Where we work in Europe


  • Launched 2011
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 12
  • Children this year - 241
  • Total children since launch - 2,307

Zippy’s Friends running in French-speaking Belgium. It is being run by Educa Santé, an agency funded by the Ministry of Health, which implements government policy for francophone Belgium. Educa Santé provides advice and training on the promotion of health and safety, and the prevention of violence and trauma in homes and schools.

Our partner in Belgium - Educa Santé
Coordinator: Martine Bantuelle
Email: martine.bantuelle@gmail.com
Phone: +32 (0) 71 301448


  • Launched 2014
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 6
  • Children this year - 50
  • Total children since launch - 1,423

Animus Association is a large, well-established Bulgarian NGO, providing rehabilitation, counselling and psychotherapy services to adults, young people and children.  It also works in the community, lobbying and working with a network of partners, and runs a training centre for professionals and students. Animus runs a helpline and a crisis unit for survivors of violence, and the National Helpline for Children.

After 20 years of working in treatment and rehabilitation, Animus is adding mental health promotion to its services, and the launch of Zippy’s Friends and Apple's Friends marks the first step in this initiative.

The current programme its part of the Fear-Free School project, funded by the Oak Foundation. 

Our partner in Bulgaria - Animus Association
Coordinator: Kristina Nenova
Email: animus@animusassociation.org


Czech Republic

  • Launched 2015 
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 14
  • Children this year - 817
  • Total children since launch - 3,188

E-Clinic is an NGO based at Charles University Hospital in Prague, with 20 years of experience. It provides support for young children and adolescents to promote good emotional wellbeing and to prevent and treat eating disorders and other conditions. E-Clinic manage a number of programmes in the Czech Republic, making use of technology and peer forums, as well as working with teachers and psychologists. Zippy's Friends and Apple's Friends in the Czech Republic have been supported by EU Structural Funds.

Our partner in the Czech Republic - E-Clinic 
Coordinator: Markéta Čermáková



  • Launched 2001
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 21
  • Children this year - 3,828
  • Total children since launch - 5,249

Denmark was the first country to pilot Zippy’s Friends, and was originally run by Odense Socialpaedagogiske Seminarium.
The Danish programme is now managed by StyrkeAkademiet (Strengths Academy) which provides a range of Positive Education training and resources to schools. The skills that children learn from Zippy’s Friends fit well with the agenda for 21st Century Learning, now being adopted by many Danish schools.

Our partner in Denmark - StyrkeAkademiet
Coordinator: Louise Tidmand


  • Launched 2015
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 15
  • Children this year - 320
  • Total children since launch - 971

After an initial pilot of Les amis de Zippy in Paris, from 2008 to 2011, which proved unsustainable, the programme has been re-launched in the Charente Maritime region by the Fédération Départementale des Foyers Ruraux de Charente Maritime. Les amis de Zippy has been run in two different settings: in classes in the regular school day, and in the after-school period (Temps d’Acceuil Péri-Educatif, or TAPE). A survey by the Regional Health Observatory found that the area is at risk of significant academic failure, due to increasingly fragile links in the economy, family and the wider culture, and the introduction of Les amis de Zippy is part of the Federation’s efforts to support rural communities, and the wellbeing of children in particular.

Partner (in the Charente Maritime area only): Fédération Départementale des Foyers Ruraux de Charente Maritime
Coordinator: Bruno Marolleau


  • Launched 2005
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 72
  • Children this year - 1,938
  • Total children since launch - 20,593

The Public Health Institute of Iceland launched Vinir Zippys as part of its Mental Health Promotion Project. From 2000, the Institute made mental health promotion a priority under the slogan ‘There is no health without mental health’, and introduced a number of different projects to promote Icelanders’ mental health across the lifespan and in different settings. The programme is now managed by the Icelandic Directorate of Health.

After a small start in the capital, Reykjavik, Zippy’s Friends has spread widely across the country and is well established in schools and kindergartens.

Our partner in Iceland - Icelandic Directorate of Health
Coordinator: Sigrun Danielsdottir
Email: sigrun@lanlaeknir.is
Phone: +354 510 1958



  • Launched 2007
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 208
  • Children this year - 6,840
  • Total children since launch - 50,344

The Health Service Executive (HSE) runs Zippy's Friends in schools in the Republic of Ireland. The HSE is responsible for running the country's health and personal social services, and Zippy's Friends was introduced as part of its programme for mental health promotion.

The pilot programme ran in three areas in the north west of the country: Donegal, Sligo/Leitrim and Galway. An extensive evaluation of the programme, involving both experimental and control groups, took place under the direction of Dr Margaret Barry at NUI Galway, and the results (published in 2010) were extremely positive. Many more teachers and almost 30 health promotion officers have now been trained to roll out the programme across the country.

Our partner in Ireland - HSE
Coordinator: Meabh McGuinness
Email: Meabh.mcguinness@hse.ie



  • Launched 2000
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 770
  • Children this year - 18,396
  • Total children since launch - 212,935

Zipio Draugai has been running in Lithuania since 2000, and has grown from a small pilot study in the capital, Vilnius, to become a national programme, with classes running in kindergartens in all ten counties.

It was introduced through the collaboration of two agencies – the Education Development Centre, attached to the Ministry of Education and Science, and Lithuania’s first NGO, the Youth Psychological Aid Centre. Thereafter, a new non-profit agency was set up to run the programme, Vaiko Labui (‘for the best interests of the child’).

In 2010, Vaiko Labui celebrated 10 years of Zippy's Friends in Lithuania, holding an international conference in Vilnius and a wide variety of events in schools across the country. This was followed by the celebration of the enrolment of 100,000 children in the programme.

Vaiko Labui has now introduced Apple’s Friends into Lithuanian schools, and is also implementing the Special Needs version of Zippy’s Friends.

Lithuania’s second largest chain of supermarkets, IKI, is a generous sponsor of the programme.

Our partner in Lithuania - Vaiko Labui
Coordinator: Aurelija Okunauskiené
Email: aurelija.ok@vaikolabui.lt
Telephone: + 370 (5) 21 21 407



  • Launched 2004
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 500
  • Children this year - 45,000
  • Total children since launch - 280,594

One of Norway’s leading children’s charities, Voksne for Barn (‘Adults for Children’), manages Zippys Venner in Norway.

The programme is being funded by the Department of Health, and is unusual in that school nurses are involved as well as teachers. The programme started with a small number of schools in just two areas, but has spread significantly across the country. The National Directorate for Education and Training recommends the programme, and it has been included in the National Action Plan on Mental Health in Schools.

An evaluation study of Zippy's Friends conducted in Norway, the largest and most rigorous so far, produced very positive results.

Voksne for Barn provides a variety of services to promote the wellbeing of children and adolescents. 

Our partner in Norway - Voksne for Barn
Coordinator: Hilde Elvevold Randgaard (National coordinator)
Email: Hilde.Randgaard@vfb.no
Telephone:+47 23103852/97031588



  • Launched 2004
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 732
  • Children this year - 25,418
  • Total children since launch - 226,243

Zippy’s Friends in Poland (Przyjaciele Zippiego) has grown very rapidly, and is one of the largest in Europe. Zippy’s Friends in Poland is run by the ex-Director of Centrum Metodyczne Psychologiczno-Pedagogicznej (CMPPP), Ela Nerwinska. Ela set up a non-public in-service teacher training centre, Centrum Pozytywnej Edukacji (Centre of Positive Education, or COPE) to implement the programme in Poland.

Zippy’s Friends started in schools and kindergartens in Warsaw, and since then has spread throughout the country through the nationwide network of training centres, reaching many thousands of children.

Our partner in Poland - COPE
Coordinator: Elżbieta Nerwińska
Email: info@pozytywnaedukacja.pl



  • Launched 2016
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 28
  • Children this year - 398
  • Total children since launch - 1,095

Escutar, a well-established agency for mental health promotion and suicide prevention based in Porto, introduced Zippy’s Friends under the name of Amigos do Ziki in 2016. After many years of planning, and delays due to Portugal’s severe economic recession, the programme started in a number of different areas across the country. In addition, two separate evaluation studies will test the effects Amigos do Ziki on the children.

Our partner in Portugal: Escutar 
Coordinator: Ana Alvares
Phone: +351 966 035 207 
Website: www.amigosdoziki.pt



  • Launched 2011
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 42
  • Children this year - 1,285
  • Total children since launch - 16,254

Zippy’s Friends is being run in north-western Russia by a small but effective agency, NGO Sodeistvie, which manages a variety of programmes promoting the health of children and young people in the area. The first teacher training course was held in November 2011 in Karelia. The programme has since expanded to schools in Saint Petersburg, Murmansk and surrounding regions.

Apple's Friends was being introduced in Russia in 2018-2019, thanks to funding from the Norwegian Health Department.

In 2020-2021, Zippy’s Friends for Pupils for Special Educational Needs is being introduced in Russia, thanks to a Presidential Grant.

NGO Sodeistvie is our only legally licensed partner in the Russian Federation, and all enquiries on the programme in Russia should be directed to NGO Sodeistvie.

Our partner in Russia - NGO Sodeistivie
Coordinator: Ilona Kosheleva
Email: zippy.russia@gmail.com
Telephone: +7 8142 77 48 21



  • Launched 2013
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 200
  • Children this year - 3,600
  • Total children since launch - 12,327

Zippy’s Friends was launched in Slovakia by the League for Mental Health Slovakia, and started in the capital, Bratislava, and the nearby town of Trnava.  It has now been taken over by a new NGO, OZ Zippy which was established in May 2018. Its main purpose is to run programmes Zippy's Friends and Apple's Friends in the Slovak Republic. The work is coordinated by Sasha Brazinova, with project management dealt with by Katarina Zjavkova. Both programmes are getting increased interest in the country. Successful implementation is possible thanks to a group of enthusiastic trainers that act also as programme supervisors and evaluators. 

Our partner in Slovakia - OZ Zippy
Coordinator: Sasha Brazinova
Email: alexandra.brazinova@gmail.com

The Netherlands

  • Launched 2008
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 53
  • Children this year - 2,663
  • Total children since launch - 20,730

Zippy’s Friends started in The Netherlands in January 2009, with a small pilot involving twelve schools in Rotterdam and The Hague. The foundation Kids and Emotional Competencies (KEC) was set up to manage the programme there, with the cooperation of GGD Rotterdam-Rijnmond, the municipal health service.

The programme is now growing gradually and expanding to new areas and has now been evaluated by the respected Trimbos Institute.

Our partner in The Netherlands - KEC
Monica Kievid


United Kingdom

  • Launched 2003
  • Schools and kindergartens this year - 175
  • Children this year - 11,304
  • Total children since launch - 74,369

Partnership for Children run the Zippy’s Friends, Apple’s Friends and Passport programmes in the UK with support from our Licensed Trainers and local councils.

Many special schools in the UK are also running an adapted version of the programme for pupils with special needs.

To find out more about the UK programme, please call Partnership for Children on 020 8974 6004 or email us info@partnershipforchildren.org.uk.

To book training for teachers in the UK, visit our training page.