Exeter charity, Balloons, has been awarded a grant of £10,000 to help support bereaved children.
Filling a gap in the healthcare system
Balloons was created by a small group of healthcare professionals who didn’t have anywhere to refer bereaved children for specialist support. They applied to the lottery who supplied start-up funding back in February 2007.
Helping children process grief
Balloons provides grief support to children and young people between the ages of 5 & 25 throughout Exeter, Mid and East Devon. They give one to one support sessions, activity days, family events together with a telephone helpline and training for professionals. They also provide support before an expected bereavement, helping the children to prepare for life without a loved one.
In 2018 the charity supported 161 children and young people.
Devonshire freemasons visit Balloons to see their work in action
PGM for Devonshire, Ian Kingsbury visited Balloons to find out more and listen to stories from people who have been supported.
Sarah Bennett, CEO of Balloons said:
We are absolutely delighted to have been granted funds from the freemasons of Devonshire. We are a small and local charity and as such we rely heavily on the generosity of our donors to support our work, and are delighted that the freemasons have seen the value of what we do. This injection of funds will support grieving children when they are at their most vulnerable going forwards. Thank you
Stories from Balloons
‘Since Mummy died, talking to my Balloons lady is really good because she doesn’t mind if I get upset but Daddy really minds. He says he wants me to be happy’ –
‘Since Dad died my feelings are all over the place. I feel like hurting people. I don’t hit anyone, but I say mean things…working with Balloons is helping me a lot. No one can bring Dad back but I can get my feelings out and look at them and understand them a bit better’