The Good Funeral Awards, raising money for a well in Uganda and Dream On

Following the sudden death of Simon’s sister Sarah, we came across a crowd funding opportunity to support the launch of a book about explaining death to children called ‘It’s not fair.’ We were able to support the book financially and in return, have her name included in the people it was dedicated to and a photograph of Sarah and her dog Millie incorporated into one of the illustrations.

We were joined by Laura Martin who, like Anne, was once Britain’s youngest female Funeral Director and who starred on the channel four television programme Teen Undertaker. Unfortunately, after being with us for only a few short months she went on two consecutive periods of maternity leave and subsequently decided to be a full-time mum to her two boys and take a career break. Laura studied for her Diploma in Funeral Directing alongside Mark Hall who subsequently went on to study for his Certificate in Education and become an approved tutor for the National Association of Funeral Directors. He now delivers the Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration and the Diploma in Funeral Directing.

The Good Funeral Awards in London this year saw Chloe as a runner up for the category of most promising new Funeral Director and we also has another award ceremony to attend, this time at the John Inness Centre for the South Norfolk Community Awards where we were voted runner up Business Champion of the year.

50 people from our Bereavement Support Groups enjoyed fish and chips on Cromer pier before attending the theatre show after we won a grant for £500 in the EDP Community Chest campaign. Nature and Nurture Therapeutic Service was formed, plugging the gap for bereaved children in Suffolk and we are proud to be associated with them both in fundraising and delivering bereavement awareness training for teachers and other professionals.

We nominated some of our favourite people in the Good Funeral Awards this year with both coming out in the top three in the country. Congratulations to Bierton & Woods stonemasons and Tracey Diplock from Inspired Flower Design. Anne was also nominated for a life time achievement award.

This year saw us raise £4000 to build a well in Uganda to provide clean water to over 1,000 villagers, working closely with the fields of Life charity under their “Well Good” campaign.

Once a year we get the entire Rosedale team together (there are around 50 of us!) for an away day and which is partly fun, partly work and partly to focus on the mental health and well-being of the staff. We started this with the support of a Suffolk based charity called Dream On who helped us to learn to take stock and celebrate our achievements more with the staff, focusing on the positive messages that we receive from families. After a brainstorming session with the staff on how we could improve our service to families and be the best Funeral Directors in the area, we decided that during the summer months we would take bottles of cooled water in the limousines for the mourners. It’s a small gesture that means a lot to families and has truly been appreciated.

Dream on also run the Blossom Charity in Eye and have supported some of our female staff members to develop their confidence and self esteem. By way of thanking them and raising awareness of their charity, we hosted a fashion show at Colney Woodland Burial Park where our staff received makeovers and strutted their stuff on the catwalk.