Once Upon a Smile support groups are the most magical place where children and teens can laugh, cry and celebrate their loved ones. All activities provide plenty of opportunities for the children to express themselves and develop bonds with others. Through interactions with other children group members learn that they are not alone in their grief.
Children and young people arrive at Once Upon a Smile not really knowing what to expect. ‘Bereavement Support Group’ sounds like a sad place to be but it isn’t like that. When group members arrive at Once Upon a Smile, they’re greeted by friendly staff and volunteers who are extremely happy to meet them. All our volunteers are provided with safeguarding, bereavement training and are all DBS checked.
Our group sessions are very much user led, we give our children and young people a choice/voice of what would support them through difficult times and during the year we provide them with a calendar of fun and activities
All activities provide opportunities for bereaved children to spend time with other bereaved children, to know they are not the only ones can make them feel less lonely and isolated. Once Upon a Smile introduce activities that can help build self-esteem and confidence.
“In the car after the group session, Josh shared how excited he was to have met other children who have experienced a loss like he had. Prior to that, he thought it had only happened to him”.
During monthly group sessions observations take place to determine if any child requires additional support and if so they will be invited to take part in either one to one support or 6 week sessions to meet their individual needs.