A Timely Review

It is now 18 months since Dandelion Farewells was launched and I am often asked how the business is developing. There have been so many milestones and personal stories of the people we have been invited to support.

We will again be attending the Good Funeral Awards 2016, further to our nomination for ‘Most Promising Funeral Director’.

I was asked to present an overview of Dandelion Farewells, which I share with you here. We think it has been quite a remarkable journey so far… here are some of the details…

Since the inception of the idea for Dandelion Farewells at the beginning of 2014, to the business model being developed and established, Dandelion Farewells has gone from strength, I have continually strived to develop professional understanding, skills and experience in the many aspects of funeral planning. I am involved in all the aspects of care for the person who has died and their family. Dandelion Farewells provides a fresh, transparent and flexible service to bereaved families, with an entirely personal touch. Through this holistic, bespoke approach Dandelion Farewells provides comprehensive care for individuals, families and communities.

Dedicated much time and energy to traveling to learn alongside the very best in the industry - those with many years' experience and others who themselves have begun their business oa few years earlier - I have developed strong relationships with other professionals. I am able to draw upon a valuable network of colleagues, suppliers and mentors. Similarly, I have also been called upon to support the work of other funeral directors who have identified my professional and interpersonal strengths to work alongside particular clients. Coupled with valuable empirical learning alongside others, I have completed several formal training programs to provide a firm theoretical and professional foundation to my work and upon which to build my business. In September 2015 I took a substantial time and financial commitment begin studying for the BIFD Certificate of Funeral Services, which i successfully completed in March 2016. Furthermore, I am now on the pathway to achieve the Diploma qualification in 2017. In addition, I have also attended supplementary training courses for bereavement care.

Most recently I have secured a unique premises from which to provide modern funeral care for the families whom I serve. Dandelion Farewells is now well-positioned to build upon its firm professional foundations and secure business structure to achieve great success in the coming months and years.

During the last twelve months I have consolidated many strands of learning, influence and ideas and the professional model that I have developed encapsulates the essence and purpose of my work through Dandelion Farewells, as I support the families that I work alongside. I believe that each of these three areas of support is equally valuable and I have developed skills and resources to meet the needs of individuals in these circumstances.

The Support Circle

Pre-need In response to trying to guide families to plan a funeral where no wishes were known, and to empower people with information and advice to make their own choices, I have developed a planning workshop for small groups, called My Wishes My Way. This was launched during Dying Matters Week this year. The core of this session is to freely provide information about end of life choices and funeral planning and encourage people to write down their wishes (refer to letter to hosts attached and the feedback from people who have attended). I have also been asked to facilitate GraveTalk sessions in our community.

At need Dandelion Farewells provides personal, meaningful funeral occasions, whatever form this will take for each individual family. It is an unhurried approach to spend time listening and working alongside the people making the funeral arrangements, to ensure that their decisions resonate with their lives and preferences. The person who has died is cared for with tenderness, kindness and dignity. I am entirely transparent regarding arrangements and costs.

After Care The funeral marks a clear milestone in the change that has occurred and assists the assimilation of the loss, but I continue to support the families beyond the day of the funeral. This may be through meeting at intervals after the funeral; sign-posting them to appropriate bereavement services, providing literature and resources. During the last twelve months I completed the facilitators programme for Grief Journey UK; attended a Cruse training day and completed the Sage & Thyme listening skills training. I have provided bereavement training for the pastoral group of a local church.

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