One-to-One Support

Grief Support

We provide free one-to-one grief support for 5-25 year olds in Exeter, East and Mid Devon. It is a low-level therapeutic intervention, not counselling, and is delivered by our highly skilled and motivated volunteers who are trained and experienced in the field of grief. This support mainly takes place in schools and colleges or sometimes at our office in Exeter.

One-to-one Post Bereavement Grief Support

Our one-to-one post bereavement grief support is usually delivered over 4-6 sessions.  These sessions consist of up to an hour’s support each week, delivered by our trained, volunteer Grief Support Workers. The content of the sessions are tailored to meet the needs, concerns and preferences of the child, young person or young adult.

Grief support sessions could be focused on common themes such as memories, thoughts and feelings, anxiety and anger.  They could take the form of simply talking through these themes but often also include a degree of creative work. See below for further details on making a referral for one-to-one support.

One-to-one Pre-Bereavement Support

We offer one-to-one sessions for children and young people before an expected bereavement. This work is bespoke and the content is specific to the circumstances of the family.  They usually consist of one or two sessions before the bereavement with one of our trained volunteer Grief Support Workers.

Making a referral

All referrals must be discussed with a member of the Balloons staff team prior to submitting a referral, and for this reason you will not find a referral form to download on our website.

  • Referrals usually come from schools but can also come from a parent or carer. We also accept self-referrals for those aged 18-25. Referrals from other sources may be considered, and we are always happy to discuss a possible referral with anyone who calls us.
  • Referrals for post-bereavement support will only be accepted a minimum of 12 weeks after a bereavement.
  • Pre-bereavement referrals are taken on a case-by-case basis.
  • To maximise the benefits of Grief Support we ask that referrals are only made for children, young people and young adults who are not expected to be receiving other therapeutic support at the same time as receiving support from Balloons. This includes other forms of counselling and support from Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Please read our Referral Criteria for post bereavement support before contacting us to determine whether a referral is appropriate. For pre bereavement please just give us a call.

Download our referral criteria

Get in touch

If you would like to make a referral to Balloons, please contact our staff team on 01392 982570 or email Please note we are facing extremely high demand for our service and periodically have to close our waiting list for one to one support.

The impact your Grief Support Worker and her sessions have had on Y is amazing, he looked forward to his sessions with her and he has started to talk about his mum with other adults in the school which is a huge step forward for him. A huge thank you for all your support.

- School Staff