01 Mar 2016

Willow: Helping people make the right choices after losing a loved one.

By Guest

With Demo Day just a few short weeks away, we are profiling the nine teams who have been going through the BGV accelerator over the past couple of months. First up, Derrick Grant tells us about Willow.

What’s the problem you are trying to solve?

I’m trying to tackle what I think is the last taboo, talking about death and helping people to make the choices that work for them. Because we shy away from talking about death a lot of the issues that surround the topic are potentially going unnoticed. There is lack of information on what to do if you lose a loved one, the situation is even worse if you’re considering taking control over elements of their funeral.

This lack of information is a big problem because increasingly people are looking for alternatives to traditional funerals. Rising costs and the initial outlay of an unexpected bereavement can cause people to go into unexpected debt – an issue which is effecting people across the country.

What’s your solution?

Willow helps guide people through the painful and complex journey of losing a loved one.

After answering a few simple questions about you and your loved ones’ needs Willow suggests services (e.g coffin, flowers, venue hire) to help make this process more affordable and more transparent.

Beyond offering services Willow provides advice on how to tackle some of the emotional hurdles a death causes. Issues like ‘how to let people know there’s been a bereavement’ or where you should turn to speak to someone about how you feel, are integral to our approach.

Where did the idea come from?

In 2013 I was reading about Buddhism and its acceptance of death whilst thinking of areas where design could truly make a difference.

As I began to look more into the industries that accompany losing someone I realised there were some big issues that we should be talking about and trying to improve.

So how do you see this impacting the lives of millions of people?

I’m hoping that our social impact will be two-fold. Initially, making people aware of the options for them and their loved ones during a difficult time.

We also hope to make an impact by opening up the topic of death, funeral planning and end-of-life-care. We should be talking about these topics as we’ll all face loss of a loved one at some point in our lives.

How can people get involved?

I’m looking for advisors with e-commerce experience and to talk to anyone who may have lost someone recently to find out how we can make this process, simpler and more transparent. So get in touch!

Email: derrick@thinkwillow.com