Devonshire Freemasons donate £25,000 to Exeter-based Balloons charity. Balloons provides support for children, young people and their families before an expected death, or, following the death of someone significant in their lives.

Balloons Charity visit in Exeter

Left to right: Ian Kingsbury Leader of Devonshire’s Freemasons, Sara Bennett CEO Balloons charity and Reuben Ayres Devonshire Freemasons’ Charity Steward.

Created by healthcare professionals and working across Exeter, Mid and East Devon, Balloons provides a dedicated phone line and one-to-one support to bereaved children and young people in a safe environment, as well as activity days for children and family events.

Around 140 to 160 young persons aged from five to 25 years old are helped every year, with each individual receiving on average six weeks of bespoke support.

The Freemasons’ donation will safeguard the work of the charity until the end of the year when other funding becomes available.

We are incredibly grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for believing in our work and wanting to help us in our mission to deliver grief support to bereaved children and young people. The pandemic has created enormous additional stressors for those who have lost loved ones, and we will use the funding to ensure that there are no disruptions to our vital service in these unprecedented times. Our research clearly indicates the importance of supporting grieving youngsters when they are at their most vulnerable, helping them to not feel overwhelmed by their loss and to develop coping strategies that means they can move forward positively.

Sara Bennett, CEO of Balloons

Many of us will have been touched in our lives by bereavement and loss, but for a child it’s a very hard thing to understand. The Freemasons of Devonshire hope that the support given to this great local charity will help heal the wounds of those affected.

Ian Kingsbury, Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire

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