December 7 2013 Latest news:
Launch of the Nelson's Journey ' Smiles House ' buy a brick appeal to fund the completion of the new purpose built centre at Little Plumstead. Nelson the cat pictured with recently bereaved sisters Mae, Rosa and Isla Betts, patrons and staff. Photo: Steve Adams
By Stephen Pullinger
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
EDP readers are being asked to help a Norfolk charity complete the building of its new home – brick by brick.
Nelson’s Journey, which supports bereaved children, has so far raised £70,000 through its Smiles Appeal.
The charity’s patrons, Lord Lieutenant Richard Jewson, television presenter Carol Bundock and Norfolk coroner William Armstrong, today gathered at the site of the planned centre on the Octagon business park in Little Plumstead to urge fundraisers to complete the journey towards their £500,000 target.
People are being asked to ‘buy a brick this Christmas’ by simply texting: SMIL13 £5 to 70070.
Joining the patrons at the site – currently just the shell of a building – were the Betts family, who have been receiving support from Nelson’s Journey.
Kim Betts, whose husband Bob died in February, said she and her children Mae, 12, Rosa, 10 and Isla, six, had been receiving invaluable support from child bereavement support worker Lorna Vyse. She said: “It is good for the children to have someone to talk to and it has been good support for me too.”
The sisters, who live near Dereham, will be going on one of the charity’s residential weekends at Hilltop outdoor centre in Sheringham when they will meet other bereaved children.
Nelson’s Journey chief executive Colin Lang, who came along with charity mascot Nelson, said: “Our present headquarters in Meridan Way, Norwich, is not suitable to bring families to us.
“This building will have the space for support work with children as well as administration and training.”
Ms Bundock said she had done bereavement work for 18 years and became involved with the charity because she wanted to extend her experience to working with children.
She said people donating money could be assured that “every penny raised will be spent in Norfolk”.
Mr Jewson said: “The charity meets a very obvious need and is run by good people.”
During 2011, 242 bereaved children were referred to Nelson’s Journey for bereavement support and 137 youngsters received support on a one to one basis.
Seventy-six children attended a therapeutic weekend.
To see a video of the work done so far log on to www.edp24.co.uk