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Charity (no. 1158666)

Balloons (Devon)

"We support pre & post bereaved children, young people and their families in Exeter, Mid & East Devon"

Who We Help, Why We Help & the Difference It Makes

Balloons is a charity that provides support for children, young people and their families before an expected death, or following the death, of someone significant in their lives. We work across Exeter, Mid and East Devon, providing a dedicated phone line, one-to-one support with children and young people in a safe environment, activity days for children and family events.

Grief doesn’t follow a set pattern. Children, in particular, dip in and out of grief. We provide support when, where and how children, young people and their families need it … whether this is at home, at school, alongside the parent or carer, or time alone with one of our trained Grief Support Workers.

We aim to ensure that young people, no matter what their needs, can access pre- and post-bereavement support.

Our Services Are

Free

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What We Do

One to One Support

We work with children and young people (C&YP) aged 5-16, and young adults aged 18-25, when they have experienced the death of a loved one.   The majority of our work is done in school, college or university although we are also able to work in the home if appropriate. 

We also work closely with C&YP when a parent or sibling has a terminal diagnosis, supporting them to face a very difficult future in the run up to and the aftermath of the death.  Over 50% of our work is where a parent dies. 

We also support C&YP when a sibling is dying or has died. Our 1:1 support work is bespoke, responding to the unique circumstances of each individual C&YP. 

Volunteer Grief Support Workers (GSWs) support the C&YP through their grieving and healing process, resulting in a range of positive outcomes including the ability of the C&YP to maintain emotional and social health and to stay positively engaged in family and school life.

Telephone and Email Support 

The Balloons team also provide telephone support for families, offering vital comfort, advice, information and coping ideas for families facing bereavement or already trying to manage the impact of bereavement. 

Activity Days 

After 1:1 support many C&YP attend our Activity Days, participating in a range of activities to enhance their personal sense of well being in a safe environment with others who have had similar bereavement experiences; reducing feelings of isolation and enabling bereaved C&YP to physically challenge themselves in a supported environment. Physical activity forms part of their stress reduction, developing confidence and self belief. The varied nature of each activity day ensures that C&YP achieve a number of successes, enhancing emotional, physical and social well being. Many bereaved C&YP experience feelings of exclusion in group situations and suffer from a loss of confidence when tackling new or challenging situations. The Activity Days act as a springboard in lessening those feelings. Feedback from C&YP is very positive, and care givers report that the C&YP are happier and able to sleep better.

Family Days 

We organise a Christmas party and one or two other events each year; bereavement memory days and building precious memories days. These give family groups, facing a very different future to the one that they thought they had, the chance to be part of a supportive community, to have fun, and to undertake activities that are now less affordable due to the financial changes in their circumstances brought about by the bereavement. 

Training 

We provide childhood grief training for schools, GP surgeries, police, youth offending teams, hospices etc, equipping those agencies with the skills and knowledge to better support children, young people and families. We are building and enabling a strong network of child-centered agencies who can work in partnership to minimise the damage that unprocessed childhood grief can cause.

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Volunteer

We are always looking for:- volunteers to train as Grief Support Workers & other roles- corporate sponsorship- donations of craft materials & toys.

Please see our website for further details.

Connect with Balloons (Devon) today to find out more

Get in touch

Connect with Balloons (Devon) today to find out more

Get in touch

Additional Info

Please contact us in the first instance via email at [email protected] or telephone 01392 826064.
Unfortunately we are not able to provide one-to-one support on site.  The majority of our grief work is done in a school, college or university setting.

Connect with Balloons (Devon) today to find out more

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