Leah’s Story: Bereaved by suicide

Leah was supported by Nelson’s Journey following her Dad, Lawrence ending his life whilst working away in Singapore.

The impact of being bereaved in such circumstances is significant with family members and friends left with many questions. Leanne, mother of Leah chose to be open and honest with her and her siblings which helped Leah to process accurate information which is so important for bereaved children and young people.

Leah wants to help people of all ages to understand that it is ok to talk about suicide and it shouldn’t be a subject that is shied away from.

Prior to Lawrence’s death, the family has planned to climb Mount Snowdon but he died three weeks before this trip was due to happen. Leah, her Mum, step Dad and siblings will be climbing Mount Snowdon in memory of Lawrence and they are raising funds for Nelson’s Journey helping to ensure that our support remains available to those that need it. If you would like to sponsor Leah and her family you can do so by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/familyof8

Leah has shown courage to share her story so openly and we hope you feel able to read about her experience to help her in her quest to help break the stigma of bereavement by suicide.

Thank you to EDP 24 for working with Leah and her family so sensitively.


Vacancy: Board Secretary (volunteer)

The Board of Trustees at Nelson’s Journey are seeking a volunteer secretary. The vacancy has arisen due to the retirement of the current secretary. The role of the Secretary is to support the Chair in ensuring the smooth functioning of the Board.

The Board of Trustees meets 8 times a year, on evening weekdays to a schedule agreed at the start of each calendar year. The meetings take place at Nelson’s Journey’s base: Smiles House, Little Plumstead, and generally last up to two hours. A Secretary is required for those Board meetings, and the work is otherwise flexible and can be carried out at home (or at Smiles House if required).

The Secretary is responsible for:

  • Ensuring full Board meetings are organised and minuted
  • Maintaining effective records and administration
  • Supporting Trustees where necessary with the requirements of the charity’s Constitution, governing documents, and other agreed governance processes, and having an awareness of charity law (training will be provided)

Please see the Role Description and Person Specification for further details.

Induction and training will be available as required for the successful applicant. It is understood that many potential applicants will not have experience of charity law or the charity’s constitutional requirements, and support will be provided.

This is a volunteer role, and no employment relationship is intended and no legal commitments are entered into between Nelson’s Journey and our volunteers.

Nelson’s Journey is SAFER accredited with the Norfolk Child Safeguarding Board. Recruitment to this role will be subject to our processes and policies regarding safeguarding of children. Nelson’s Journey will obtain a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for preferred applicants.

Applications should be sent to the CEO, Simon Wright, using the Application Form by MONDAY 29 JULY, 5pm. Arrangements for interviews will be discussed with shortlisted candidates at a later date (provisionally mid-Aug).

Any enquiries about the role can be directed to the CEO at simon@nelsonsjourney.org.uk


BeWILDerwood Purple Picnic

Join us at BeWILDerwood on 9th June from 10am – 4pm for a magical Purple Picnic.

Prices are discounted for children & families who have received a service from Nelson’s Journey. We have defined ‘family’ as any children and young people plus two accompanying adults. The adults could include parent, grandparent or carers.

To book your discounted tickets call on 01692 633033

Any questions can be directed to activities@nelsonsjourney.org.uk or 01603 431788.


We are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership project between Nelson’s Journey and Norfolk Scouts.  The aim of the project is to give bereaved children and young people, living in Norfolk, the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of Scouting.  The idea originally came from one of Nelson’s Journey young volunteers, as they felt meeting peers though the medium of Scouting was a great way to help children feel they are not alone.

The project will involve the setting up of 1st Smiles Scout Group which will be open to all children and young people referred to Nelson’s Journey who are already involved in Scouting or who may wish to join Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts.

Both organisations are always striving to find new and innovative ways to engage children and young people in positive activities, which will hopefully improve children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.   The project will offer the opportunity for children and young people to take part in fun and enjoyable activities, as well as meet others who have experienced bereavement.’

Simon Wright, Chief Executive of Nelson’s Journey, said: “By working with Norfolk Scouts, we can pursue new ways of bringing back smiles to Norfolk’s bereaved children. Many of the children and young people that we work with benefit enormously from meeting with others of a similar age who are also bereaved, and understanding that they are not alone in their experiences. The 1st Smiles Scout Group will provide an excellent opportunity to help young people to build their self-esteem and learn new skills, while meeting others who have experienced the death of a special person.”

Matthew Burrell, County Commissioner for Norfolk Scouts, said: “We’ve been really excited about the prospect of working together with Nelson’s Journey. Both our organisations have at our heart the purpose of enabling young people to develop relationships, help each other and become more resilient. Nelson’s Journey supports children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, there is an absolute opportunity for the Scouts to help out providing safe spaces to learn new skills, build their unique character and mix with others as they map out their new futures.”

Life (without you) Exhibition

We are delighted to announce the launch of a special art exhibition which will feature in the Forum, Norwich from Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September. The exhibition will provide bereaved children and young people the opportunity to express their feelings, emotions and memories following the death of their special person/s.

We encourage children or young people, up to the age of 17yrs (inclusive) who have experienced the death of a special person, to create something that helps them explain what it is like to be a bereaved child or young person e.g. you might feel angry sometimes or happy because you remember funny things that you did together. There are lots of other feelings too and all of them are ok. Some people like to draw how they are feeling and others like to write it out in a poem or maybe even a song.

It is hoped that the exhibition will help break down barriers for bereaved children and young people, helping the wider community to better understand the complex range of feelings and emotions that are felt by those we support at Nelson’s Journey.

Judges will decide which pieces should be included in our exhibition in the Forum and the other pieces will be shown at a special event celebrating the 20th birthday of Nelson’s Journey.

Artwork and written poems will be framed, any clay items will be displayed on a table, and music or spoken poems will be available for people to listen to using headphones.

If you have any queries about the exhibition please contact Sophie Berry on sophie@nelsonsjourney.org.uk or call 01603 431788.



Download further details about art exhibition from here.


We are very excited to announce a golf day to support Nelson’s Journey and Leeway being held at Eaton Golf Club on Sunday 23rd September.

We would love to encourage anyone who wants to come along and bring a team – female and junior teams are very welcome too! Teams of 4 cost £160 and include breakfast, 18 holes and a 2 course dinner. If you’d like to come along, please get in touch – admin@leewaynwa.org.uk or 0300 561 0077.

Capron & Helliwell’s fantastic year of fundraising!

The lovely team at Capron & Helliwell chose to support Nelson’s Journey as their charity of the year in 2017, raising a fantastic £3,500 throughout the year from a series of local events.

Sophie Berry went to collect the cheque from the solicitors office in Wroxham, on the 8th February, and enjoyed hearing about the fundraising that had taken place including a summer fete and yuletide market.

The amount raised is enough to send 14 children and young people on one of our therapeutic Residential Weekends at Hilltop Outdoor Centre near Sheringham. On these interventions, children meet others who have also been bereaved, realise they are not alone in their grief, and learn coping mechanisms for their negative emotions. There is also lots of work done to remember the person who died, and they are an incredibly therapeutic experience for the children we support.

Thank you and well done to all at Capron and Helliwell!


In October last year we held another Funeral Professionals Awareness Event at Smiles House, with over 25 professionals from the industry in attendance to find out about our work and how they can help signpost and facilitate the families they work with, after a death. Funeral Celebrant Sharon Wood attended and has since signed up as our latest member of our ‘Funeral Services Friends of Nelson’s Journey’, where local businesses and professionals make a monthly donation to help Nelson’s Journey keep up with the growing demands on its services.

Sharon told us about herself “I am a professionally trained Funeral Celebrant based in North Norfolk., with a Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy as well as being a member of the Institute of Civil Funerals and the Good Funeral Guild.

As a professionally trained Funeral Celebrant, my role is to offer bereaved families a funeral ceremony that reflects the wishes, beliefs and values of the deceased and their families. These ceremonies focus on commemorating the life of the person who’s died and include a personal and respectful tribute. Each ceremony captures the very essence of the person and tells the story of the life that has been lived.

My background is in nursing where I supported the dying and their families, so I am glad to carry on supporting the families through my Funeral Celebrancy.

A close friend of mine died in 2015 and her young son was supported so well by Nelson’s Journey. I also knows several other families, both personally and professionally, who have had help and support at Nelson’s Journey, which is why I’m committed to supporting this wonderful local charity.

I’m keen to further develop my skills in supporting those who are bereaved. I hope to do some volunteer work at Nelson’s Journey when time allows. I also offers a range of beautiful memorial jewellery, including jewellery in children’s sizes, a unique and beautiful way to help preserve the memory of your loved one.

I’m very excited to have become a Funeral Services Friend of Nelson’s Journey and am happy to support this fantastic local charity supporting bereaved children here in Norfolk.”

If you would like to support Nelson’s Journey on a regular basis, please click here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/donation-web/charity?charityId=1001715&stop_mobi=yes 


If you’re quick now, there’s one more chance to run the London Marathon 2018 in aid of Nelson’s Journey!

We are able to offer a Green Starting place for one lucky runner for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018. This position means you will be starting amongst well know celebrities and even get the use of the luxury loos! The place will go very quickly so apply now!

We ask you raise a minimum of £1,750 excluding Gift Aid sponsorship for Nelson’s Journey – all of which will help us support Norfolk’s bereaved children and young people. 2017 has been another incredibly busy year for us, with an estimated 1000 children coming to us to access support after someone special in their lives has died, it’s down to valuable contributions from fundraisers in the community that we are able to continue to offer this vital service.

In return for agreeing to fundraise for Nelson’s Journey, we will help you to have a fantastic race experience, from support and guidance from our fundraising team, advice from past runners and promotional activity as the big day approaches.

We are also pleased to provide a place on a series of marathon workshops. The first session takes place on 25 November, if you can’t make this one, there are two other dates to be confirmed in the New Year.

The Virgin Money London Marathon will take place on 22nd April 2018

If you were fortunate enough to get a place for the London Marathon in the ballot, we’d love for you to join in with our fundraising team of runners. Please get in touch and we will help you to boost your sponsorship and support you in any other way we can.


To access the London Marathon Application Form, click here!

Return the form to sarah@nelsonsjourney.org.uk

Inviting Norfolk businesses to be part of our 20th year!

November 2017 sees the start of our 20th birthday and in preparation for this we are delighted to announce our Twenty20 scheme.  This project which will see us working with twenty Norfolk businesses who are all committed to raising at least £1,000 each in support of our work.

The Twenty20 is an exclusive group of businesses all working towards the same aim of raising at least £1,000 each in support of our work with Norfolk’s bereaved children and young people.

Alongside the additional promotional opportunities available to participating businesses, members will also benefit from:

  • Networking events helping you to connect with other local businesses who are also committed to making a difference in their community
  • Access to our Twenty20 News, helping you to keep in touch with progress being made
  • Exclusive fun events being hosted by other participating business – details to be released soon!
  • Exclusive discounts on tickets to our biggest events

Take a look at our e-magazine which explains more about it CLICK HERE