The senior management team here at the GFG-Batesville Shard have spoken at some length to Sue White, above, about her new magazine venture, Farewell Magazine. We were impressed. Farewell Magazine is described below in a press release we have just had from her people:
Funerals and dying are taboo subjects in today’s society, but one woman has set about changing that, following the death of her own father.
Sue White has spent the last seven years in the wedding industry, but is now launching Farewell Magazine, a quarterly publication designed to demystify the funeral trade.
The 54-year-old from Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, is giving up her high-flying career as director of White Media, helping to organise 20 wedding fairs a year across the East Midlands and North of England.
Instead she plans to look death in the face and unveil the new magazine which will provide practical, emotional and professional advice for people grieving, preparing for death or simply intrigued by what the options are.
Sue said: “I have spent the majority of my planning career working in the weddings industry, which is very much about planning the happiest day of someone’s life. But when I lost my own dear dad I realized that as a nation we are totally unprepared for what can be the saddest day of our lives.
“Because we don’t talk about death, or funerals, when it comes to planning a loved one’s send-off often we have no idea what they might have wanted, or how to go about organizing it.
“I felt there was a total lack of information about palliative care, funeral planning and memorial ideas and that it was about time we started talking about dying, instead of pretending that it’s not going to happen. Death is inevitable, yet few of us consider it until confrontation is absolutely unavoidable.
“I also felt it was time to lift the lid on the funeral industry – let’s find out what’s changing, what’s innovative and above all what options are available to us when the time comes.”
Sue was inspired to make the move from weddings to funerals when her own father James Gault, an RAF war hero, passed away in August 2011.
The publication is not the first magazine Sue has published – she has spent five years producing a regional title, White Weddings Magazine which is sold at 370 independent outlets, including John Lewis and Debenhams.
Farewell Magazine, which comes out end of January, will be stocked at more than 120 branches of WH Smith and be available in more than 3,000 funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries, as well as hospitals, hospices and solicitors practices nationwide.
Each edition will feature inspiring real life stories of people who made a difference, take a look behind the scenes in the funeral industry, help readers create a meaningful and memorable funeral ceremony or memorial and profile innovative and pioneering new services.
The first issue looks at the process of turning ashes into diamonds, introduces motorcycle funerals, explains what to do when someone dies and pays tribute to an inspirational seven-year-old who touched the hearts of his whole community.
In an era when many long-standing publications are downsizing, Sue is passionate that there is a gap in the market for a title offering an advertising platform for the funeral trade.
Advertisers already signed up include Golden Leaves Funeral Plans, Cooperative Funerals and Colourful Coffins.
Sue added: “We firmly believe there is demand from both readers and advertisers and we’re in an unrivalled position to launch this magazine, with nothing else like it in the marketplace.
“We have been delighted by the positive response from the industry which has whole-heartedly bought into the concept of Farewell Magazine and supported the new publication by investing long term from issue one.
“There is a gap in the market for a publication that’s both inspirational and informative, something with substance, featuring engaging, well-written stories that our readers will identify with, particularly if they are looking for avenues of inspiration and guidance towards the end of their life.
“The time has come to start talking about death and put aside our own fears about dying. We’re all scared of the unknown, but death isthe one inevitable element of life.”
* Farewell Magazine has an initial circulation of 20,000 and a cover price of £3.95. It is also available for subscription at home and abroad via the website, www.farewell-magazine.co.uk