Bereavement Support Programme Starts

A free programme designed to give support and education to anyone following a bereavement will start again next Wednesday (June 8))

The six-week Grief Journey Derby programme is funded by Derby and Ashbourne independent funeral directors G Wathall & Son. The weekly sessions are held between 6pm and 8pm at Derby Rugby Club in Haslam’s Lane and must be pre-booked by contacting G Wathall & Son.

Helen Wathall is Managing Director of G Wathall & Son who are finalists in this year’s Derby Telegraph Business Awards in the Contribution to the Community category. She explained: “Grief Journey Derby is a structured programme that is run by trained volunteers. “It is not formal counselling but the opportunity to be part of a group that explores the grief process and emotional pathway to help bereaved people cope with adjustments to life as it is now and the ‘new normal’. “People join us at various times after bereavement – whenever they feel that they need support. “We also offer a free social programme Derby Dandelions which many of the people who complete Grief Journey Derby also attend. “Groups are open to everyone who has suffered a personal bereavement and are held every month in the afternoon and now the evening to offer support in a social environment.”

Among the volunteer facilitators who support the Grief Journey Derby programme is Jemma Murphy, community fundraiser at The Laura Centre Derby. The charity supports families who have lost a child and bereaved children and young people and is one of the charities supported by Wathalls who helped the organisation open its first premises in Derby in September 2014.

Jemma explained: “Through my role in The Laura Centre Derby, I spend a lot of time talking to members of the public about the charity and about their own experiences of grief and bereavement. “I have had formal training into supporting bereaved children and families, but the Grief Journey training has helped my understanding of adult bereavement and loss. “We get excellent feedback from people who have attended the programme and many have continued involvement with the Derby Dandelions group for on-going support and friendship.”

To book a place on Grief Journey Derby and for more information about this and Derby Dandelions, please contact G Wathall & Son, Tel: 01332 345268 or email the firm’s bereavement services coordinator Angela Thompson and visit


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