Vacancy: Can you support our office team?

VACANCY: Assistant Office Manager

Richard Jarmy Photography – @richardjarmy

Permanent, Full time (37hrs per week)
Salary: £25,000

Application deadline: Wednesday 28 February, 23:59

Job base: Bradbury Building – Smiles House, Octagon Business Park, Hospital Road, Little Plumstead, Norwich, NR13 5FH

An Assistant Office Manager is sought by Norfolk child bereavement charity Nelson’s Journey to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of its office, based near Norwich. The office plays a key role in the charity’s ability to deliver services in support of bereaved children and young people in the county.

The post-holder will work with the Office Manager within the Business Support Team to manage and achieve efficiencies in the charity’s office operations, and support staff and volunteers to develop skills and knowledge of processes.

The post-holder will manage administrative functions to enable the charity’s operations across all departments, including the preparation of therapeutic and marketing activities, processing income, and dealing with enquiries to the charity. The successful candidate will have exceptional IT and communication skills.

The post-holder will also: manage volunteer processes and systems; supervise office based volunteers and (in the absence of the Office Manager) Business Support Officers; implement staff and volunteer processes and records; and ensure that safeguarding training and DBS requirements are met.

The post is full-time, and line managed by a part-time (16 hours/week) Office Manager. The postholder will support two existing part-time Business Support Officers.

Candidates should have admin and office management skills, be exceptionally well organised, be a strong team worker, and be committed to the charity’s purpose and values.

Applicants must be able to provide a car for which a mileage rate will be paid. Business use insurance must be in place for the vehicle. This post is subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

For an application pack and further information including our Privacy Notice please visit:

Full Application Pack is below. Our Privacy Notice is on this website.

Closing date for completed application forms:

Interview date: THURSDAY 7 MARCH

Download an application pack below.

We welcome questions about this role, your availability, and our requirements; please speak to Kim or Simon at 01603 431788 or email

Click headings to download each document:

Cover Letter

Job Description – Assistant Office Manager

Nelson’s Journey Overview of Operations

Person specification – Assistant Office Manager

Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy

AOM Application Form 2024

Time to Talk Day – Lets Talk!

Coping with grief at Christmas

Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for many of us. While, for some people, it’s a time of joy, love, and togetherness, for others, it can be very overwhelming because of heightened expectations and pressure to conform to the traditional holiday norms. For those who have been recently bereaved, this can be an especially challenging time. Some of these people may be approaching their first Christmas without a loved one. Here are some tips and guidance on how you can celebrate Christmas in a way that feels right for you, without the weight of others’ expectations.

  1. Grieving and Coping:

The first Christmas after the death of someone special can be an incredibly emotional and overwhelming experience. Grief doesn’t follow a set timeline, and it’s important to acknowledge that everyone grieves differently. For some, it may feel difficult to carry on with all the usual traditions, from sending out cards to buying gifts for extended family members. The thought of not including your loved one’s name on a card can be a painful reminder of their absence. Others may choose to embrace the full Christmas experience as a way of coping. They may invite lots of friends and family around to keep themselves busy as a way of coping.

  1. Embracing a Different Approach:

It’s important to remember that it’s perfectly okay to approach Christmas differently during this challenging time. You don’t have to conform to other people’s expectations or traditions if they don’t bring you comfort. If sending out cards or buying gifts feels like a burden, take a step back. Instead, consider finding alternative ways to honour and remember your loved one. Light a candle in their memory, create a scrapbook, or simply spend a quiet moment reminiscing about the happy times you shared. Once you’ve had a think about how you want to approach the holiday season, you may find it helpful to be open with those close to you. Having conversations with friends and family about how you feel and what your plans are can help everyone support you in ways which are sensitive to your grief.

  1. Nurturing Yourself:

The importance of self-care during this period cannot be emphasised enough. Do what feels right for you. This might mean opting for a smaller, more intimate gathering, or even choosing not to celebrate Christmas at all. Remember that it’s okay to take time for yourself and prioritise your emotional well-being.

  1. Balancing for Young Children:

If there are young children in the family, their excitement for Christmas may still be palpable, even in the absence of a loved one. Reassure them it’s okay to have fun, even though someone has died. Consider discussing with them how you’d like to approach the festivities and find ways to include them in the process.

  1. Creating New Traditions:

If you are trying to navigate the first Christmas without your loved one, consider creating new traditions that pay tribute to their memory. Light a special candle, visit a place they loved, or cook a favourite family recipe. There’s some ideas here:


The first Christmas without a loved one is undoubtedly a poignant and challenging time, but it’s essential to remember that there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate during this period. It’s okay to deviate from the norm and protect your own well-being. Whether you choose to celebrate quietly or embrace the joy of the season, know that this is all normal and that there many others going through a similar experience.

For support and guidance on supporting a bereaved child – click on this link

Managing Missed Milestone Moments

Coping with the absence of significant people in your life is difficult enough, but when important milestone moments take place, this can be even more challenging and emotionally difficult.

For children and young people, August and September can be huge milestone months, especially for those who are waiting for A-Level and GCSE results, or for those starting school, college or embarking on a new school year and the changes this can bring.

When a significant person is no longer present in their life, it can trigger very difficult feelings associated with grief, which can make it even harder to handle these moments.

Some children and young people may already feel these absences in the lead-up to these significant events, for others, it may not hit them until afterwards. The journey of grief is unique to everyone and it’s important to take care of yourself and find ways to support yourself if these difficult moments arise.

Some of our Child Bereavement Support Workers have shared some tips and ideas on ways to help you cope if you’re struggling to cope when these milestone moments arise, here are their ideas:


“Something we talk about a lot is getting children and young people to write a letter to their special person or keep an ongoing diary or journal, with milestones, achievements and even disappointments. They can also include a photo of what they are writing about i.e. first day at high school, winning a medal at a sports club, that kind of thing.

It’s also important for them to remember that not everything in life is going to work out how they want and it’s okay to acknowledge this in a journal entry too, with maybe how they will reflect and learn from this.”


“Think about how the loved one might choose to celebrate the milestone and maybe blend that into the day of the event.

Share your plans and feelings with those around you – especially at times like Christmas when there may have been traditions before, you may not feel the same about them anymore or may want to start new ones.

It’s ok to make time for yourself on these days and these times. Reach out and don’t be scared or worried to tell people how you are feeling. Tears are not a bad thing!!

Give yourself permission not to observe or celebrate the milestone. Sometimes the thought of the milestone can be pretty overwhelming & often it can become a day that you end up dreading. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to celebrate it and want to treat it as an ordinary day. Our grieving processes are all different.”


“There’s a lovely part in the Julie Stokes book ‘You will be ok’ where she talks about her own experience of being invited to meet the Queen because of the work she has done with bereaved children. She talked about on the day feeling surprised by overwhelming sadness rather than excitement as her own father wasn’t there to be part of it. She refers to digging into her grief toolbox and wearing his favourite aftershave on the day to maintain that connection of her dad being part of the special day as smells can really connect to emotions. Thinking about a smell, item of clothing or holding close to them a photo on these milestone days to help maintain that connection to the person who has died.”


“It can be helpful to use a calendar to note down the dates that may be difficult, such as birthdays, anniversaries, prom, exam results etc. so these occasions don’t take you by surprise. Acknowledge that these days, and sometimes even the days on either side of these dates may be hard. It can be good to think ahead and have some ideas of what you feel may help you.

It may be things like making family, friends, teachers, etc aware that you might find that day hard.

You could explain to others how they can help you on that day i.e. ask you how you are, not mention it, talk to you, give you space, a hug or just a smile.

Maybe it would be helpful to plan a moment during the day to remember your special person, such as lighting a candle, visiting the grave or a place special to them, or listening to their favourite song.

You might like to wear a piece of their clothing, jewellery, or favourite colour on the day to feel connected to them.

Not all milestone occasions are sad, some can also be days of celebration and joy. Either way, remember to be kind to yourself, allow the tears to come if needed and don’t feel bad if you are happy.”


Supporting a Bereaved Child at School

Teachers and support staff play a crucial role in supporting bereaved children and young people as they spend a significant amount of time with them.

It can be a very challenging experience for them to return to school when a significant person in their life has died, so it’s vital they received the appropriate support to meet their specific needs.

Here are some tips on how staff can best support a bereaved child/ young person in school.

  • When you first hear of the bereavement, we suggest that someone from the leadership team or the child’s class teacher reaches out to the family. This could be done either by phone or in person. It may also be thoughtful to send a card, or you could consider sending them a Smiles & Tears box which is a gift box of useful resources that has been specifically designed to support a bereaved child. To find out more and to order them, please click here.


  • Work with the family and create a plan for the child’s return to school. They may feel worried and anxious about their peers knowing about their situation and may prefer to share with a select few friends. It’s important to understand what information the family and child want to share within the school community. Establishing a support system for the child is crucial as they will need people to turn to when they are struggling, including identifying a trusted adult, who can be there for them. However, be mindful that sometimes hearing about a death and witnessing a child’s distress can trigger grief in adults, so ensure staff members are supported too.


  • There may be some sensitive issues around the person’s death, for instance, if it was a suicide. It’s best to work with the family to determine what information can and cannot be shared. If staff are made aware of the death, it’s not necessary for everyone to know all of the details, but for everyone to be aware of what has happened.


  • If the child shares their experience, it’s important to listen without sharing your personal views and beliefs. Each child’s grief journey is unique and there may be things you hear that don’t fit your own views and beliefs. It’s important to just listen to the child without judgement.


  • It’s important to be flexible when a child/ young person returns to school. Some may struggle to attend on a full-time basis, whilst others may take comfort in the structure and routine of school life. They may wish to come back on a part-time basis and may need to take regular breaks when they feel overwhelmed. Remember, just because they are in school, doesn’t mean they will be able to focus on their learning all the time.


  • Be aware that their behaviour can change quite quickly. It’s normal that they will lose their concentration in class, and you may see them jump from being overwhelmed and emotional to happy and laughing.


  • Suggest to the child/ young person to try using our Smiles & Tears Postcards. These are a downloadable resource for bereaved children and young people to print off and use to help them communicate how they’re feeling without talking. These postcards can be shared with teachers, as well as with, friends, family members and even themselves. To download them, click here.


  • Our website offers various resources that can assist you in supporting a child/ young person who is grieving. There are lots of free downloadable activities to help remember their significant person as well as helping them manage difficult feelings. Visit to access these resources.


  • There are lots of books to help support bereaved children and young people, to download full list of recommended reading, please click here.


  • Training – We offer free, online awareness training which is open to professionals who are working with children and young people in Norfolk. The session will help you to recognise a range of experiences related to bereavement, understand the services we provide to children and young people, gain confidence in how to work with bereaved children, young people and their families as well as identify resources and organisations available to support bereaved families. Our next training session is on 4th September 2023 at 9.30am and can be booked online here:


Whilst many people will be celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday 19th March, there will be many bereaved children and young people in Norfolk who will find the day extremely difficult. They will be missing their mum, or the person who they’ve looked up to as their mother figure, some for the first time.

The build up to Mother’s Day for a bereaved child or young person can be incredibly overwhelming, especially as there are so many places promoting Mother’s Day. It’s difficult to avoid it whether you’re online, watching TV or out visiting shops.

Every child grieves differently, it’s a very personal process. The build up to days like Mother’s Day can unearth a variety of difficult emotions including sadness, anger, anxiety and even guilt.

What’s important for a child/young person to know is that if they are struggling with the build-up and the day itself, that it’s okay to give themselves permission to sit with their difficult feelings and to do what feels right for them. It’s not about making the feelings stop or trying to ignore them, sometimes sitting with those feelings will give them time to process and reflect.

Have a chat with them and see if they would like to do something to mark the day. For instance, if they’d like to buy or make a card. They may want to leave it by the grave or special place. But if they don’t perhaps it can be stored safely in a memory box or book.

The same goes for buying a gift, if they see something they know Mum would have liked, then they can always get this for their memory box or keep for themselves.

Other ideas or things they may want to do is cook their favourite food, listen to their favourite song or look at some photos.

They may wish to ignore the day entirely and that’s fine too. There should be no pressure or expectations to do anything if they don’t want to.

Something our team talk about with bereaved children and young people is that whilst mum is not physically there anymore, they still have a place in your life, and whilst it’s a different place, they are still your mum.

Our website has lots of remembering activities, so if you feel stuck for some ideas, please click here.

Whatever you choose to do, the team here at Nelson’s Journey will be thinking of those who are remembering their Mum or the person they looked to as their mother figure.

The Queen’s Funeral: Preparing Children and Young People

The Queen’s Funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September, 11am. Many families will be given time off school and work to observe the Day of National Mourning, and watch the funeral on the television.
Some children may benefit from talking to their families and carers in advance of the funeral, to help them prepare for the event. Even if they choose not to watch it, they are very likely to see images and clips of the funeral through various media.
While the funeral may seem very different, children and young people are likely to be reminded of previous funeral services that they’ve attended, and that may bring up difficult memories.
Children may feel a mixture of emotions before, during and after the funeral, and it’s important to reassure them that this is normal. They will probably see a mix of emotions from others during the funeral too. They will see lots of sad people crying, but there may also be lighter moments when a funny story or memory is shared. Children may find it helpful to see that adults can have a range of feelings when someone has died, just as they may have themselves. If the experience becomes overwhelming, then it’s ok to switch off for a while so that children can take a break if they need it.
Children may have lots of questions about the funeral, and it might be that we don’t always have the answers for them. It is best to be honest in these situations and say if you don’t know. Maybe you can find out the answer together? Particularly at a state funeral, there may be procedures and elements of the ceremony that are historically informed and don’t occur at other funerals.
After the funeral, it’s important to speak to children about how they’re feeling and whether they want to talk about anything they’ve experienced.
Some children might find it helpful to engage in an activity that helps them to write down their memories of the Queen. We have lots of free activity and resource sheets, such as our memory bricks, which can be downloaded via our Resources and Activities section of our website.
Parents, carers and professionals may find it helpful to read out ‘At a time of bereavement’ booklet which can be downloaded here, before having discussions with children and young people about death.

Talking to children about the death of the Queen

Nelson’s Journey is saddened by the death of HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with The Royal Family.

The death of the Queen affects children as well as adults. Nelson’s Journey is encouraging families and communities to talk to their children and young people about how the news may be affecting them, and to open up a conversation about death.

For some young children, this may be their first recognition of someone who has died. For others, such as those supported by Nelson’s Journey, the Queen’s death may bring up memories and feelings about deaths that they have previously experienced. Some children may associate memories of those who died with the Queen – perhaps because they have memories of visits to Sandringham Estate or watching the Queen’s Speech together.

Coverage of the Queen’s death and the funeral in one week’s time will be extensive. Children, including those of a young age, will be just as aware of that coverage as adults are. Time spent now talking to children and young people may be helpful in preparing them for the day of the funeral, especially if they want to watch the funeral.

We would like to encourage parents, carers and professionals to read our booklet, ‘At a time of bereavement’. This contains many tips and ideas about how you can talk directly and openly to children about death and the feelings that they may have.

To download a copy of our booklet, please click here:

Read ‘At a time of bereavement’

Please also keep an eye on our Facebook and social media accounts, which will continue to share useful information about talking to children and young people.

Nelson’s Journey’s website also contains many other resources and materials that you may find helpful.

To allow our staff to observe the Day of National Mourning, we will be closing our office next Monday, 19 September.

Join our NJ 25 Campaign – Celebrating 25 years of Nelson’s Journey

This year, Nelson’s Journey turns 25 and in celebration, we are launching our NJ25 campaign. We are looking for 20 businesses to join together to collectively fund the salary of a Child Bereavement Support Worker which will support more than 100 children over the next year.

Places have already started being snapped up, so please act quickly if you or your business would like to fill the remaining places.

If you would like to find out more or become part of the NJ25 campaign and join other hard working businesses such as DHL Supply Chain, Earlham Crematorium, Jaya Dance, Rosedale Funeral Home Signs Express Ltd Westcotec Limited & West Earlham Dental Practice Ltd  contact Sarah Dodge, Funding & Marketing Officer to secure your place – details below!

“We are delighted to be part of this campaign. The work Nelson’s Journey do is fantastic and we need to make sure they can continue to grow to help more children in the future.”

Earlham Crematorium
“We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of the 25th Birthday celebrations, and to help Nelson’s Journey continue with their amazing work.”

To find out more, click here for our brochure.

Get in touch with Sarah to ask a question or to get involved, call 01603 431788 or email


As we draw to the end of the school year and start the long summer break, we find that bereaved children and young people can find this time quite unsettling, especially as there’s lots of talk within schools about new school year and the changes that will happen.


Transitioning at school, whether it’s into a new class with a different teacher or to a completely new school is unsettling for any child, but for a child who is bereaved, it can trigger lots of anxious feelings and worries.


If you are an adult supporting a bereaved child, it’s important that if you notice any change in their behaviour that you take the time to talk to them, let them offload how they’re feeling and work with them to help them overcome their worries and encourage them to embrace these changes. If they are really struggling with the changes they’re facing, it’s really important that you work with the school to ensure they are aware of your child concerns/ worries and they can put strategies in place to support them. This is especially important if your child has experienced a recent bereavement, as the school staff may not be aware of the situation.


If your child is starting a new school then be mindful that you will need to be extra patient with them as they’ve got to navigate around a new environment as well as deal with their feelings. Remember, if you feel like your child needs extra support then make sure you ask for it. The staff will want to make sure that help is put in place to help them as they adjust to their new surroundings.


Bereaved children and young people may find it difficult to cope with the return to school in September, and it may take a while to adjust, but with extra adult support and having people around them they trust to help, it will make things more bearable and in time they will settle into their new routine.


Our Child Bereavement Support Worker team here at Nelson’s Journey have shared a few tips for bereaved children and young people who are concerned about the changes they’re facing at school and ways they can cope when they return in September.


Fiona’s Tip: “You won’t be the only person who will be worried about the changes happening at school, or moving up to high school/ college. It is okay to talk to your friends and tell them the things you are worried about.”


Duncan’s Tip: “If you need to know some information or are worried about anything at all, then make sure you speak to an adult in school who you trust. They will want to help you.”


Adam’s Tip: “If you have experienced a bereavement recently, then you may be worried about what to tell people or what help you might need in school. Plan for this by writing down the bits of your story that you are happy to share with others (e.g. friends, teachers) and also a list of things you feel may help you in school. Share this with a member of school staff and talk through how they can help you.”


Lisa’s Tip: “Before you go back to school, talk to your parent/carer and explain the things that you’ve been thinking about that worry you. Write them down on a piece of paper. As you settle into school, look at the list again with your parent/carer and talk about how things went for you. Sometimes we just need to try something different before we realise that it is okay and that we didn’t need to worry about it so much.”


Amy’s Tip: “If you are allowed to, put something small from home in your pocket like a button, photo or something similar. If you are feeling worried during the school day (and miss being at home) you can touch your pocket or hold the object for a short time to make you feel better and remind yourself that people care for you.”


Keeley’s Tip: “Be honest, let friends, family, and teachers know if you need help, and what you would like that help to be. Smile, it can make you feel better, makes you look friendly and approachable, and can help put others at ease. Just be yourself, there is no one else like you and you are amazing.”


We also understand that bereaved children and young people don’t always want to talk about how they’re feeling or what they need emotionally, but they still need people around them to know and understand how to support them. Our Young Volunteers and Youth Panel recently created a set of Smiles & Tears postcards which could come in really handy when starting back at school in September.


These postcards contain lots of suggested ideas and ways a bereaved child or young person may want to be supported. They even have a little tick box against each idea so they can be tailored to meet their needs and feelings without having to talk about how they’re feeling. There’s even some space to write their own ideas too. Each card is different, there’s one for friends, family, adults at school and a blank one for any other special person who’s helping to support a bereaved child or young person. There’s even one for the bereaved child/ young person on ways they can help and look after themselves too.


You can download our FREE Smiles & Tear Postcards here