Monthly Group

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 lead, 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.

Arts & Crafts
Chill Factore

“In the car after the group session, Josh shared how excited he was to have found other children who had experienced a loss like he had. Prior to that, he thought it had only happened to him. He was finally able to talk about her feelings”.

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 a 6 week group to meet their individual needs.


Aged 6yrs-12yrs


Monthly on a Wednesday between 6pm-8pm


Once Upon a Smile and in the community

What do we do?

Have lots of fun with other bereaved children


“Bowling was so much fun tonight. I’ve not been bowling since my dad died because it’s so expensive for my mum to take 5 of us. It was nice to meet new friends, everyone was really nice. It was difficult being there without my dad but the volunteers helped me with the heavy balls just like he did”.

Young People

Aged 12yrs - 18yrs


Monthly on a Wednesday bewteen 6pm-8pm


Once Upon a Smile and in the community

What do we do?

Have lots of fun with other bereaved young people

“I was so anxious going to the teen group but everyone made me feel really comfortable. I’m looking forward to going again. I was buddied up with another boy whose sister has died, he told me that he felt a little anxious on his first group session but he’s now been coming for 7 months. I can’t wait to go again”.

To book a place for your child please call 0161 7110339