ASDA Hayes pulled out the stops to organise a festive treat for bereaved children coping with the loss of a loved one this Christmas.

HALO is an organisation which supports children in those difficult circumstances.

It has regular group meetings for parents and carers to meet with others, while children are involved in expressive arts and play as they make new friends. 

The store’s community champion, Samantha D’Souza,  invited more than 50 children and family members from HALO to an ice skating show and party in Marylebone.

A coach took the group of 30 to and from London, as well as laying on face painting and treats for the children.

It was first time many of the group had been together since the start of the pandemic, and the charity's founder, Alia Jones, said it meant so much to everyone.

She said: "Christmas can be a really difficult time for children who've had a bereavement because they see families together and it brings into focus that their family is different.

“To have a good day out and the opportunity to make new friends and new memories is a really important thing.”

Community champion Sam says there could be no more deserving group than HALO.

She said: "It genuinely brought a tear to my eye to see so many smiling faces – it was really heart-warming.”

Alia Jones founded HALO in 2012 following the sudden death of her partner – the father to her two daughters who were aged just two years and three weeks at the time.”