Independents awarded MBE

Two independent funeral directors have been featured in 2019’s New Year’s Honours List.

Helen Wathall of Derby’s G Wathall & Son, a prominent figure within SAIF and SAIFCharter, was awarded an MBE for services to business and the local community in Derbyshire.

Helen told the Derby Telegraph she was “in total shock” on discovering she had been nominated.

“Over the generations, the Wathall family has always been part of the local community whether that is leading Derby’s war effort in the 1940s to being an active member of the local business community to action improvements in St Peters Quarter.

“I am therefore immensely honoured to be recognised in this way – particularly as it comes at the close of Wathall’s 160th anniversary year.”

Helen has headed up G Wathall & Son since the age of 29, following the death of her father at only 62. In 2002 she became President of SAIF, and recently joined the board of Golden Charter. Helen’s company has increasingly focused on providing bereavement support to the local community over recent years.

Terry Tennens, SAIF Chief Executive, said: “Congratulations to Helen for the award of MBE in recognition of services in her local community, in particular offering bereavement support.

“Helen has been a pioneer leader as SAIF’s first female National President. We are delighted for her.”

Also on the Queen’s honours list this year is Tony Rowland, South Croydon funeral director with Rowland Brothers Limited.

He received an MBE for services to undertaking and the Surrey community. The award comes after 65 years supporting families, including worldwide repatriation work.

Terry Tennens said: “Congratulations to Tony Rowland for his award of MBE in the Queen’s honours list for his long standing services to the community in Croydon and in particular as a pioneer for client bereavement support over the last four decades. We are delighted for Mr Rowland!”

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