Poignant event endeavours to bring back smiles to bereaved children

Norfolk families who’ve taken part in the Walk of Smiles will be able to do so again this year

Norfolk families who’ve taken part in the Walk of Smiles will be able to do so again this year - Credit: smile@richardjarmy.co.uk - Richard Jarmy Photography

A poignant event to help raise both money for charity and the spirits of hundreds of bereaved children across the county is set to return this month. 

The Walk of Smiles is an event for families of children who have been supported by bereavement charity Nelson’s Journey. 

Open to the public, the day will be held at the charity’s home at Octagon Park in Little Plumstead, near Norwich.

Gary Stevens, funding and marketing manager, said: “It is great that we are once again able to hold our special Walk of Smiles in the grounds of our own home. 

“The event is always respectful and poignant and is a very important way for us to keep in touch with families we have supported in the past, as well as welcome new families and friends who are coming for the first time.  

“It’s fantastic to have safe in-person events back for the charity for the first time in over two years. Covid-19 had put a stop to our events programme which in the past has been a major source of fundraising income for the charity. 

“We are looking forward to welcoming everyone for this event that will help us to bring back smiles to bereaved children and young people in Norfolk.”

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The Walk of Smiles takes place on Saturday, June 11, and is being sponsored by its long-time supporter, signage company Westcotec.

Activities on the day will include countryside walks – with a buggy-friendly route – refreshments, a barbecue, games, arts, crafts, and activities for all ages. There will also be a chance to make items to remember the person that died.  

In 2021, Nelson’s Journey received referrals for more than 730 bereaved children and young people.

The charity’s aim is to improve the emotional wellbeing of bereaved children by increasing confidence and self-belief, providing education about the causes of death, and enabling families to talk openly about their loss.

  • For more information about Nelson’s Journey, please visit the website at www.nelsonsjourney.org.uk