Weekly Community Roundup – 19th February 2021

Raising £10,000 for local hospice despite fundraising events being cancelled

E Sargeant & Son Funeral Directors, Berkshire, showed remarkable resolve and met its £10,000 fundraising pledge in 2020 for those with life-limiting illnesses, despite all its sponsored activities being cancelled due to Covid-19.

The funeral directors were forced to cancel nine events raising donations for Thames Hospice but, through the generosity of clients, local business connections and Funeral Partners, they were still able to meet the five-figure commitment.

Mark Clements, Regional Support Manager of Funeral Partners South, said: “From a jazz-themed lunch and race night to car washes and quizzes, E Sargeant & Son had several activities planned to take the year by storm. However, 2020 panned out in a way no one could have predicted.

“We weren’t going to give up easily and managed to raise funds through the donation boxes in our branches, selling our old equipment and furniture, creative socially-distanced sponsorship activities, generous donations from the families we serve, and the Funeral Partners community fund.”

2020 marked the third year in a five-year pledge by E Sargeant & Son to raise £10,000 annually for Thames Hospice, which had been previously achieved through sponsored events including a climb over the O2 arena by Funeral Director Abbie Reeve.

E Sargeant & Son had already invested in advertisements and fliers for its first fundraiser in 2020, a three-course dinner to be run by Langley College’s Hospitality & Catering Academy, when the first national lockdown came into effect.

Mark said: “It was a huge set back, but E Sargeant & Son are a dedicated bunch, and we have caring clients and a wonderful network to support us every step of the way.”

Sam Kershaw, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are pleased to see E Sargeant & Son remaining as committed as ever to helping Thames Hospice. Many charities are in dire need of donations during these difficult times, which is in the minds of all our branches that regularly fundraise.”

Jane Symmons, Head of Major Gifts at Thames Hospice, said: “We are thrilled to continue our strong relationship with Funeral Partners and E Sargeant & Son. They have shown their unwavering support to us during these challenging times by providing this amazing donation, for which we say thank you.

“Knowing that we have support from Funeral Partners and E Sargeant & Son for five years means we can use the funds to establish and grow our vital services, such as our counselling and bereavement support for families”.

E Sargeant & Son is determined to continue fulfilling its five-year commitment and raise £10,000 for Thames Hospice in 2021. Please visit www.esargeant.co.uk to read more about the community events and activities, or to donate and help towards the fundraising goal to support those with life-limiting illnesses in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

Grief book offers comfort

Faced with the enormity of losing siblings, parents, or grandparents, it is often difficult for children to express their grief or to understand what is happening in their family.

Funeral Partners funeral homes in Northern Ireland are offering some comfort by providing an interactive book of remembrance aimed at answering some tough questions and helping children articulate special memories of the loved one they have lost.

Each page of the fully illustrated book helps the reader evoke memories of their loved one through the senses and encourages them to put pen to paper, to include photographs of people and places as reminders of happy times and explains the meanings of words which might be unfamiliar.

Andrew Neale of James Brown & Sons Funeral Directors, Belfast, said: “Throughout 2020, we have seen the upset and confusion on the faces of children attending funerals who are not only trying to make sense of the death of a loved one but also the disruption to their daily lives due to the pandemic. The adults around them are trying to navigate their way through their own pain of loss in these most unusual of circumstances.

“Caring is at the heart of our business and since we cannot offer any physical comfort to the bereaved at this time, we want to reach out to offer support through the provision of these remembrance books which we trust will be of some comfort and help to the little ones who maybe can’t quite comprehend what is going on around them.”

Captain Marvellous

As a mark of respect, the team at Melia Powell Funeral Service laid a wreath on Captain Sir Tom Moore’s plaque.

Captain Sir Tom was born in Keighley, he was made and Honorary Freeman of the town in July 2020.

The card says ‘To our local legend, a true gentleman. Rest in Peace. From all at Melia Powell.’

Knitted garments for babies born too soon

Funeral Director Aimee Poole learnt how to crochet and is making burial garments for babies born sleeping.

Aimee is making these throughout the year ready to donate to local hospitals in October which is Infant and Baby Loss month.

Tribute to much-loved local man

John Blenkiron & Sons Funeral Directors had the honour of conducting the funeral of a much-loved and respected member of the community.

A memorial plaque has been installed on the organ at Easby church in memory of Myles John Camm who passed away suddenly last year at the age of 80. A small family gathering to dedicate it on Christmas Eve seemed appropriate because, as an organist, this was his busiest day.

Myles was born in Richmond in 1939 near Easby & lived in the town for most of his life. Married to Anne & father to Adrian & Caroline, he taught Maths at Richmond & Risedale schools for many years & served as church organist in several local parishes including Easby for 54 years. His funeral service was held there last September & his ashes were scattered in the Swale nearby, as was his wish.

Myles grew up in Gunnerside & Reeth & remained very much a Dalesman all his life, with a great love of the natural world & bracing Yorkshire weather.  Myles was an accomplished musician whose best love was the organ, the “king of instruments”. He played at countless services, weddings & funerals in the area with great pride & pleasure.

He left detailed requests for his own funeral music & his hymn choices included “How Great Thou Art”, which describes the marvels of the natural world & the goodness of God.

The opening lines of the chorus are inscribed on his memorial plaque on the organ at Easby church as a loving & permanent tribute to a man of great heart, intelligence, curiosity & faith who, for many people, will be sitting at the organ always.

National Heart Month

Funeral Arranger & Administrator Rachel O’Donoghue at Doves Funeral Directors Bromley branch has decorated the branch window for February in aid of National Heart Month.

Rachel is taking on the British Heart Foundations ‘My Steps challenge’ with a target of 250K steps throughout the month of February. So far Rachel has raised £205. To support Rachel in her fundraising efforts you can visit her fundraising page here:


Run the Month

Funeral Arranger Sonia Hunjin completed ‘Run the Month’ for Prostate Cancer UK, a virtual challenge to run 26.2k throughout January in any way she could.

Alongside team members from nearby Funeral Partner Wm Dodgson & Son Funeral Services the team raised £105 which will go towards funding lifesaving research and support services for men and their families affected by prostate cancer – the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK.

Run the Month

Team members from Wm Dodgson Funeral Services completed ‘Run the Month’ for Prostate Cancer UK, a virtual challenge to run 26.2k throughout January in any way they could.

The team raised £105 which will go towards funding lifesaving research and support services for men and their families affected by prostate cancer – the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK.

Well done to Funeral Arranger Nancy Brown from Middleton Park who went over and above the target by completing 121.89 miles throughout January.

Men’s Virtual Bereavement Information Hub

Compton Care, in partnership with the Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation are offering virtual bereavement information specifically for men every other Tuesday 1030am- 12pm (starting 16th February.

If you or someone you know needs support call 01902 774 570 or email compassionatecommunities@comptoncare.org.uk for more information or to book a space.

This is an informal friendly space for men to share their experiences of loss and grief with others in a similar situation.