Collaboration not competition.

Fran Hall 4 Comments
Fran Hall



According to Twitter, the website and an e-mail bulletin sent out yesterday, the Good Funeral Awards will be taking place this year in Bournemouth in September.

We think it worth noting that the Good Funeral Guide is no longer involved with these events and will not be attending. 

We ended our involvement with the awards as joint organisers last year, having been very much part of the awards since they began in 2012.

The decision was taken for various reasons, but in essence, we feel that the time for competing against one other in funeralworld has come to an end and that progressive, intelligent people working together and collaborating in best practice is the way forward.

Across the UK, good people serving bereaved families face the relentless pressure of large corporates seeking ever larger ‘market share’, the growing issue of unregulated funeral planning, negative media coverage of the funeral industry, the race to the bottom in pricing, ‘ ‘disruptive’ online ‘experts’ adding their two penn’orth to information in the public domain – and the ongoing stress of working daily directly with death and the aftermath. 

We feel that all who are trying to improve the way we do funerals in the UK are stronger together, supporting each other and sharing fellowship, rather than competing against each other, and allowing themselves to be set apart by judgements of who is the best in each field.

We also feel that the role of the GFG is done when it comes to awards within the funeral industry.

We want to concentrate on what we think essential. Reaching out from inside the funeral bubble of talking to each other about each other and actually talking to the people who matter most. The public.

The role of the Good Funeral Guide is, and always has been, to support, empower and represent the interests of dying and bereaved people, and we will continue to do our best to do so in the future, rather than getting sidetracked with event planning.



  1. Fran Hall

    The Good Funeral Awards would never have happened had it not been for the GFG, so I regard this parting of the ways with wistfulness. No regrets, though, none at all. I take your point about collaboration/competition, which mirrors my own feelings after the first awards ceremony. Disappointed ‘losers’ can take some comforting. More to the point, they are not second best. For that reason, after the first awards, I vowed never to be involved with a repeat… but everyone clamoured, so we gave in because, bundled with the Ideal Death Show, which sought (and mostly failed) to bring in ordinary members of the public, the awards served (and still serve) the valuable purpose of highlighting achievement, bringing the best practitioners to the attention of the media and providing an occasion when funeralfolk can get together and talk shop. But they’re a heck of a lot of work and stress, they’d begun to feel like groundhog day, and, yes, they do not sufficiently directly address the core purpose of the GFG, which is to improve the funeral experience of ordinary people. So I think it quite right to pass on the baton. I wish the event every success. It will always carry the GFG’s DNA.

    You’re right, Fran. There are more important fish to fry. Here’s to fresh fields and pastures new!

  2. Fran Hall

    I agree with much that you say, Fran, the only general point I would make is that many very deserving practitioners have benefited from well-deserved (and free) publicity following receipt of awards, and indeed for nomination without the ultimate accolade.That benefit is not simply financial but wider-ranging in terms of ‘spreading the word ‘.

    On a more specific matter, an unkind critic might say that the choice of Bournemouth seems to be a piece of wilful self-interest on behalf of the organiser. Of course if he had been deliberately awkward he could, I suppose, have opted for the Isle of Wight.

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