Nelsons journey: Smiles & Tears App

Smiles & Tears app

Selesti Worked with Nelson's journey to help bring bereavement support through a dedicated iPhone and Android App. They explain the brief, strategy, and end result that made this a successful project.

Nelson's Journey is a charity dedicated to supporting bereaved children and young people throughout Norfolk. We were briefed to design and build an iPhone & Android App for the worthiest of local charitable causes, providing invaluable support to help children deal with bereavement, across the UK.

We were keen to include Nelson's Journey Youth Panel heavily in the project throughout the process, from scope definition and design through to testing. Understanding and being sympathetic to this target audience was the most important measurement of success for this app.

We put the charity's services and activities into the child's pocket in order to create virtual coping strategies;

  • a diary to log how they are feeling
  • a jar to collect memories of their lost loved one
  • a balloon release ceremony as a symbol of letting go of negative feelings of grief
  • advice and support whatever the time or situation

BBC Children In Need funding for this project was secured based on the fantastic care Nelsons Journey provide.

Selesti designed and developed this app to meet the need for an interactive tool, accessible on the go, to encourage bereaved ad grieving youths to address their feelings in a healthy way.

The app has 5 main aims:

  1. To help increase the self-esteem of bereaved children and young people
  2. To allow bereaved children and young people to express their feelings and understand their emotions
  3. Provide opportunities to remember the person who has died
  4. Provide education about bereavement
  5. Help families talk more openly about their bereavement

Nelson’s Journey were awarded funding from the BBC Children In Need’s small grants programme. This is quarterly funding which Children In Need have available to support charities such as Nelson’s Journey - where a relatively small sum of money can make a big difference for children and young people.

Along with the hugely positive impact the grant has had financially for Nelson’s Journey, the Norfolk-based charity have received masses of support and publicity as a result of working with BBC Children In Need; including mentions on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra!

BBC Children in Need were so enthused about funding the app they decided run a special week long feature via the BBC iWonder portal focussing on child bereavement, helping to highlight the challenges faced by young people who experience the death of a significant person in their life.

Watch as members of the Nelson’s Journey Youth Panel who generated the idea for the ‘Smiles and Tears’ app take you on a walkthrough of its functioning and explain why it is so important.

This case study was first published at on 02/02/2015.

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