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Dandelions Bereavement Support Group Expands

Wathall’s are marking National Grief Awareness Week (December 2-8) by announcing the expansion of its free bereavement support groups.

Wathall’s runs its multi-faceted Dandelions Bereavement Support across its branch network in Allestree, Alvaston, Ashbourne, Borrowash and Burton-on-Trent.

One of the best-known aspects of the Dandelions programme are the free bereavement support groups which meet in the afternoons in Derby city centre and Ashbourne.

The support groups are free of charge and open to people of all ages who have experienced a bereavement – whether recently or several years ago and regardless of whether they used Wathall’s for the funeral.  

Following feedback from the public, a new evening group will also start on Tuesday January 4 – meeting at Derby Rugby Club in Haslam’s Lane between 6pm and 8pm and will continue on the first Tuesday evening of the month.

This will be in addition to the group dates already confirmed in January: Tuesday 11 and 25 at the old central library in Wardwick between 1.30pm and 3.30pm (and then every second and last Tuesday of the month, please contact Wathall’s for venue confirmation details) and Wednesday Jan 5 at Cornerstone Café in Ashbourne between 1.30pm and 3pm (followed by every first Wednesday of each month).

The expansion announcement coincides with National Grief Awareness Week (December 2-8) which is spearheaded by the Good Grief Trust aims break the taboos of talking about grief as well as raise awareness of bereavement services available across the UK

Wathall’s bereavement support coordinator Fay Bloor leads the full Dandelions Bereavement Support programme which includes one to one counselling, the unique Grief Journey Derby four-week course and support for businesses and their employees.

She said: “National Grief Awareness Week is particularly poignant this year as many more people have been struggling with bereavement during the pandemic – regardless of when they lost their loved one.

“Since re-opening our in-person Dandelions Bereavement Support Groups, we have been contacted by several people who say they would love to join us but can’t get time off work or other commitments during the day.

“We are therefore delighted to be launching the first evening group and look forward to welcoming anyone, at whatever stage of their grief journey, to join us.  There is no need to pre-book – just turn up.

“Our aim is to create an informal and welcoming environment to give people the chance to meet like minded people in a social and safe setting with support from our skilled and experienced facilitators.

“Everyone has the common bond of having suffered a bereavement and this is an opportunity to share stories and express feelings freely knowing others will understand, be non-judgemental and supportive.”

Fay Bloor continued that there had also been a surge in interest for bereavement counselling since lockdown restrictions ended.

“Throughout this difficult time, most people have not been able to say goodbye to their loved ones in hospital and restrictions have meant that family and friends have not been able to come together to mourn and hold the funeral they would have wanted.

“People have therefore been isolated and are coping with grief alone and have really benefited from counselling to help them come to terms with their loss.”

For more information about Dandelions Bereavement Support, please contact Fay Bloor, Tel: 01332 345268, email