The Good Funeral Awards move this year to Bournville, Birmingham. The date: 6 September 2014. Nominations are open.
In just three years our little acorn has grown into a flourishing oak. To many funeral directors the Good Funeral Awards might once have looked like an impertinence. Who on earth were we, a bunch of industry outsiders, to stage a glitzy, fun-filled dinner and ask a celeb to bestow ‘Oscars’ on outstanding people? Come off it, what did we know?
The answer is: quite a lot, actually. We’re not self-appointed experts but we are, at the very least, knowledgeable observers of what goes on. Our judges, whose identities we do not reveal, have picked winners that have met with approval.
It’s the glitz that gets us noticed
And the glitz is important. It’s the glitz that gets us noticed. We want the event to be eyecatching –we want the media to sit up and take notice.
Because our underlying purpose is very serious.
We are passionate about raising public awareness of issues around dying, death and funerals. This event helps dissolve some of the taboo around death. It gets people talking and thinking. When they realise that some of the nicest people in Britain work in the funerals business it helps make death feel so much more normal and the task of organising a funeral so much less of an ordeal.
It has always been our primary purpose to put bereaved people in touch with the best providers of services and merchandise. This event serves that purpose admirably. And it does something else. It rewards unsung heroes who work so hard for the bereaved and whose role can so easily be overlooked.
It’s where we get to say thank you
So it makes us fiercely proud that when gravedigger Bernard Underdown, winner in 2012, went to church as usual the following Sunday, his vicar began the service with a little speech about his achievement. When he finished, Bernard was treated to a standing ovation by the congregation. We’re proud that, in 2013, gravedigger Stuart Goodacre’s radio interview got top billing on BBC Radio 4’s Pick of the Week.
Above all, this event gives us the opportunity for us to say to people in the funerals business, on behalf of all bereaved people: ‘Thank you for being there for us at the time when we shall need you.’
There is value in the Good Funeral Awards being staged by outsiders, friends of the consumer. It’s what gives the Good Funeral Awards their essential credibility. Who else could do this? If the industry were to confer ‘Oscars’ on itself, it would look self-congratulatory and no one would pay any attention.
And just look at all the great publicity the event gains for the industry. A 1-hour, prime-time documentary by Sky. Loads of local and national radio. Acres of column inches in local and national newspapers. Can you think of any other event that makes the funeral industry look so good to the public? Especially the independent sector? We have already booked in our first camera crew for this year’s event.
If there’s someone you’d like to nominate, do that now on the Good Funeral Awards website. And remember, this isn’t a winner-takes-all event. There are certificates for all who are shortlisted, too, and local media is always interested in them as well. This year’s winner’s Oscar is a beautiful statuette of the Egyptian god of embalming (below).
Nominate someone now!
Go to the Good Funeral Awards website and NOMINATE SOMEONE NOW!