Recommended Funeral Directors
Elizabeth Way Family Funeral Services
Address: 18 Stamford Street Mossley OL5 0HR; 906 Ashton Road Oldham OL8 3HT
Open only since 2007, this is very much a family affair. Gail heads up the business supported in an admin capacity by her husband Piers.
Gail has a long background in nursing and social work and is very passionate about her role as Managing Director and Principal Funeral Director. This business is built around her care and compassion and she runs it from the heart.
As you walk into Elizabeth Way, you are assured of a warm welcome. Fresh, family artwork greets you in the light and airy vestibule. The impressive number of training certificates and qualifications, quietly on display, show a thirst for learning and a passion for excellence. There are no urns or deathy icons looking down on you. This may be a traditional area of industrial Lancashire but there is no grim reaper tone to these premises, or in the people who run it.
Young Anthony, their Funeral Manager is a key member of this lovely team as he gradually takes on extra responsibilities in addition to generally managing the day to day communications and practicalities, such as vehicles and equipment and ceremonial duties on the day of the funeral. He is committed to the company ethos and is keenly learning his role and expanding his involvement under the care and watchful eyes of Gail.
You will be personally introduced to the marvellous Tami, who will care for your person who has died. Tami, their Mortuary Hostess, is yet another shining star in this organisation. She is responsible for the immediate and continued care of those in her charge. She is clearly in love with her work and her meticulous record keeping is well worth a mention. She is proud of what she does and will encourage you to take part, should you want to be involved, whether it is the washing, dressing, make up, hair - whatever you want. The whole organisation has a tangible sense of safe-keeping, warmth and commitment to care. The mortuary care is second to none. Tami is a natural for this work and takes great pride in tending and preparing those in her care for their last journey. Embalming is not done routinely. It will only be done if it is specifically required or you specifically request it.
They believe that seeing things through the eyes of a bereaved family is the best way to get it right. As they say, ‘We want what people want.’
Jo, Jean, Jim and Tony complete this team bringing so many different skills to the business.
Having entered and decided you want to work with them, you will plonk yourself down in comfy old leather chairs and sofas as you discuss your needs and as they gently extract what you need from them.
The key to this company is their care – and they do. It is care from beginning to end……and beyond.
If tradition is what you want, you can have it. If it’s modern and refreshing, quirky or straight you want, these will be good people to deal with. They are local people who know their kinsmen and will tailor needs to fit. They know that one size does not fit all and they will go the extra mile to make sure of a good fit for you.
They are engaged in the community, implementing a project called ‘An afternoon of Conversation’ held locally once a month for the community to talk about all matters from end of life care, death and dying, and funerals. In addition they are involved in a local charity and run workshops for care workers, staff and clergy. They believe that by putting back into the community they are part of the community. The unstuffy and human face of undertaking.
Warmth, safe-keeping, quality and continuity of care are the over-riding features of this nurturing organisation. You sense that the people in their care are treated as the individuals they were and still are- and that families are given all the space and encouragement they need to be involved, if they so wish.
The type of care given at Elizabeth Way is incredibly high - a continuation and mirror-reflection of the tender end of life care given in hospices. Elizabeth Way instinctively and passionately strives to provide those in their care with an almost seamless transition from life to death. It is care of the very highest standards combined with a tender, intelligent, specialist-nursing approach.
The viewing rooms/chapels of rest are referred to as resting rooms. All rooms are warm, airy and pleasant with special attention to lighting. One is furnished like a bedroom, with a comfy bed on which your loved one can lay, if you wish, as you spend time with them, coming to terms with what has happened. There is a kitchen for families to make themselves a cuppa whilst they spend time together. Feeling comfortable is key to this.
If the bed thing isn’t for you, it can be more traditional, but both rooms can be personalised with photographs and cards with background music of your choice.
Everywhere you look, there are chairs, places to be comfortable and a sense of freedom to do what feels right for you in the period leading up to the funeral.
If someone dies at home, they are wrapped in a warm fleecy blanket before being brought to the funeral home - and that is the feeling that continues throughout the period you are dealing with Elizabeth Way. It’s like being wrapped in a warm, safe blanket of care….for as long as you need it.
There is an open pricing structure, starting at £2000.00 which covers all third party costs (cremation fees, doctor’s fees and a minister of choice) and all Elizabeth Way fees, simple coffin and the hearse – in fact all you need to arrange a funeral without fuss. What you choose to spend after that is completely your choice and you can pick services from their price list,eg: notices, limo’s, flowers – all the things that make funerals today –add up!
For example, if you prefer to source your own coffin or upgrade the one they supply , they will happily go along with that.
The mortuary care is second to none. Tami is a natural for this work and takes great pride in tending and preparing those in her care for their last journey. Embalming is not done routinely. It will only be done if it is specifically required or you specifically request it.
If you want to disregard the limousines, they will loan you black flags for your own cars to ensure you remain part of the cortege procession as you drive to the crematorium or cemetery.
The whole company atmosphere together with its interior design, is geared to and reflects care – from the care of those who have died, who are still people and treated as such, to those who have been bereaved. Going to Elizabeth Way is like going to your mum on a bad day, receiving a huge hug and knowing you are not on your own.
In addition they are motivated towards improving the general service at facilities operated by the local authorities and are not afraid to challenge the bureaucrats in order to make things better for all.
Your first call: will be answered by any one of the staff team. Phones are diverted to the main Stamford Street number when branches are unmanned and message service is available throughout the night..
Home visits: More than happy to make arrangements with you in your own home.
Continuity of care: You will meet the person who will lead the funeral early in the process. The continuity of care from collection to funeral and beyond is superb
Family participation: You will be empowered and encouraged to do as much or as little as you want
Same sex person to wash and dress: This is no problem. Just say if you have a preference
Ethnic Specialism: No particular ethnic specialisms but have prepared funerals for most faiths.
Local Celebrants: Gail is a fully experienced celebrant, should you prefer not to have a religious minister. If you wanted a specific celebrant or your own choice, it would be no problem
Home Arranged Funerals: Will gladly work with you in any way you want, if you wish to care for the person who has died at home: see the Do It All Yourself section of the Good Funeral Guide website
Website: Lots of information well set out. All prices shown. Clear and informative
Client Support: After the funeral, call in anytime for a hug and a cuppa – and people do! If you need a bit of extra support, Sarah is their Bereavement Care Co-ordinator and if need be ,they will find the right people to help you.
Money Matters: A fair pricing structure – but most importantly, there’s nothing cheap about the service you will get. The quality of care and the service you will get is, we reckon, good value for money. If money is a problem, be honest. Talk to them openly about it. They don't want you to spend more than you can afford and they'll show you how to make the most of your budget. They'll never make you feel uncomfortable about your choices because they respect you, your budget and your values.
If you’d like to pay for your funeral in advance, they will guide you through the process and your money will be lodged with Independent Way – a Trust Plan: it’s one way of putting money aside for your funeral.
We were left with the feeling of a large-hearted but well-run business. Undertakers who know their community, staffed by fabulous folk. You will feel comfortable and comforted, yet still in control if you do business with them. Lovely people. All Good Funeral Guide recommended funeral directors have something special about them, but the team at Elizabeth Way is super-special, right up there with the very best. You are extremely lucky to have them.