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Wathall’s Expands Dandelions Bereavement Support Programme

Family-owned Wathall’s, Derby’s longest established independent funeral directors, have expanded their unique Dandelions Bereavement Support programme to help more local people come to terms with losing a loved one.

Fay Bloor
Sarah Legg

The new bereavement counselling service is run by Wathall’s experienced grief support team members Fay Bloor and Sarah Legg who are both qualified Psychotherapeutic Counsellors and accredited members of the National Counselling Society.

They are initially meeting with people online until appointments can be held in person across the company’s branch network in Derby city centre, Alvaston, Ashbourne, Borrowash and Burton.

Counselling joins the already-established Dandelions Bereavement Support services which – although limited currently due to Covid restrictions – are designed to support people at times when they need it.

The four-week Dandelions Grief Journey support and education programme is held at various times throughout the year free of charge.  It helps people better understand the bereavement process and how to cope with life moving forward.

Bespoke programmes can also be run for businesses, organisations and charities for their own staff and stakeholders.

Dandelions Bereavement Support groups are currently virtual but, in normal times, meet regularly in Derby and Ashbourne.  They are free to attend and bring people together to share time and experiences with others on a similar path.

Finally, Wathall’s work with The Salvation Army to offer a free collection service to help bereaved families donate clothing, accessories and shoes to help others in need.

Wathall’s Managing director Helen Wathall MBE is the fifth generation of her family to run the company and set up Dandelions Bereavement Support several years ago in response to feedback from families that they would value on-going help following the death of a loved one.

She explained: “Dandelions Bereavement Support originally started with the support groups and has continued to expand over the years.

“Bereavement support is available to everyone – whether we have arranged a funeral for them or not – and is unique in this area.

“Our overall aim is to people overcome feelings of isolation, despair and loneliness whether they have lost a loved one recently or in the past.

“We have been considering setting up a counselling service for some time, but the ongoing pandemic has really confirmed the need with so many bereaved families facing difficult and often overwhelming circumstances.

“Many have not been able to say goodbye to their loved ones in the hospital, restrictions have meant that family and friends have not been able to come together to mourn and hold the funeral they would have wanted and many people have been isolated and are coping with grief alone.

“We therefore knew the time was right to establish an accessible and affordable bereavement counselling service that I hope will support a lot of people during these continued difficult times.”

For more information about Dandelions Bereavement Support and the new counselling service, please call Fay Bloor on 01332 345268 or email