Bereavement Training for Professionals

Doctors, teachers and social workers in Exeter, East and Mid Devon are going to be taught how to deal with kids facing the death of someone close to them.

Charity Balloons offers bereavement support to children and young people here - currently helping around 60 young people a month. It has now got Lottery funding to expand - but Projet Manager Jenny Pheby has told Heart there are conditions: "one of the things we've been asked to do by the Lottery is to provide training for professionals: to roll out training for schools, for GPs, for people within surgeries, within health within social care - to increase the knowledge and expertise or professionals working with children."

Family support worker Deborah Butler thinks it is very important that the people who have the first contact with children know how to deal with them: "we get worried about telling children about death - like it is something abnormal - but if there is something that is certain in life that we are going to die. The way that we actually look at our project is re-educating people to not be afraid of death. To actually look at the seasons, to look at nature, to look at flowers: death is all around us it doesn't need to be the Grim Reaper, it doesn't need to be something that is terrifying for children."

You can find out more about Balloons here or by contacting Jenny Pheby on 01392 826065.