Tuesday, 09 December 2014 00:00

Early Christmas present for Nelson's Journey

Written by  Sophie Berry
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Early Christmas present for Nelson's Journey

After a lot of hard work at Norfolk’s child bereavement charity, Nelson’s Journey were delighted to officially open the doors to their new home Smiles House just a couple of weeks ago.

For many years, Nelson’s Journey has dreamed of owning it’s own property from which it could provide a service to Norfolk’s bereaved children and young people.  Debbie Winteringham, Child Bereavement Services Manager explains ‘Nelson’s Journey has always offered its service on an outreach basis meaning our bereavement workers spent a lot of time travelling between appointments.  Having a facility from which we can offer our service will mean that we can spend more time supporting those who need our help. We will continue to offer our bereavement support service on an outreach basis to those families who are unable to travel to Smiles House, helping to ensure we remain as accessible as possible’

Since their inception in 1997, Nelson’s Journey has supported thousands of Norfolk’s bereaved children and young people.  They continue to be the only specialist service of its kind in the area and work closely with local authorities such as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) and Children’s Services to ensure professionals are aware of the services on offer.

Colin Lang MBE, Chief Executive said ‘Since opening our doors at the end of November we have been visited by a 16 bereaved children and their families.  The response from those visiting Smiles House has been extremely positive.  Seeing parents relaxing and watching TV or even paying Pool whilst their children are being supported is wonderful.’

The charity’s Youth Panel held their first meeting at Smiles House last week, one member said “It has a very personal home-like comfort to it, I like it here as it has a very safe and calming atmosphere” whilst another commented “Smiles House will offer a safe and friendly place to support children and their families”.

Alongside offering bereavement support directly from Smiles House, Nelson’s Journey also welcome professionals and parents or carers who may wish to access a range of resources which provide guidance and information around how to support a bereaved child.  Any individuals wishing to make use of charity’s resource library are invited to contact them to arrange an appointment.

To contact Nelson’s Journey call 01603 431788.

About Nelsons Journey

During 2013, Nelson’s Journey saw a further 25% increase in the demand for its service (a 67% increase was experienced in 2012).  The Norfolk based charity believe this is largely down to local government funding cuts and scaling down of support services for these vulnerable individuals.  During 2013 they received 506 referrals and has received over 200 this year.

Nelson’s Journey has been operating for 16yrs is a registered charity providing a service for children and young people aged 0-17 years inclusive, living in Norfolk, who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life.  We aim to improve the emotional well being of bereaved children by:  increasing their confidence and self belief, providing education about the causes of death, enabling families to talk openly about their bereavement.  We also provide opportunities to remember those who have died and help children to express and understand their emotions.

Nelson’s Journey endeavours to ‘Bring back smiles to bereaved children’.

It is currently estimated that 1 in 29 school aged children have experienced the death of a parent or sibling, in Norfolk this equates to approximately 3,825 children.  This figure is significantly higher when pre-school children and 17 year olds are included. 

For more details please visit www.nelsonsjourney.org.uk


Last modified on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 22:34

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