With several ‘red letter’ days such as Valentines and Mother’s Day approaching but no end to lockdown in sight, local stonemasons Art Stone Memorials are extending their free graveside support offer.

Art Stone Memorials, which has showrooms in Stapenhill and Alvaston and a workshop in Drakelow, specialises in creating and renovating graveside memorials across the Midlands.

The company, established for ten years, is now part of family-owned Wathall’s funeral directors which has branches in Derby, Alvaston, Ashbourne, Borrowash and Burton-on-Trent.

Using their in-depth local knowledge, Art Stone Memorials and colleagues at Wathall’s are again offering to help people who are isolating or not allowed to travel under lockdown restrictions.

They will place flowers and tributes ordered by the families on the graves and cremation stones at resting places across Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

Helen Wathall MBE is the fifth generation of her family to run Wathall’s funeral directors which has been established since 1858.  She explained that several families had taken up the offer before Christmas – prompting the teams to extend the offer throughout the spring.

“Occasions such as Valentine’s and Mother’s Day as well as birthdays and anniversaries of family and friends who have passed away are all times when we both celebrate life and grieve a loss.

“Visiting a loved one’s grave to lay flowers and tributes at these times can be a great comfort.

“However, with travel restrictions still in place and many local people still needing to isolate, we were all mindful that our offer before Christmas to visit graves on people’s behalf should be extended into the Spring to offer further support to those who cannot make the journey.

“We are therefore happy to hear from anyone who may want us to simply check on the grave, do a spot of tidying up or want to deliver a wreath or flowers to our showrooms so that we can place them on their behalf.

“We will be putting messages out on the Artstone Memorials and Wathall’s social media Facebook and Twitter pages and I hope that this will provide families with some comfort during these continued challenging times.”