Hey everyone...

This is a very different kind of blog post to normal but it’s one I have wanted to share for so long (but I never felt I could) about a charity that is very close to my heart Once Upon A Smile and even more so after last night’s Grand Ball and what a success it was.
If you know me personally you will know how passionate I am about helping Once Upon A Smile whether it’s through work or even just donating money when I can. So in this blog I am going to tell you about the incredible work they do and the co-founders are the most humble people you can meet (and that’s just Danny as I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Dan yet!)
Once Upon A Smile also have a mascot called Sidley which the children love.

What is Once Upon A Smile?

Once Upon A Smile is a bereavement charity which aims to provide support for families in their time of need. Once Upon A Smile was set up in 2011 by Danny Miller (Emmerdale’s Aaron Dingle) and his friend Daniel Jillings after the passing of Danny’s Emmerdale producer Gavin Blyth in 2011.

Once Upon a Smile pride themselves in providing emotional, practical and financial support to bereaved families. Once Upon A Smile also pride themselves on their ability to tailor support to the needs of each individual family.

Once Upon A Smile rely a lot on donations and fundraising events that they hold and many other people who want to help the charity hold (ALL fundraising events must be registered) to allow them to continue with their incredible and very much needed support for children in their time of need with a range of incredible support groups such as Monthly Groups, 6 Week Bereavement Support Group, Residential Weekends, Snuggles and Smiles for Children aged 2 - 6 years old, One-To-One Support, Drop-in Facilities, Telephone Support and Guidance, Parents Group and Parent Information along with Financial Assistance and Respite Breaks - these groups are vital and very much appreciated by everyone. Once Upon A Smile aim to help from the time they ASK and they don't matter how long soon after or how long the support is needed for. Once Upon A Smile also rely a lot on volunteers to help make the charity a success.

Once Upon A Smile accept referrals and these can come from anyone working with a bereavement family which you think could make use from using this service along with anyone in Education/ Health and Once Upon A Smile also accept self-referral as long as you meet their criteria these forms can be found on there website.

Who works at Once Upon A Smile?

Once Upon A Smile is made up of a team of people who are very passionate and love supporting people in their time(s) of need and these are;
Daniel Jillings (Charity Manager and co-founded Once Upon A Smile)
Danny Miller (Co-Founder of Once Upon A Smile and Trustee)
Paul Cheetham-Karcz (Chair)
Kelly Willison (Development Manager)
James Bancroft, Richard Davies and Ben Cowgill (Trustees)
Lorna Pitman (Fundraising Manager)
Billy Quarmby (Football Liaison)
Sandra Connolly and Nicola Isherwood (Bereavement Support Worker)

What are the aims of Once Upon A Smile?

Once Upon A Smile was set up with 3 very simple principles;
1. It has to be long term support,
2.  It must be needed, and
3. The families must come first.

Within the first 2 years of Once Upon A Smile, they became known as a national source of support to families throughout the UK.

What can YOU do to help?

Like I said above Once Upon A Smile rely a lot on fundraising events such as their charity football matches which happen between May - September and all are subject to change (especially when it comes to the players) these matches are normally held up in the North of England (all fixtures can be found here). Once Upon A Smile football is sponsored very kindly by JD Sport.

Once Upon A Smile's main fundraising event is The Grand Ball which happened last night (21.4.18) in Manchester which raised more money that it ever has before! The Grand Ball is such a special evening in which Danny and Dan put so much effort into from the layout, the special guests and the performers who all give up their time to support this incredible charity! Many are having how emotional last night was and I was moved when I read about how they have helped a family of Saffie Roussos who sadly died at the Ariana Grande concert last May, which her father thanked Danny and Dan and all at the charity this goes to show how much this charity helps everyone who wants to be helped! Please keep up this incredible work!


Once Upon A Smile also fundraise by holding many other events throughout the year including The Smile Mile (which is for schools to do throughout May), Dine Around The Doom (17th May at Intu Trafford Centre), The Midsummer Dream Ladies Night (28th June at The Marquee Room at Bowdon Rugby Club), Chelsea's Ladies Lunch (7th September at The Hilton Deansgate) and Ladies Christmas Lunch (normally happens in December this isn't confirmed but it's based on last year).

Want to donate to Once Upon A Smile? If so you can here.

Why did I decide to write this and what do I do to help?

The reason I decided to write this article is for one reason and one reason alone which is to get the word out to others about this incredible charity and for the work that they do to help others in their time of need.
Every year, I try to fundraise for Once Upon A Smile whether its me alone or with the help of where I work. Last year's event was incredible and it was amazing to see everyone's face when we had achieved what we did. This year's I am still in the process of trying to decide.

To stay up to date with all things Once Upon A Smile join them on their Social Media’s:

Written by Kellie