Wathall’s Step Up Support Programme For Local Charities
Family-owned funeral directors, Wathall’s, have brought forward its year-long community support programme in light of the pandemic to ensure local charities have the support they need now.
A Wathall’s Wish was originally launched in January and planned to support a different charity every month with money, volunteering or donations of goods and services.
The company earmarked charities operating in and around the communities in which it has branches – Derby’s St Peters Quarter, Alvaston, Ashbourne, Burton-on-Trent and Borrowash.
However, because of the impact of lockdown preventing charities from fundraising, Wathall’s has brought forward their offer to each charity of £1,000 each or equivalent goods and services with an offer of potential further support in the future.
Charities supported by A Wathall’s Wish include First Steps ED, QUAD, Me & Dee, The Hardy Group, YMCA Derby, The Laura Group, Street Food Burton, Ashbourne Community Transport, RSPCA Derby, Ready Call in Ashbourne and Derby Women’s Centre. Safe and Sound had already received their donation before lockdown - receiving money raised at Wathall’s memorial service in December.
Helen Wathall MBE, who is Managing Director and the fifth generation of her family to head the company, added: “The common theme in all the charities we have chosen to support is that they help local communities cope with social isolation, bereavement, poverty and ill health.
“We had originally planned to focus on one charity a month but, as the effects of the pandemic lockdown tightened, we contacted all the charities and asked if they would like the donations and support up front.
“We have had great feedback from them all – highlighting what they are planning to do with the money and giving us ideas for other ways we can support as many charities as we can moving forwards.”
Me & Dee founder Maria Hanson MBE said: “It has been a dauting task to raise the funds to buy a lodge in Sherwood Forest as a place to make memories for families and couples facing short and uncertain futures when, for many this will be their last holiday together.
“These are challenging times for a small charity like ours so the donation from Wathall’s was just incredible.
“It’s not just the money - if someone gives money to a charity, or offers support, then that is because they believe in what you are doing – and that is powerful in confidence building, especially at this time, to know that.”
Natalie Knutton, First Steps ED, a multi-award-winning mental health charity, specialising in eating disorders, continued: “We are moving premises and Wathall's incredibly generous donation will be used for our brand new family waiting and therapy rooms – perfect for the delivery of our person-centred care to young people and their families.”
Georgina Wild from the RSPCA in Abbey Street said the charity had faced even more challenges during lockdown.
“Our Animal Care Team has been continuing to provide love, care and rehabilitation to the animals that need it throughout the whole of lockdown and have at times been overlooked as important key workers.
“Lately we have taken in more animals that require veterinary treatment so we decided to use the money from Wathall’s for operations and treatment to help with ailments such as skin allergies, antibiotics for infections to eye and ear removal.”
For more information about Wathall’s Wish, please visit www.wathall.co.uk