Supporting bereaved families throughout the Pandemic
We were delighted to open the doors to Sidley House in March 2019, a dedicated bereavement hub for children to express their emotions in a fun and safe environment. Sidley House is situated on Brindley Road, which is the same road as the Manchester Regional office of Barratt Homes. We were providing children’s bereavement support from Sidley House for 12months before the pandemic began, this led us to adapt the way in which we support children for a period of months, sending out tailored resources, supporting children over zoom/telephone, during this time we were still receiving referrals for new families who required bereavement support.
Since lockdown was announced on the 23rd March 2020, it has been an extremely difficult time for the charitable sector, especially smaller charities like ours. As a self-funded charity we rely heavily on the fundraising events that we plan and run throughout the year in collaboration with our supporters and corporate partners. The slow realisation that our fundraising was to be non-existent was a difficult and worrying time for us all. We have also continued to tailor our support to family needs, ensuring long term support for bereaved families. Since lockdown began we have provided over 933 support sessions to bereaved children.
As a result of cancelled events due to the pandemic we have lost an estimated £250,000 in fundraising, this has had a devastating impact on the progression of Once Upon a Smile as we are a self-funded charity and receive no government grants.