Bereavement and loss looking onwards
There is nothing which impacts upon a child’s or young person’s life quite like the death of a loved one. Sadly, children and young people do not always receive the support they need because:
• A myth exists that either children will “get over it” or they are “too young”
• Adults feel they need to somehow ‘protect’ children
• Adults feel helpless: “I don’t know what to say”
• Adults are caught up in their own grief
To provide support for grieving children and young people (3 – 25 years) where they can share their experiences as they move through their own healing process. This will take account of their emotional, spiritual, social and physical needs within the context of the family.
Our vision is that no child or young person is discriminated against if they need support to work through their grief – and that no child should progress on to adult life feeling the affects of unresolved grief.
Our services are built around the needs of the child, delivering pre-and post-bereavement support in a truly flexible way. Grief doesn’t follow a set pattern and there is no ‘one size fits all’ rule, which is why we offer support when, where and how children and young people need it. Whereas other charities and services run set grief support programmes, Balloons is different because we offer ‘choice’ and take time to ensure that our support reflects the fact that children experience grief in very different ways.
Our Grief Support Workers
Our trained Grief Support Workers provide face-to-face support for children and young people aged 5 – 25 years before an expected death of someone significant in their lives, or following a recent bereavement. We work within the home or in school, and we offer the choice for sibling groups to work through their grief together. In some instances, particularly with younger children, a parent or carer may stay with the child, if this is what the child wants. We always encourage young people to try and share some of their session with their carer. For children aged 3 – 5, we provide support to the person caring for the child, in places such as Children’s Centres. We also run Activity Days and Family events throughout the year.