Parents & Carers

No one wants to see their child suffer. We are here to help if a child, young person or young adult is struggling because of a bereavement or an expected bereavement.

We deliver the following services in Exeter, Mid and East Devon:

  • 1:1 Grief Support for 5-25 year olds in school or at home
  • Supporting referrers including schools, family members and GPs
  • Advice service to bereaved families via telephone, email and by post
  • Training for Practitioners including schools, counsellors and local authority staff
  • Activity Days for 5-16 year olds who have received Grief Support from Balloons
  • Family Events where children have received Grief Support from Balloons

If you’d like to speak to someone at Balloons about the young person or young people in your care, please contact us on 01392 826064.  We operate between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.  If we are not able to answer your call you are welcome to leave a message, and we aim to respond by the next working day at the latest.  You can also contact us via email at admin@balloonscharity.co.uk

After a Bereavement

As a parent or carer, our instinct might be to try and ‘protect’ a child from the feelings and emotions surrounding the death of a loved one. However, above all else, it is important to be honest and open and send the message that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Children are very perceptive and will pick up on much more than the words you say, so it’s important to be as open and transparent as you can.

Children’s grief tends to come in waves, bouncing from one emotion to the next at what can seem like an alarming rate. This is often referred to as ‘puddle jumping’ and is a completely normal reaction but it can be distressing for a parent to witness and respond to. Whilst behaviour and reactions can be challenging, children, young people and adults need to be allowed to grieve in their own time and in their own way.

It is also incredibly tough to be there for your child when you are also struggling with your own grief. The young person or young people in your care needs to understand that it’s okay to cry and to show emotion, as they will often take their emotional ‘cues’ from you.

Balloons can offer you bereavement advice over the telephone or via email and if necessary can take a referral for one-to-one grief support for your child to help them work through their grief. If you’d like to speak to someone at Balloons about the young person or young people in your care, please contact us on 01392 826064. We operate between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. If we are not able to answer your call you are welcome to leave a message, and we aim to respond by the next working day at the latest. You can also contact us via email at admin@balloonscharity.co.uk

Before an expected bereavement

Dealing with the uncertainty of a terminal diagnosis is hugely challenging and can continue over weeks, months, even years.  Our work with children, young people and young adults who are dealing with the expected death of a loved one is very different in many ways from other work we do.

We can provide comprehensive advice over the telephone or via email to families concerned about a child, young person or young adult following a terminal diagnosis.  We are only able to provide one-to-one sessions where a loved one has entered the palliative stages of care.  It can sometimes be difficult to determine when someone has reached this stage but is defined by the organisation ‘Get Palliative Care’ as “specialized medical care for people with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family”.  This is an emotionally challenging time for the adults involved, and it can feel overwhelming to know what to tell younger members of the family, how to go about telling them, and how to support them once they have heard the news. Balloons can help.

Resources

Staff at Balloons have extensive knowledge of the resources available to bereaved families. If you have a question about books, downloads, websites or online support groups please contact us directly as there are far too many to include on this website! Please contact admin@balloonscharity.co.uk with any enquiries about resources. Follow us on Twitter @fund4balloons and Facebook BalloonsCharityDevon for regular news and updates on resources.