Funeral firm expands with sixth branch opening
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Family-owned Wathall’s, Derby’s longest-established independent funeral directors, has expanded its branch network with the opening of new premises in Allestree which will also be a hub for the company’s bereavement support services.
Wathall’s head office is in Macklin Street in the city centre and already has established branches in Alvaston, Ashbourne, Borrowash and Burton-on-Trent.
Helen Wathall, who is the fifth generation of her family to head up the company, said that the opening of the Allestree branch in Duffield Road was the next chapter in Wathall’s “long-standing commitment” to serving local communities.
She said: “Over the generations, we have always been dedicated to providing local services to local communities and to support people at times of greatest need in a number of ways.
“I have wanted to open a branch in Allestree for many years both to serve this local community with bespoke funeral planning and services and to enable us to further develop our unique Dandelions Bereavement Support programme.
“I was therefore delighted to be able to secure these premises which give us the space to provide comfortable and private rooms for families to pre-plan and arrange funerals as well as a chapel for families to be able to say their final goodbyes to a loved one.
“Furthermore, the Allestree branch also gives us the space for dedicated facilities to develop the latest addition to our Dandelions Bereavement Support programme – in-person bereavement counselling support.
“I am incredibly proud that we are the first local funeral directors to offer this service but available space and Covid restrictions have meant that this has so far only really been possible virtually.
“The Allestree branch will also enable families to peruse the new ranges of urns and keepsakes as well as discuss memorials and headstones which are designed, created and installed by our sister company Art Stone Memorials.”
The Allestree branch was the first to be designed under Wathall’s new branding.
Branch manager Amanda Howitt, an Allestree resident who recently joined the Wathall’s team, said: “We are delighted to be leading the company-wide refurbishment programme to update branches into a more contemporary environment.
“The branch office is wonderfully light and airy with contemporary pastel colours and comfortable furnishings to put families at ease at what is a very traumatic time for them.
“Our aim is to ensure families feel safe and nurtured and the surroundings better reflect the quality of our services to them before, during and after they have lost a loved one.”
The lease of the premises was handled by commercial property consultants OMEETO and director Chris Wright said: “These premises were previously occupied by an estate agent and located on a prominent corner in Allestree.
“With ample private and street parking and wheelchair accessible features – they are perfect for Wathall’s expansion into this part of Derby and we wish them every success for the future.”