Residents invited to pay tribute to lost loved ones as annual Christmas tree appeal launches in Kimberley

A Kimberley funeral arranger launched an annual Christmas tree remembrance appeal by leaving a message in memory of her own father.

By Lucy Roberts
Friday, 3rd December 2021, 12:22 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 12:22 pm
Funeral director Jodie Wardle hangs a label dedicated to her dad, John, alongside her mum Jenny to launch Gillotts Funeral Directors’ Christmas remembrance appeal at its Kimberley branch.
Funeral director Jodie Wardle hangs a label dedicated to her dad, John, alongside her mum Jenny to launch Gillotts Funeral Directors’ Christmas remembrance appeal at its Kimberley branch.

Jodie Wardle joined forces with her mum Jenny to write a tribute to her dad, John, and hang it on the branches of a Christmas tree erected at Gillotts Funeral Directors’ office in Main Street.

Gillotts hosts the appeal every year and invites families and relatives to write a tribute on a label and put it on the Christmas tree, with the firm donating £1 for every label left to charity.

It also officially launched the Christmas tree at its office in Nottingham Road, Eastwood, coinciding with the town’s Christmas tree switch-on event last week.

John died in 2018, aged just 67, and the way in which Gillotts conducted his funeral inspired Jodie to work in the funeral industry herself.

Three years on, she now works at the Kimberley office and, having hung the first label, she is now looking forward to meeting other families stopping by to leave their own tributes to their own loved ones.

She said: “Christmas has always been big in our family and every year it brings it home to us that my dad is no longer with us, so it’s lovely for us to be able to write a few words to remember him.

“I’m from Kimberley myself and I’ve worked here for a few months now, so I am looking forward to meeting the families who are coming so that they can share their memories and talk about their loved ones at what can be a very difficult time for many people.”

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This year, Gillotts in Kimberley is donating every £1 to the Eastwood Food Bank, which is based at the Eastwood Volunteer Bureau and supports families in both towns who are struggling to put food on the table.

Visitors to Gillotts are also welcome to leave their own donation, including food and toiletries.

Joanne Hutsby, a partner in Gillotts Funeral Directors, said: “Jodie and Jenny’s gesture brings home to everybody how people who have lost loved ones will turn their thoughts to family members or friends who won’t be with them to celebrate Christmas this year.

“This Christmas tree appeal, which is now in its 16th year, gives them the opportunity to leave them a message, while helping local families who are struggling to make ends meet as well.”

For more information on when you can leave a message on Gillott’s Funeral Directors’ Kimberley office tree visit www.gillotts.co.uk.