Blog Archives: 2017

Funeral Florist of the Year 2017

Friday, 22 September 2017


All finalists in this category showed not only great floristry skills but also an understanding of the sensitivity needed to work with clients who have been bereaved.

The importance of having a good working relationship with funeral directors is also paramount, and the judges took this into consideration when making their decision.

Winner: Rebecca Sharp of Dazzle Me Daisy Do

Runner up: Rosie Orr of Flowers by Rosie Orr


Photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations



Coffin Supplier of the Year 2017

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Another category with just a small number of finalists this year, the coffin supplier of the year choice is very much influenced by the testimonials received from clients.

Overwhelming support from many of the businesses supplied by one of the finalists meant that the judges were convinced they had a clear winner. Most testimonials referenced both the quality of their coffins and the supportive professional staff equally, which, in the judges’ opinion, is a very good combination.

Winner:  Ecoffins

Runner up: Earth to Heaven


Photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations


Care of the Deceased Award 2017

Wednesday, 20 September 2017


Formerly the Embalmer of the Year award, this category now accommodates all aspects of caring for the dead.

With a number of finalists, the judges were impressed with the calibre of care and dedication shown towards all those in their care, and some of the testimonials received demonstrate just how important this is to the families of deceased.

The runner up in this category was applauded by a number of families for her skill and professionalism in looking after their relatives, and was also commended for her helpfulness with teaching others how to care properly for those who have died.

The winners in this category are a small team of people led by a qualified embalmer, but they haven’t embalmed a body in their care since the inception of the business some 14 years ago. They have pioneered the art of creating beauty around death, and focus on engaging families to be involved and spend time with the body in a beautiful, comfortable space. The judges particularly applaud the leadership of this team and the way that every aspect of their work with the dead is carried out with such creative care.


Winner: Cara Mair and the team at ARKA Original Funerals

Runner up: Kirsty Sailes


Photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Anatomical Pathology Technician of the Year 2017

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

This category had one of the smaller number of finalists, something that the judges found disappointing because the work carried out by APTs is so important.

What goes on behind the mortuary doors is clearly still something of a mystery, but the runner up and winner this year are both working hard to change this.

The runner up will become fully qualified this month, but she already has extensive experience, not least with the work involved with the victims of the Westminster Bridge and the London Bridge terrorist attacks earlier this year.

The winner has many years experience in the mortuary, and is now Anatomy Laboratory Manager as well as a forensic consultant. She is an expert in decomposition and the preservation of human remains. She is passionate about passing on her knowledge to the thousands of students she encounters, and also lectures for the public, along with the many other aspects of her work.

The winner is Dr. Wendy Birch

Runner up: Lara-Rose Iredale


Photograph by Jayne Lloyd

Category Sponsor: Funeral Zone

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Doula of the Year 2017

Monday, 18 September 2017

Introduced for the first time this year, the Doula of the Year category is intended to acknowledge the invaluable work done with people approaching the end of their life by those trained as end of life doulas and soul midwives.

End of life doulas are non-medical individuals, who help those who are dying and their families to feel safe and supported as they make the transition from this life to whatever is next.

With just five entries for this category, the judges felt that each of these people deserved recognition for this very important work which so often is unknown or unnoticed. By its very nature, supporting the dying is not work that is likely to elicit testimonials from clients, nor do doulas generally seek acclaim for what they do, the reward is in knowing they have helped make a difference at one of life’s greatest moments, both to the dying person and to those left behind.

For this reason, the four runners up as Doula of the Year have been named as Lizzie Neville, Nett Furley, Jane Henderson and Anna Lyons, with the winner in this category being Felicity Warner, founder of The Soul Midwives School for her additional work training others in this unique work.


The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Most Helpful Funeral Advice Website 2017

Sunday, 17 September 2017

            Nelson’s Journey receiving their award

This year there were nine contenders for this award, illustrating the growth in useful information available for bereaved people on the internet.

The judges decided that, while price comparison sites and information sites about options available for funerals are all welcome contenders as finalists, this year they wanted to acknowledge two more specifically tailored sites for their work.

The runner up in this category is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers for a particular group in our society, offering full access to a specialist support network both before death occurs and at the time of bereavement. With around 50,000 visits to the website each year, this service is growing rapidly and serving the needs of many veteran’s families around the UK.

The winner in this category is an innovative platform created by a charity that is designed to enable bereaved young people to have a safe place to remember the person who died, as well as addressing their feelings and emotions. This is hugely valuable, and will undoubtedly have a real impact on the emotional health and wellbeing of thousands of young people worldwide.

The winner is Nelson’s Journey Youth Panel’s Smartphone APP  

Runner up: Veterans Bereavement Support Services


Photograph by Jayne Lloyd

Category Sponsor: Much Loved

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Best Death Related Public Engagement Event 2017

Saturday, 16 September 2017


Anna Lyons & Louise Winter from Life, Death, Whatever with Annabel de Vetten-Peterson from BrumYODO

Another popular category, this year there were 13 finalists reflecting death related events from around the country.

It is wonderful to see such diverse and creative ways of encouraging conversation about death in the public domain, and the judges were encouraged to hear about such innovative projects.

Again, we ended up with two joint winners, chosen this time because the judges could not decide between them. Both events reached large numbers of people, both were creative and inspirational, and both deserve recognition for their ground-breaking impact of bringing the subject of death to public spaces in a non-threatening, stimulating way.

The runner up in this category was an event that reached a smaller number of people with a more specific remit, but the content of the day will have resulted in spreading valuable information to communities around the country.

The joint winners are Life, Death, Whatever and BrumYODO

Runner up: Home Funeral Network for the Funerals to Die For conference.


Photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Special Award for Innovation 2017

Friday, 15 September 2017

‘The judges decided to introduce an additional award not listed as a category in the 2017 awards, in response to an entry for the Most Significant Contribution to the Understanding of Death.

This award is going to a product which, in the judges’ opinion, will impact positively on the experience of bereaved families by encouraging much closer involvement in the design and creation of the coffin.

This product has been designed to bring family members and close friends together in the shared experience of directly participating in the design and creation of a truly personalised coffin.

It turns the coffin into a focal point for celebrating the life of the deceased and enables a far greater number of people to come together to contribute to the final appearance of the coffin.

We feel that this new concept in coffin design will bring about really positive benefits for those families who choose it, and applaud the insight and innovation of those behind it.

This award is going to J. C. Atkinson for the Pathway coffin


Photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations


The Most Significant Contribution to the Understanding of Death 2017

Thursday, 14 September 2017

  Photograph by Jayne Lloyd

While it might look like there is a serious game of ‘swapsies’ happening here, the joint winners of The Most Significant Contribution to the Understanding of Death Award 2017 (Lucy Coulbert, left and Liz Rothschild, right) are actually making sure they receive the correct statue from presenter Louise Winter.

From ‘The Judges’ Decisions’:

With 18 finalists, comprising people, projects, organisations and events, this was a particularly difficult category to judge. We finally decided that we would make a joint award to two individuals, both of whom have been outstanding for their dedication to changing perception of death, albeit in very different ways with the runner up chosen for the impact they have had on communities in Scotland.

Our first winner has spent years challenging the biggest taboo in our society through her work in many different fields; celebrancy, creating events, organising festivals, running death cafes, teaching, performing and at the same time managing a natural burial ground. Her one-woman show has reached thousands of people, provoking thought, discussion and change in attitude.

Our second winner has set herself the task of cutting through the c**p and reaching the decision makers in government to try and drive change to the current, inadequate support for families needing financial assistance with funerals. Her experience of helping people on benefits and her straight talking approach has earned her the respect of all of those she encounters.”

This year’s joint winners are Liz Rothschild and Lucy Coulbert

Runner up: Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief – It Takes a Village



The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations





The judges would like to say…

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


Miniature coffins provided by the generous sponsor of this year’s awards, Greenfield Creations 

Photograph by Jayne Lloyd. 

Over the next week or two,we’ll be publishing on this blog the reasons for the judges’ decisions in choosing the winners and runners up in the 2017 Good Funeral Awards.

We’re starting off today with a word from the judges in their introduction to the announcements:

With an overwhelming number of nominations, entries and supporting testimonials, the 2017 awards have been even more difficult to judge than in previous years. This year, many categories have ten, twenty or even more finalists, and each one is deserving of congratulation.

It is a thankless task to select the most deserving winners from so many outstanding entries, as we know that in doing so we are disappointing so many, so we apologise in advance to those of you who won’t be leaving today with a statue and a certificate.

The whole process has been extraordinarily difficult and involved long discussion and deliberation before we arrived at our decisions.

We are confident that those who have won an award today are deserving of it, but we would like to say on record that we have been immensely impressed by the calibre of all the entries we have read.

All the finalists in this year’s Good Funeral Awards deserve an accolade, so on behalf of the families that you serve, we would like to thank you all for what you do.

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