red Noses Day funds that are now under the wings of the Agentschap Opgroeien. And of the various scientific funds that received support thanks to Red Noses Day, the many projects that could be developed in schools and, of course, the establishment of the Red Noses Day Academy, which from now on will continue under the name Sidekick Sam Academy. 

Thank you, Flanders!

Today, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this wonderful project over the past few years. And of course we cannot say goodbye to Red Noses Day without reflecting on the many wonderful memories and the great things we have achieved together with everyone in Flanders over the past six years:

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