Anne and Pippa Nominated charity fundraisers of the year, Suffolk Adult Learners Awards and a Christmas service of Remembrance

Anne and Pippa Hardie were nominated charity fundraisers of the year in the South Norfolk Community Awards, after Pippa came up with the idea to raise £10,000 for charity to celebrate Rosedale’s 10th anniversary and our 10 for 10 plans were born. The year saw us deliver a bingo night, a community quiz, a golf day and our inaugural Walk of Remembrance, with Anne achieving her challenge of running 10 marathons in 10 weeks. Funds were raised for the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind, Wymondham Dementia Group, Beccles Public Hall, Clinks Care Farm, East Coast Hospice, East Anglian Children’s Hospice, East Anglian Air Ambulance, Priscilla Bacon Lodge, All Saints Church, Old Buckenham to name a few. When Pippa joined Rosedale she brought with her skills in marketing and she helped us to set up our social media presence, creating Facebook and Twitter Accounts and teaching us all about posts and tweets and page likes. This has proved to be a really good way of engaging with new audiences and raising awareness of and encouraging conversations around the often taboo ‘D’ word. Our commitment to training, learning and volunteering saw our staff recognised in the Suffolk Adult Learners Awards with nominations for Lucy Coote for volunteer of the year, Andrew Hall for adult learner of the year, Dee Besley and Doug Mizon for mature student of the year, Anne for tutor of the year and Outstanding Services to Adult Education and Training, and Choe Middleton for Inspirational learner at work. We launched our knitathon for knitters of all ages to join our team of volunteers to help us create items for the Dogs Trust, Feline Care, East Anglian Children’s Hospice, St. Martin’s Housing Trust and our annual Shoe Box appeal. Having outgrown our small premises in Upper Ollland Sreet, we moved just two doors down, into the old Nurseys building. The funeral home was opened by George Ling with 3year old Logan cutting the ribbon. The additional space meant that Kath was able to join Mandie and Chloe in the office, completing our Bungay team Kath took on responsibility for the window display at Bungay which we allow charities and community groups to use to promote their services. We decided to tender for and were awarded the contract with the local School of Anatomy at the University of East Anglia. When a person wishes to bequeath their body for medical research, we help to facilitate this and our involvement has been incredibly interesting and rewarding. Recognising that Christmas is often a very difficult time for the bereaved, we organised a Christmas service of Remembrance to create an opportunity to share memories and take part in a tangible act of lighting a candle and writing a message on a card for our tree of remembrance. Our Christmas programme has also included a series of wreath making workshops enabling bereaved families to come together to create a beautiful tribute to take to the grave of a loved one over the Christmas period. Refreshments always play an important part in gatherings like this, and we shared mulled apple juice, hot chocolate and of course, cake. We are very grateful to Alison (a former florist) for her role in these workshops. Alison is very crafty and takes on other creative projects such as our entry in the Beccles pumpkin festival and the creation of Boris our scarecrow Funeral Director who is a popular character in the Halesworth scarecrow festival and can be seen out and about with Kingsley, one of our pall bearers. We rounded the year off by celebrating at the Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber Awards. We were runner up in the category of Family Business and Business of the Year and went away with first place in the Community Impact Award.