Back to Top

Dandelion Farewells

Dandelion Farewells.jpg
Church View, Billingshurst Road, Wisborough Green, West Sussex RH14 0DY
Billingshurst Road Wisborough Green England RH14 0DY GB

Judith Dandy Dip FS, LMBIFD. Winner of the Most Promising New Funeral Director category in the 2016 Good Funeral Awards, Judith has become one of the most highly respected of the new breed of artisan funeral professionals in just three years since she first began researching the world of funerals.

Dandelion Farewells is the realisation of the dream that began in 2013 when Judith first contemplated being able to offer bereaved families a different, more gentle and personal service. A former social worker, Judith had always been interested in the field of bereavement support and the assimilation of loss during life changes, and having worked with families supporting them through funerals, her interest in the role of the funeral director grew.

As the idea took hold, Judith responded with her natural determination to fully understand and learn about this different vocation, and she spent much of 2014 researching funeral care. She invested huge amounts of time and energy shadowing good funeral directors, observing funerals, attending courses and working for a period for two of the large corporate funeral providers, and by the autumn of 2014 she decided that there was a role for the type of socially responsible and individual business that she envisaged. She wanted to put bereaved families at the heart of the business, to treat them with honesty, integrity and compassion, just as she would want to be treated if she were suddenly bereaved.

Dandelion Farewells was launched in January 2015 with a beautifully planned and presented launch ceremony which reflected the fresh approach to funerals that Judith wanted to introduce. The hard work and dedication involved in organising the launch day showed everyone who was there just how special Judith’s business would be – every detail had been thought of and planned for, and the look and feel of Dandelion Farewells was fresh and contemporary, with a thoughtfulness about every aspect.

The day after the launch, Dandelion Farewells carried out their first official funeral, and gradually word spread about the completely personal, gentle and professional service that Judith was able to provide. Families who chose Judith to look after a relative found themselves receiving really dedicated and personal care, often far beyond the level anticipated. Judith was available 24/7 to each family, and would answer phone calls and e-mails late into the night to ensure that any worries were allayed or questions answered fully. One of her clients attests to this:

‘On a few occasions, something would come to my mind very late at night and so I sent Judith an email about it, with the thought she would pick it up in the morning. It never occurred to me that she would reply by return, regardless of the lateness of the hour. That degree of care and attention prevented several sleeplessness nights on my part. I just hope it didn’t add to hers! ‘

The reputation of Dandelion Farewells as very special kind of funeral director was becoming established.

During the early days Judith worked tirelessly to co-ordinate the care of people who had died using facilities hired from other independent funeral directors, always overseeing everything herself. She frequently drove many miles just to check that a person she was caring for was ok on a daily basis, a situation that was a logistical complication but unavoidable while she looked for the right premises. She visited families at home to discuss their thoughts and to make the funeral arrangements, received coffin deliveries at her house, spent hours on the phone organising every detail and generally immersed herself in ensuring every funeral was perfect and just as the family wanted.

For much of the first years of the business Judith continued to do everything herself, hiring staff and vehicles to assist her when required. She somehow managed to juggle the responsibility of her business with her busy family life and still fit in time to develop her knowledge and understanding of the funeral profession, undertaking study firstly for the British Institute of Funeral Directors’ Certificate in Funeral Service and then the Diploma in Funeral Services, and attending many different workshops, study days and training courses in every aspect of her chosen role.

This determination to be the best she possibly could at what she does is fueled by her dedication to providing the best possible experience for the families she serves, and is what set Judith apart from many others who venture into the world of funerals. She has a need to understand the length breadth and depth of what she has chosen to do, and this dedication to knowledge complements her natural kindness and thoughtful nature, and her eye for the tiniest of detail.

Everything about Dandelion Farewells has been carefully thought through – perhaps agonised over – for Judith, it is essential that every detail is perfect. Everything matters. Nothing is left to chance, every i is dotted, every t crossed, and checked and double checked as many times as needed to ensure that every aspect of her funeral business is as she feels it should be. And when she found the perfect premises in the pretty West Sussex village of Wisborough Green, after many months of searching, Judith was able to begin creating the funeral home that Dandelion Farewells belonged in.

Careful planning and design has led to the creation of a beautiful haven for families who choose Dandelion Farewells as their funeral director. Large windows spill natural light into the reception area, where sofas and chairs are arranged around a coffee table and a small kitchen provides endless access to tea and coffee. There is no funereal paraphernalia, no photos of hearses or plumed horses, no brochures or leaflets or anything that could distract you or set an expectation – this attractive space is designed to provide a comfortable setting for a blank canvas where each client can begin to frame the thoughts about how they want their funeral to look. This is really important for Judith, she wants each family to be the creator of the funeral that is right for them and sees her role as the supporting presence that enables this. The décor is light and warm at the same time – everything is fresh, modern and of real quality.

To one side of the reception is the really lovely loo, the folded hand towels in a basket on the large vanity unit and the orchid and pot plants give it the feel of an expensive hotel, but it’s also a space where you could retreat if emotions overwhelmed you while you were here. Spotlessly clean and beautiful, somehow this little room tells you that everything here is taken care of.

Beyond the reception area, through wooden doors with little glass squares that let the light in, is the room where you can spend time with the person who has died. Elegantly simple, the room has a stunning glass triptych hand made by renowned designer Jo Downs and a comfortable armchair with a blanket folded over it. It is a space that you could personalise, somewhere where you could sit for hours alone or with people close to you. Once again, there are no pre-conceptions, this space as yet doesn’t have a name but it’s not going to be called a ‘chapel of rest’, it’s more than that and not that at all. Like everything Judith is doing, it’s different in a beautiful way.

The rest of the building has been fitted out as the highest quality space for looking after those in Judith’s care. Two large refrigerators provide cool storage for up to six people and an adjoining area can be used for washing and dressing people, or embalming if this is required. Further back there is an area where staff can work if a family needs privacy in the reception area, with a staff toilet and shower room. Outside there are outbuildings providing storage space.

Now that Dandelion Farewells has a home, Judith has brought in additional staff to help her and to ensure that someone is always there daily for any families who want to visit. Angela Barber is qualified funeral director with many years experience in both large and small funeral companies, and an examiner for the National Association of Funeral Directors. Jo Parsons is a friend of many years; a former primary school teacher, Jo is an event planner extraordinaire, and is rapidly learning about the whole fascinating world of funerals. The small team is close knit, and all of them have the same dedication and aims, with their different strengths resulting in a unique blend of skills that makes Dandelion Farewells quite unique.

Judith’s sensitivity and principles led her to decide not to have an ‘official opening’ for the premises – something that is often done in the funeral industry where local dignitaries and trade association presidents are all invited to attend a dedication service, complete with a photographer from the local press – instead, she asked the vicar from her own church to come privately in a visit with the local vicar from St. Peter’s Church to dedicate the premises for the work that will be done there. This is typical of Judith’s way of being, she does things for the right reason, not to promote herself or her company. She wants Dandelion Farewells to be something that the local community feel is theirs, not something that is being imposed on them, she has a real sense of devotion and dedication to community that is genuinely felt, and that informs every decision that she makes.

Specific Gravity

Thoughtful, gentle and professional, the overwhelming feeling about Dandelion Farewells is that of a bespoke service which is entirely dedicated to each family. Whatever style, size or sort of funeral would suit you and your family will be created for and with you by Judith and her team. Nothing will faze her, she is capable, calm and thorough, and every detail will be carefully considered and thought through.

What's Important?

Kindness, compassion and competence. A beautiful environment and gentle, careful staff who really understand how important it is to get everything right. Completely personal service, continuity of care from the first phone call throughout your time dealing with them. Well trained, informed and capable staff who will listen to you carefully and help you work out what it is you want and need.

There is a thoughtfulness informing this business throughout, for example, decisions about attending to the person who has died are always taken on an individual basis once the person is received into their care, there is no routine procedure in place, as sometimes families or care staff will have bathed and dressed the person carefully before Judith and her team arrive, and this last ritual may have been really important to those involved.

What's Different?

Judith is unique. She differs from traditional undertakers in her whole approach to funerals, demystifying the process, being transparent and ethical in her approach, bringing sensitivity, calm and an eye for detail that is second to none. Her premises are beautiful, attractive and modern, and not at all like those of a funeral director. And at the same time, Judith differs from some of the other new style funeral directors in her determination to equip herself with as much knowledge and training as she can get her hands on. She could probably fill the walls of her premises with certificates, but she feels strongly that her qualifications don’t define her, they have simply equipped her with a maturity and an in depth understanding of the role she has chosen to take on.

  • Your first call will be answered by Judith, Angela or Jo. Out of hours it will usually be Judith.
  • Home visits – yes, this is the first thing that you will be offered, as Judith feels people are generally more relaxed and comfortable if she comes to them.
  • Family participation – yes absolutely, the invitation to participate in looking after the person who has died is always discussed.
  • Same sex person to wash and dress? Yes, if needed, Judith has close contact with a local male funeral director who will gladly step in if required.
  • Embalming – ‘Not a fan’ – good mortuary care will go a long way to maintaining a body without this invasive procedure. However, facilities are available if embalming is deemed essential for any reason
  • Ethnic specialism Dandelion Farewells can support all faith groups, with facilities available for ritual washing at their premises.
  • Home arranged funerals – Judith has been trained in home care of a person who has died, and is able to provide advice and support as well as the loan of equipment and resources if required.
  • Local celebrants – Dandelion Farewells has an extensive portfolio of celebrants covering a range of styles. Judith always sits in on the ceremony and is well equipped to suggest a celebrant who might suit you.
  • Website – really attractive, contemporary website, easy to navigate and with prices clearly laid out.
  • Client support – superb. Individual attention and personal service from first contact throughout your dealing with Judith or her team. Two members have been trained by Grief Journey UK to facilitate support groups and Judith and her team have attended a number of training events by hospices and bereavement organisations.
  • Money matters – extremely good. Dandelion Farewells offers supreme value for money, with costs that are transparent and full explained.
  • Parking – Parking is available directly outside the building, or over the road outside The Crown public house. NB If you arrive to find that another family is inside the premises, the staff at the Crown will look after you with refreshments until Judith or her colleagues are free.

Judith’s award as the most promising new funeral director 2016 was hugely well deserved. She has invested huge amounts of time, energy and attention in becoming the best qualified, most well rounded and emotionally intelligent of funeral directors, and with the opening of her new premises she now has everything at her fingertips to provide families with the best possible service.

Her sense of style and appreciation of quality and good taste mean that a Dandelion Farewells funeral will be a beautiful event no matter what kind of ceremony or what format you choose, and she will ensure that you feel completely safe and supported throughout your time dealing with her. You will be kept informed every step of the way, and you can be certain that the person who has died will be cared for with the utmost reverence.

We have watched Judith’s journey from initial beginnings to today’s realisation of a dream, and it is wonderful to see that she is now supporting and assisting other new and burgeoning funeral directors as they follow in her footsteps. She is paying it forward, in appreciation of all the assistance she received in the early days, and is setting the highest of standards for the new 21st century kind of funeral director.


Any decisions you take on engaging the services of a funeral director should be based on your views and research. You should not rely solely upon the views and opinions offered by us.

Reviews from the old GFG website

Ruth Elhamad

Sunday 14th May 2017 at 14.03pm

Amazing service.  These people do an amazing job x


Dandelion Farewells

Monday 3rd April 2017 at 6:14 pm

Testimonials from families who used Dandelion Farewells between June and October 2016:

‘Once again, thank you so much for everything Judith. Our family are all so grateful for your loving care and guidance throughout. You gave our family such warmth and respect. With your great sense of understanding and valuable insights, you offered us options which were truly priceless and always in such a gentle and professional manner. Thank you so very much for your integrity and open hearted, honest approach.’

‘Judith was wonderfully calming and allowed us as a family to contribute as much as we wanted/needed. I trusted you with the care of my beautiful Dad and quite right I was with my choice.’

‘I struck gold when I was recommended to Dandelion Farewells. Judith is superb at her job, going above and beyond all expectations. She is sensitive to every situation, anticipating moments that could be distressing, always allowing time to come to terms with those moments. She supported the whole family.’

‘It was clear during our first contact that you had a passion for caring for us as a family. There was no ‘hard sales’ attitude, just a clear desire to ensure we were very well informed about our choices. You led us through some very difficult choices and made information easy to understand.’

‘Very informative, lots of options given. No pressure. The funeral day itself was all handed professionally. Judith was a calm, reassuring and discrete presence. Judith came to the service following the cremation which was beyond the call of duty and much appreciated. We felt we were given choices.’

‘Honestly can not speak highly enough of Judith and her team. They were professional, supportive and efficient in all they did. Judith walked me through the toughest months of my life as a young widow and now a single mum. The information on costs, procedures, traditions, admin and widow allowances was invaluable. I couldn’t have hoped for better care.’

‘When planning the funeral we wanted a traditional, yet modern, contemporary feel for a very large gathering of approx. 300 people. Judith was able to help pull this event together which was a celebration of life rather than a religious/funeral event but with traditional elements. She made the event perfect for our every need and desire and full of personal touches. Judith walked us through every aspect from venues, speeches, timings and dealt with a very bespoke and individual event. Every family member and guest couldn’t speak highly enough of the service and support they have given. I will be forever grateful to them all for making our farewell such a special event. Thank you.’

‘We felt everything was handled respectfully and our wishes were met 100%.

Couldn’t fault a single thing. Judith went above and beyond.

You sounded perfect and you were.’

Was this review helpful to you? Yes No
Showing 1 result
Dandelion Farewells.jpg 3 months ago
Showing 1 result
Heatherley Wood.jpg
Grayshott Road, Grayshott, Headley, East Hampshire GU35 8LA, United Kingdom 23.03 km
Just over the Surrey border in East Hampshire, and within easy reach of South London, Heatherley Wood is a pretty natural burial ground, where graves can be chosen in either the meadow and heathland or beneath mature trees in the woodland area. The mixed woodland site was once part of the Nation...
Holmes & Family.jpg
0.00 (1 review)
167, North Lane, Aldershot GU12 4SY 37.52 km
20 Fleet Road, Fleet GU51 4QG, United Kingdom 30.25 km
388 Yorktown Road, College Town, Sandhurst GU47 0PU 40.2 km
197 Laleham Road, Staines TW18 2NS 44.74 km
Oliver and Toby Holmes. Sons of David Holmes (who founded the company and who attends 99% of funerals as a driver / bearer), Ollie and Toby are quite extraordinarily lovely young men. We met Toby only briefly, as he was busy with the business of the day, but spent quite some time with Ollie, the ...
GFG 2017 Recommended logo.jpg
185 Portland Rd, Hove, East Sussex BN3 5QJ, UK 30.49 km
230 Eastern Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 5JJ 35.67 km
Sussex Funeral Services is owned and managed by Philip Evans and his wife Sallie. Philip is what you might call one of the new wave of funeral directors who has come to this work motivated by a strong vocation. He does not feel bound by tradition and habit, but has fresh eyes and fresh ways. This...
0.00 (1 review)
39-41 Surrey Street, Brighton BN1 3PB, United Kingdom 33.34 km
136 Islingword Road, Brighton BN2 9SH 33.83 km
ARKA Original Funerals are undertakers with a difference. One of the pioneers in challenging the traditional, patriarchal rigidity of the funeral industry in early days of this century, ARKA is widely recognised and admired by the new wave of modern funeral directors as a role model of how to pro...
Town & Country Funeral Directors.jpg
155 Guilford Road, West End, Surrey GU24 9LS 35.84 km
Adrian Pink. Or occasionally his wife Amanda. Adrian became a funeral director by chance some 30 years ago in his hometown of Cambridge, and he has spent those three decades soaking up every aspect of funeral directing. He has worked for small co-operative funeral directors and large funeral dire...
Rowland Brothers.jpg
9 The Parade, Old Coulsdon CR5 1EH 44.72 km
44 High Street Purley CR8 2AA 44.38 km
434 Limpsfield Road, Warlingham CR6 9LG 49.2 km
32 Central Parade, New Addington CR0 0JD 50.14 km
297 – 303 Whitehorse Road, Croydon CR0 2HR, United Kingdom 42.07 km
A selection of quite the nicest, most personable and knowledgeable people make up the staff of this highly respected funeral director company, and you will be looked after throughout your dealings with them by the staff at the branch you make contact with. Independently owned and run, Rowland Bro...
A & J Morriss.JPG
15, The Broadway, Plough Lane, Croydon CR0 4QR 50.21 km
343 Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon CR0 6RG, United Kingdom 46.23 km
Part of the Rowland Brothers Group, A & J Morriss is an independent, family run business with all the attributes that brings. Funerals are supported by the Rowland Brothers fleet and staff, and back office administrative support frees the Morriss staff members to devote themselves to the fami...
Selsdon & District Funeral Service.jpg
204 Addington Road, Selsdon, Surrey CR2 8LD 47.26 km
Michael Wort and Gary Morriss are the two funeral directors here, supported by Sue who holds the fort when they are out of the branch. Both Michael and Gary hold the Diploma in Funeral Directing and the licence to practice issued by the British Institute of Funeral Directors, (Selsdon & Distr...
Poppy's Funerals.jpg
0.00 (2 reviews)
The Gatehouse, Lambeth Cemetery, Blackshaw Road, London SW17 0BY 50.4 km
Poppy Mardall and her colleagues Isabel, Kate, Rosanna and Philippa. Poppy, a fine-arts graduate, started the company after leaving her previous role as deputy director at Sotheby’s to work out how to do something with her life that was ‘meaningful and frontline’. Personal experience had led her ...
Nigel Chamberlain & Partners.jpg
The Gate House, Victoria Road, Bishops Waltham SO32 1DJ 50.64 km
Bob Metcalf MBE and Lucy Guilder, ably assisted by Teresa Curran. Nigel Chamberlain and Partners has been looking after families in Bishops Waltham, the Meon Valley, Wickham, Botley and many villages in the area since 1892. The business is owned by Richard Steel and Partners, a family firm who ha...
Showing 1 - 20 of 58 results