Balloons, a small, local charity and their dedicated group of volunteers based in Devon has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Balloons provides pre- and post-bereavement support to children and young people when they lose someone they love. Most of their work is when Mum or Dad dies or brother or sister dies. A team of 50+ volunteer Grief Support Workers, who are trained and supported by the Balloons staff team, work one to one with bereaved children and young people, helping them to process their loss and cope with their grief.
‘I love my volunteering with Balloons, and we are honoured to be one of the voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. It is fantastic to have our volunteering efforts recognised in this way’
Lynette Oram – Volunteer Grief Support Worker
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Representatives of Balloons will receive the award from David Fursdon, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from Balloons will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
‘We cannot express how much this award means to us. Our volunteers are the beating heart of our charity, working tirelessly to support bereaved children and young people to cope with their loss and to make plans for their future. Without the support of these volunteers, many children and young people would be overwhelmed by their grief. Volunteering in bereavement support is not always easy, but our volunteers have a passionate commitment to helping children and young people in the darkest of times’
Sara Bennett – Balloons CEO