The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Lifetime Achievement Award 2017

Thursday, 12 October 2017

                                                          Clive Leverton

A stellar line up of well known names in the funeral world comprised this year’s shortlist for the lifetime achievement award, all of whom merited a mention for the work that they have done in their field.

  • Natasha Bradshaw, Superintendent and General Registrar from Mortlake Crematorium and specifically for her role in the joint working partnership with others in providing funerals for babies
  • Clive Cappleman from Sherlocks Funeral Directors for 45 years service and being an outstanding funeral director
  • Janet Cheal – long time accomplished organist, now at Forest Park Crematorium
  • Simon Dyer from Albins Funeral Directors
  • Jeremy Field from CPJ Field
  • Howard Hodgson from Memoria Ltd for his years of work in the funeral industry and his latest ventures providing both state of the art crematoria and low cost funeral services
  • Jason Kiely from Key Air for his work with repatriation services
  • Clive Leverton for his lifetime dedication to the family funeral business
  • Colin Liddell for his devotion to serving families and his constant availability offering advice and assistance to other undertakers
  • Alan Lister BEM for his dedication and inspiration working in the funeral industry since the early 1990s
  • Chantal Lockey for her work with The Foundation for Infant Loss
  • Cara Mair for her leadership, collaborative approach and pioneering work at ARKA
  • Julia Samuel OBE for her acclaimed book Grief Works and her ongoing role as a bereavement counsellor
  • Terri Shanks for her support, training and mentorship of celebrants through the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants.
  • Professor Tony Walter for his 30 years’ work as a death sociologist and resulting worldwide achievements and acclaim.

A tough decision to make, but the judges finally made their choice:

At 73, having officially retired from his family firm nearly three years’ ago, this year’s winner is still very much involved in supporting not only the firm but also the profession itself. Starting work when he was just 16, he has dedicated his life to growing and innovating the family business with genuine care and passion. As director, his commitment and drive to be ethical and client focused in all that they do has given staff and colleagues someone to be inspired by.

Perhaps most notably, although he would never draw attention to this, he has carried out many famous and infamous funerals, including in 1997 along with his brother, the funeral of Diana Princess of Wales and the responsibility that this brought with it. What was of paramount importance to our winner was that the company could commit to their other clients and funerals on those significant days. The respect from those around him comes from knowing he treats everyone the same, whoever they are – with dignity.

He has represented all that is traditional and modern in the profession. He is a man that gives. And he gives selflessly. He has been Chairman of the St Pancras Welfare Trust for 20 years and is also a member of the Worshipful Company of Upholders.

His ability to go above and beyond his duty is very much reflected in his achievements.  He has been instrumental in professionalising independent funeral directors. Not only did he help to establish and grow SAIF, he was also part of the creation of Golden Charter, now the biggest Independent Plan Provider in the UK. He is never afraid to try something new and he pioneered the very first all-electric hearse in the UK in 2013, taking two years to invest, design and develop a much needed Eco-friendly alternative to the traditional hearse.

In well-deserved recognition for his lifetime of contributions to the profession the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Clive Leverton of Leverton & Sons.

 

Award photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

 

The ‘What To Do With The Ashes’ Award 2017

Sunday, 8 October 2017

            Toby Angel from Sacred Stones Ltd.

Introduced for the first time in 2017, this category had six shortlisted candidates, all of whom offer alternative solutions to the perennial question of what to do with the ashes.

The runner up in this category was chosen for their personal involvement and artistry in creating bespoke funerary urns with input from families, resulting in unique and beautiful creations.

The winner was chosen for the extraordinary achievement and collaboration between those behind the venture, the master craftsmanship involved, the philosophy that has been so well replicated and the extraordinarily beautiful result.

The Winner is Sacred Stones Ltd with the stone barrow at Willow Row

Runner Up – Ann Bates of Ann Bates Ceramics

 

Award photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

 

 

Best Funeral Caterer 2017

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Melanie Hurley of Rocket Catering

With just two shortlisted candidates for this category, both were in line for a certificate, but the winner was chosen for their sensitive and specialised approach to catering for bereaved families.

It was apparent from the real attention to detail and the thoughtful approach that this company has, that the quality of their food is matched by a personal dedication to ensuring that everything possible is done to reflect the character of the person who has died in the food provided for guests at the funeral tea.

 

With congratulations to Kim Clark at Tea and Sympathy for being the runner up, the Funeral Caterer of the Year is Rocket Catering

 

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Best Traditional Funeral Director 2017

Friday, 6 October 2017

                                A. W. Lymn – The Family Funeral Service

There was no shortage of candidates for this category, and the shortlisted 13 names included individuals as well as companies.

Traditional funeral directing continues to thrive, and the judges found it difficult to select the most deserving from among the entries submitted as all clearly have the highest of standards and impeccable presentation.

Eventually the decision was reached:

The Winner of Traditional Funeral Director of the Year 2017, with especial mention of two staff members, Louise Cook and Dominic Lister, is A. W. Lymn – The Family Funeral Service

Runners Up – Bungard Funeral Directors and Southall Funeral Service

 

Award photograph by Jayne Lloyd

Category sponsor – A. R. Adams Funeral Directors

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Best Modern Funeral Director 2017

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The team at Full Circle Funerals

Another category attracting many strong nominations and entries, the title of Best Modern Funeral Director reflects a growing change in the funeral sector to a more contemporary approach to funeral arrangements.

The judges looked at all aspects of the companies that were shortlisted including their online presence, and were very impressed by all the candidates.

One of the runners up was chosen for their innovative and holistic approach to funeral directing, and their successful establishment in the community where they work. The other was chosen for their fresh and community focused approach and their modernising take on traditional undertaking.

The winner was chosen in acknowledgement of the extensive research and planning carried out before opening, the care and thought that went into the ethos and the ‘look’ of the business, and the dogged persistence and belief in what they are doing in an area dominated by traditional style funeral directors which is now paying off as they continue to succeed.

The Winner of Best Modern Funeral Director is – Full Circle Funerals

Runners Up – Dandelion Farewells and Bewley & Merrett

 

Category sponsor – The Natural Death Centre Charity

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Most Promising Trainee Funeral Director 2017

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Sarah Ellis of Bewley & Merrett Funeral Directors

Three excellent candidates for this title made the judges’ decision particularly hard. All finalists demonstrate dedication, a thirst for knowledge and the empathy and professionalism that is the mark of a first class funeral director.

Selecting one over the other two was a difficult choice, but the final decision was made in acknowledgement of the personal challenges that this person has overcome to reach the position of trainee Funeral Director.

The Winner is Sarah Ellis, of Bewley and Merrett Funeral Directors

Runners Up – Rhys Askham from Rosedale Funeral Home, and Sarah Tully from Compassionate Funerals

 

Award photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

 

Most Promising New Funeral Business 2017

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Allistair Anderson from Compassionate Funerals

This category attracted a number of strong entries, with 11 finalists ranging from traditional to more unconventional businesses. The judges believe that it is essential that any future regulation of the funeral industry does not place barriers in the way of newcomers, as it is the emergence of new innovative thinking about how to do funerals that is driving the funeral sector forward.

There are two runners up in this category, both successful start-up businesses by funeral directors who have worked for large companies and wanted to have a more personal, involved and reactive role.

The winner was selected for their unique, contemporary, open and bespoke approach, their professionalism balanced with creativity and compassion, blending to give a fresh new approach to undertaking.

In their own words;

It is clearly important that we keep our service flexible, adaptable, creative and truly meet the needs of our client, rather than giving a blueprint of what we think that a funeral should be and look like.’

Winner – Compassionate Funerals

Runners Up – Crescent Funeral Services and O’Dwyer Funeral Directors

 

Award photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Funeral Arranger of the Year 2017

Monday, 2 October 2017

 

Lorraine Aitken of Young’s Independent Funeral Directors

Often the most recognisable face of many funeral businesses, the role of funeral arranger is a critically important one. It is the arranger who builds relationships with families, who becomes the trusted friend and advisor and who ensures that all the details are taken care of.

All finalists this year demonstrate outstanding people skills and the ability to empathise with clients from all walks of life and are commended by the judges.

This year’s runner ups were chosen for their sensitivity and listening skills which are a clear asset to their work, and for the impact they both have on families they serve.

This year’s winner was selected because of the glowing testimonials received, in particular this one from her employer; ‘Her ability to provide light and comfort at the worst time in people life’s is truly remarkable and her naturally humble and caring nature means she often shares her success with those around her. She is a people person in the truest sense. Quite simply she was meant to do the job!’

The Winner is Lorraine Aitken, from Young’s Independent Funeral Directors

Runners Up – Barbara Scrimshaw from Edd Frost & Daughters & Persephone Salway from A. Monger Funeral Directors

 

 

Award photograph by Jayne Lloyd

Category Sponsor – National Repatriation

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Most Eco-Friendly Funeral Director 2017

Sunday, 1 October 2017

           Andrew Leverton of Leverton & Sons

The funeral world is not known for being overly environmentally friendly, with large hearses and limousines travelling slowly to the place of committal. It is heartening therefore for there to be entries in this category, albeit with only four finalists.

The runner up in this category uses earth friendly coffins only, everyday transport rather than a hearse, and garden sourced flowers rather than imported shop bought arrangements.

The winner of the most eco-friendly funeral director is addressing the issue of reducing emissions in the industry in a number of ways, through digitalizing their company procedures as much as possible, providing information online to reduce print costs, and perhaps most importantly through their development introduction and regular use of their Eco hearse and accompanying family car.

By leading the way for traditional funeral directors to think innovatively about their carbon footprint, this company deserves to be applauded and widely recognised.

The Winner is Leverton & Sons

Runner Up – Woodland Wishes

 

Award photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Best Low Cost Funeral Provider 2017

Saturday, 30 September 2017

         Tony Foster of Fosters Funeral Directors

 

With the issue of funeral poverty (or funeral affordability) very much in the media, providing quality undertaking service at low cost is a goal that many businesses are aspiring to.  There were eight finalists in this category, and all provide excellent value for money for their low cost funerals.

The runner up has introduced an innovative approach to low cost funeral provision through partnership with local funeral directors, driving a change which could impact the whole funeral industry through provision of the lowest cost funerals with high quality service.

The winner was selected not only for their consistently high standards at affordable prices and their transparency of costs, but also for their determination to address often misleading information about the cost of a funeral put out by life insurance companies with vested interests by investing in an awareness raising advertising campaign on television and radio proudly comparing their prices with large corporate companies.

Winner – Fosters Funeral Directors

Runner up – Memoria Low Cost Funerals Ltd

 

Award photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

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