Weekly Community Roundup – 29th May 2020

Not all heroes wear capes, some wear top hats

We are all encouraged to keep our streets clean but Funeral Director Ian Brown went one step further by keeping them clear of snow.

An unexpected bout of snow in March rendered the footpaths treacherous and, in some parts, impassable but thanks to Ian and his trusty snow plough, residents were able to access the community.

The plough is a converted lawnmower and proved to be a real asset to the community, keeping Ian busy for an entire week.  

Lockdown charity head shave

Our very own Funeral Director Lee Howard is braving the shave to raise much needed funds for St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne which provides support for those in the final stages of their life.

Since the birth of his daughter Lee noticed his hairline had started to thin and has decided to shave it all off to raise as much as he can for the hospice which has supported so many people in the community.

Lee, is no stranger to fundraising for St Wilfrid’s, having most recently raised £570 by staying locked in Eastbourne’s Redoubt Fortress until reaching his target for the hospice’s Jail and Bail event.

Lee was scheduled to take part in the hospice’s Bubble Rush fundraiser in May, however after the event was delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, he decided to raise funds on his own.

The money Lee has raised so far through JustGiving, has already paid for a nurse in St Wilfrid’s in-patient unit for two days.

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lee-howard777 , Lee will livestream going under his fiancé’s clippers once he reaches his £600 fundraising target for the Hospice.

Funeral directors provide ‘Pots of Love’ for the bereaved in Slough

E Sargeant & Son Funeral Directors has joined Slough Mutual Aid to turn donations into beautiful cards and flowerpots and deliver them to the bereaved during these difficult times.

Appealing to local people in Slough for spare garden pots or plants and children’s creative drawings to support people who have lost loved ones during the COVID-19 outbreak children aged 14 and under are being asked to create the drawings and include things that will make people smile, be it rainbows, hearts or flowers, as well as the words ‘Thinking of you’. There will be special prizes for the winning drawings.

The teams will turn the garden supplies donated to them by the community into ‘pots of love’, which E Sargeant & Son will deliver to doorsteps with the printed cards.

Mark Clements from E Sargeant & Son and Julie Siddiqi, community organiser at Slough Mutual Aid came up with the idea for Pots of Love while they were delivering leaflets around Slough offering local support to those who need it.

Pictures for the drawing competition can be sent to sloughmutualaid@gmail.com, along with the artist’s name and age and a parent’s name and phone number.

Please also email sloughmutualaid@gmail.com to donate spare pots, compost, plants or other garden features for the Pots of Love project.

Funeral Arranger’s 200 miles to Walk all over Cancer

Kelly Smith from Ashdown Funeral Services in Belvedere took part in a national fundraising initiative in memory of her brother Leo, who passed away due to liver cancer in 2016, walking 200 miles across March for Walk all over Cancer by Cancer Research, doubling the challenge’s requirements.

She changed her daily life by walking to and from work, taking one hour and 15 minutes each way, and walking to see colleagues and friends instead of calling them, to reach her personal target.

Kelly said: “I walk a lot in my day-to-day life so thought 10,000 steps wouldn’t be challenging enough for me. I’ve therefore pushed myself to walk roughly 20,000 steps per day to reach 200 miles across March in total and have actually exceeded that number of steps nearly every day so far.”

Funeral Partners’ Bexley Hub Manager Tracey Still suggested Walk All over Cancer to local branches after being inspired by her close friends Julie Still and Cherrie Tadman, who passed away due to breast cancer in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Kelly and Tracey created a Cancer Research Fundraising team after Clare Cornwall and Jade Walker, Funeral Arrangers at Ashdown’s Sidcup and Bexley branches respectively, joined the challenge.

 The team raised a total of £730.00 plus £166.25 gift aid from their fundraising pages and sponsor forms with Kelly alone walking an impressive total of 302 miles during the month.

Tracey said: “Everyone on the team has Fitbits, so it was easy to keep sponsors updated on Kelly’s 20,000 steps and our 10,000 steps a day.

“We’ve all changed our daily lives in different ways to meet the goal. Clare and Jade have been taking their dogs for longer walks and I’ve been using the stairs more to speak to staff rather than dialling internally.”


Hope at the end of the rainbow

Funeral Directors Sarah Lockton and Mark Carr created a rainbow trail window display in honour of NHS and key workers who are valiantly working to keep vital services operational and save lives.

After an appeal on Facebook Sarah was inundated with emails and messages from members of the public with pictures that were printed off.

Hope at the end of the rainbow

Funeral Arranger Kim Skerrett from Henry Ison & Son Funeral Directors on Allesley Old Road created a rainbow window display with the aim of spreading hope and positivity amongst the local community as well as showing her support for the thousands of NHS and key workers working on the front line.

Thank you!

Thank you, keyworkers

In the North Region, Anthony Barton, Funeral Director and Tami Peel, Funeral Arranger from our Elizabeth Way branch in Mossley have been truly engaged with the local community. They have reached out and asked children to draw pictures for their branch window and for photos of Key Workers to create a ‘thank you’ display. They are receiving fantastic feedback from within the community.

As well as being a Funeral Arranger Tami is a community nurse, so lately has been working nights at weekends on a Covid-19 Ward. Tami’s two children have received personalised letters from the CEO of the NHS trust, thanking them for allowing Mum to be a hero and a legend and saying how much she needs their hugs. Tami is doing an amazing job whilst juggling her role with us too.

Regional Development Director for the North Region, Phil Barr said “This is a fantastic idea and lovely to see. It certainly makes you sit back and think about the amazing work that Key Workers are doing across communities. Thank you, Anthony and Tami, for supporting your local community and for making a video to share.” (The background singer is a lady who sings at our local Christmas Memorial service)

To view the video Anthony and Tami have put together this video click on this link https://vimeo.com/415473136/5c6999910e

Easter window wows

Funeral Arranger Murielle Doyle created this beautiful Easter inspired window display and invited local children to send in pictures of their drawn, painted, or handmade Easter Eggs.

One lucky entry was selected to win a prize.

Memory boxes filled with love

In the Scotland and North East Region, Regional Administrator, Suzanne Bremner has been surprising bereaved families with her thoughtful gestures. Suzanne has been knitting hearts to put inside memory boxes for clients, one is placed with the deceased and the other is presented to the client along with a laminated poem.

Suzanne also includes a laminated bookmark, poem, teddy bear if the funeral is for a child and a flower card holder if there were meant to be flowers on the service.

The response so far has been wonderful, and this is yet another superb example of the ways our teams are working with families during this difficult time.

75th Anniversary of VE Day

Activities Coordinator Sonia Hunt created the annual Pinks VE Day 2020 window.

The window was adorned with red, white and blue and paid homage to the 75th anniversary on 8th May 2020.

75th Anniversary of VE Day

The window at Thomas Bragg & Sons in Knowle was adorned with red, white and blue in honour of the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May 2020.

Thank you for thinking of us

A kind gentleman working with SARA Charity UK a charity to help raise funds to help Asthma and other lung related disorder sufferers called into Richard Lloyd Funeral Services in Reading.

The volunteers for the charity have been busy making masks for local key workers and he came to donate some to Donna and Irene, seen modelling the masks. 

Well done to SARA UK for their fantastic work and a big thank you for the kind gesture.