SOULS – Bereaved Families Support Group

SOULS Stands for: Support, Optimism, Understanding, Love & Strength

All bereaved families want to remember and honour their children, but not everyone finds it possible to talk. Talking can be too painful, too raw, and there is nothing anyone can do or say can that can take away the pain of losing a child.

In our locality there are significant gaps in support networks for bereaved families and Milly’s Smiles would like to help with this.

We are inviting bereaved parents, and their close family, to come together on a monthly basis to meet other bereaved families who understand the pain of grief in losing a child. Being with others who have experienced the same unimaginable pain as you, means you can talk to them, and they fully understand how you are feeling. They don’t have to pretend or imagine, because they know!

This real support is wonderful, an invisible bond, a connection with people who have suffered the same loss. Just to be able to talk, cry, laugh or, just say nothing to someone who has been there, who knows what is going through your mind, who has walked in your shoes.

Siblings, Grandparents & Other Family Members

SOULS is not just for bereaved parents; it’s for siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and other close family members too!

Bereaved Parents

“A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But….there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that’s how awful the loss is.”

Neugeboren 1976

Bereavement Support

Approximately 6,000 people under the age of 24 die in the UK every year, leaving up to 50,000 newly bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. And while we’re generally getting better at talking about death, a child’s death is still the last taboo.

Milly’s Smiles has expanded to provide a bereavement support service which we have called SOULS. We bring families together to undertake various creative therapies, and other activities, to provide Support, Optimism, Understanding, Love & Strength.

Parents and families are welcome from all walks of life – no matter when the bereavement occurred – either recently or many years ago.

SOULS aims to help improve the family’s well-being by facilitating monthly craft afternoons and hosting holistic therapeutic activities and programmes for people who have lost a child, no matter the causes of death.

A familiar feeling amongst bereaved parents is that those around them cannot truly understand the depth of their grief. Only those who have been through it can know the extent of their suffering.

Creative therapy helps parents process their emotions and talk about their children, allowing them to speak to other bereaved parents. They don’t have to put on a brave face. Instead, they can speak openly about their children.

While talk therapy is one of the best ways to cope and heal from grief and loss, not everyone can talk. Talking can be too painful and raw, and there is nothing anyone can do or say to take away the pain of losing a child.

Within our local region, bereavement support seems limited to counselling, either one-to-one or as part of a group. Many parents find this difficult and are often unable to talk about the trauma they have suffered in losing their child. I know this from personal experience and that’s why I am truly passionate about SOULS.

Research has shown that doing a creative activity can put the participants at ease and be a helpful way to communicate, especially if they find it difficult to explain how they are feeling or what they are going through.

It may also help process traumatic experiences, often stored non-verbally within the brain.

Dads, Grandads, Brothers & Uncles

We’re really keen to offer SOULS to men, who are truly under represented at our groups. We have access to an incredible organisation who have helped thousands of people to improve their lives. They’re on standby to support us – we just need more bereaved men to come forward so we can form a group.

If you know someone who would benefit from this – please let me know asap by clicking here.

Upcoming Meetings 2024

All meetings take place at Milly’s Smiles, Unit 4, Alan Ramsbottom Way, Great Harwood, BB6 7UR.

Turn off Heys Lane into Alan Ramsbottom Way and we are the very first car park on your right hand side.

  • Sunday 18th February – 11am
  • Sunday 24th March – 11am
  • Sunday 21st April – 11am
  • Sunday 19th May – 11am
  • Sunday 30th June – 11am
  • Sunday 28th July – 11am

Get in touch

If  you would like to find out more information, or just have a friendly chat, please contact:

Lorraine (Milly’s Mum): 07555 541987
Email me: hello@millyssmiles.org

Or Complete the form below and Lorraine will get back to you as soon as possible.