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