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Wathall’s and Colleague Box Team Up To Offer Bereavement Comfort and Support

  • Date: 18/06/2021
  • Category: General

Wathall’s – Derby’s longest established independent funeral directors – have teamed up with personalised giftbox designers Colleague Box to create ‘A Hug After Loss’ that people across the UK can send to their family, friends and colleagues who have lost a loved one.

Wathall’s have been established since 1858 with branches in Derby, Ashbourne, Burton-on-Trent, Borrowash and Alvaston.  The company also runs the award-winning Dandelions Bereavement Support which offers a range of services from free to attend groups to counselling.

As part of the Dandelions service, managing director Helen Wathall MBE wanted to create a giftbox that would bring comfort and practical ways to help people to begin to process their feelings and emotions whether they were recently bereaved or further along their grief journey.

The company therefore reached out to Colleague Box which was set up a year ago by Derby-based husband and wife team Adam and Natalie Bamford offering personalised giftboxes delivered across the UK.

The centre piece of the giftbox is the Dandelions Grief Journal which has been specially developed by Wathall’s as an outlet for people’s emotions following bereavement.

Also included is a packet of seeds to grow in memory of a loved one; pillow spray, hot chocolate and chamomile tea to aid restful sleep; coffee, tissues, mindfulness quotes and treats such as bath powder, a candle and chocolate.

All the contents are neatly packaged in a box with a personalised printed message and details of how to get in touch with Dandelions Bereavement Support if they wish.

Helen Wathall, who is the fifth generation of her family to head up the company, explained: “Grief is a very individual journey. It can hit people full-on straight away or many months and years later.

“We wanted to create something different and practical that would be appreciated by the recipient both immediately after their loss or further along the journey to their ‘new normal’.

“Our aim is that sending a ‘A Hug After Loss’ box will help people to show their family, friends and colleagues that they understand what they are going through, care about their feelings and want to help.

“We are delighted to have been able to partner with a fellow Derby company to launch ‘Hug After Loss’ and the Colleague Box team have been incredibly supportive and creative in helping us to find the right contents for the giftbox.”

Colleague Box creative director Natalie Bamford, whose grandfather, Grant, died earlier this year, said: “It was a pleasure working with Helen and Wathall’s bereavement support coordinator Fay Bloor on the ‘A Hug After Loss’ box.

“I sadly lost my grandad earlier this year to Covid and I would have really appreciated receiving a box like this. I would also have loved to send this to relatives such as aunts and uncles at such a terribly difficult time.

“My grandad was 86 when he passed away. He’d battled – and survived – cancer but the cause of his death was coronavirus. I used a grief journal to remember him and the happy times we had so am very pleased that this is included in the box.”

‘A Hug After Loss’ is available to order from and for more information about Dandelions Bereavement Support, please visit

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