Members News

Nelson’s Journey and Norfolk Scouts’ Partnership

Some Questions and Answers

Nelson’s Journey and Norfolk Scouts have announced that they will be working together to pilot a new Scout Group called 1st Smiles. Existing Scout Members may have some questions about this, here are some answers.

Who are Nelson’s Journey?

Nelson’s Journey is a Norfolk charity that supports children and young people up to their 18th birthday who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life.
They provide a range of support, appropriate for the needs of each child or young person. This may include one-to-one support and opportunities to meet others their age who have also experienced a bereavement.

Why are Nelson’s Journey and Norfolk Scouts looking to work together?

We’ve come together because a young person who was a Scout and also supported by Nelson’s Journey suggested that Scouting may help young people who are coming to terms with a bereavement start to build a friendship network and develop resilience.

We know that Scouting provides character building as well as skills for life. It also creates a support network of friends and the sense of belonging that anyone who is vulnerable values.

That’s why Norfolk Scouts feel we can be a valuable positive contribution to the lives of the children and young people Nelson’s Journey strive to help.

This is a pilot, what does that mean?

It means that we are going to trial the Group for the remainder of 2019. If young people feel it does not meet their needs or there is not enough interest we may not continue with the venture.

When and where will 1st Smiles meet?

Nelson’s Journey work with children and young people from across the whole of Norfolk.

It’s unlikely that a conventional evening meeting will be practical, so we’re looking at Beavers and Cubs; and Scouts and Explorers meeting together maybe once a month at various locations appropriate to the activity and location of the young people.

Is it like a normal Scout Group?


1st Smiles will have everything a Group has, a Group Scout Leader (GSL), Section Leaders and a Group Executive. Members will wear the Group Scarf and Badge.

The Group will be supported by Northern Norwich District. A volunteer has come forward who is considering the GSL role.

Is there anything like this already in place?

Yes, the 46th Norwich is not too dissimilar.

They provide a regular monthly meeting to young people who need extra support to enjoy Scouting as well as a section in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for young people who are poorly.

Can existing Scouts who are being supported by Nelson’s Journey go to 1st Smiles?

Of course! These young people will help develop the Scouting ethos of 1st Smiles.

What about children and young people who are not already Scouts?

1st Smiles will provide a safe space for children and young people being supported by Nelson’s Journey to access the activities, friendships and opportunities of Scouting.
We hope that they will feel welcome and make our special promise.

Will new young people who find Scouting through Nelson’s Journey be put in touch with a local Group?

Yes. When the time is right we hope that young people will transfer to a Group in their community. We don’t expect big numbers at a time so are sure that this will be no impact to those Groups.

Will the volunteers working with 1st Smiles have additional training?

Nelson’s Journey will be providing Child Bereavement Awareness Training for volunteers working with 1st Smiles.

Can existing volunteers get involved?

Yes, if you have some additional time to give then you can indicate you would be willing to help out email

How can my Group support 1st Smiles to be a success?

There are a couple of ways that Groups can help the 1st Smiles.

  • 1. Venues
    If you are a Group with a headquarters that you would be prepared for 1st Smiles to use for an ad-hoc meeting without cost we would like to hear from you.
  • 2. Joint Activities
    If you are planning a activity like a visit, activity day or camp and would be prepared to open this to 1st Smiles, we would also like to hear from you.


There is a young person is my Group who has lost a family member, can I get help to support them?

Yes are part of your partnership Nelson’s Journey are making Child Bereavement Awareness Training and a support phone line available to all Norfolk Scouts’ volunteers.

Nelson’s Journey has a Support Line service which Norfolk Scout leaders can access.

It provides telephone referral, information, guidance and support to families, carers and professionals working with bereaved children and young people.

It’s staffed by professional Child Bereavement Support Workers who are trained and ready to provide vital support.

Support Line Opening Hours
Mon, Tues & Thurs: 9.30am to 4.30pm

Weds: 1.30pm to 4.30pm

Fri: 9.30am to 4.00pm

Support Line No. 01603 431788

We’re collecting details of adults who would like to attend Child Bereavement Awareness Training sessions, please email