Weekly Community Roundup – 29th November 2019

Cash for Kids

Following a successful meeting with Charity Manager Lisa Sullivan from Radio Aire -Cash for Kids Charity, Wm Dodgson & Son pledged to donate £50 from every Prepaid Funeral Plan sold to help provide Christmas gifts to over 20,000 underprivileged children across Leeds and West Yorkshire.

A total of £600 was raised and handed over to the grant giving charity, which supports individual children, children from groups and children’s charities where children are sick, deprived and in need of extra support.

Every penny raised locally stays in the local area to make a significant difference.

Diary Manager Charlotte Ambler said: “We have built up a good relationship with Lisa and help the charity throughout the year wherever we can, it is a great cause and helps so many families in the local area not just at Christmas. We are honoured to be able to help them.’

Giving Back at Christmas

On 22nd November 2019 LC Hill & Son donated two festive food hampers to Warminster & District Food Bank. Funeral Arranger Caroline Joyce and the team wanted to give back to the community and help local families by donating special food items for Christmas.

Caroline said:” Christmas time is very special to every family but to some it is a struggle to afford the Christmas food and the presents for their families

Most of the local people in Mere are helping to collect more food to help this cause, we are happy to help our community any way we can as this will make a huge difference.”

Warminster and District Foodbank is a Community Foodbank staffed entirely by Volunteers providing emergency food and support to local individuals and families in crisis.

Supporting Pilgrim’s Hospice this Christmas

Earl & Co have donated a Christmas tree to St John the Baptist Church , Mersham, TN25 6NR part of the Stour Downs Parish, upon which members of the congregation are being asked to leave messages of remembrance for loved ones and purchase robin pins for a small donation.

People can write a message of remembrance on a star and hang it on the Christmas tree or alternatively members of the community are welcome to write on a star at Earl & Co to be placed on the tree in the church for them.

Funeral Director Ashley Brocklebank organised the initiative with all the money raised being donated to Pilgrims Hospice. Pilgrim’s is East Kent’s largest hospice charity, helping people facing a terminal diagnosis, and their families, to live well in every moment.

Founded 35 years ago, over 200 Pilgrims nurses and therapists support thousands of people in east Kent each year facing terminal illness.

Following events are also happening at the church which everyone is welcome

Saturday 30th November to Sunday 1st December


Sunday 1st December 9.30am

Bringing Light to Loss

Leave a star for a loved One (Ashley from Earl & Co will be attending and taking mince pies and Christmas treats)

22nd December at 5pm

Memorial Bench

On 11th November 2019 Jill Avery attended the unveiling of a memorial bench at Halton Court, Kidbrooke Village, a 170-unit scheme for over 55’s. The bench was unveiled in the communal garden by the Mayor of Greenwich Councillor Mick Hayes and was partly funded by initiatives Jill had undertaken.

Jill raised funds for the bench by selling knitted blankets and attending various quiz nights.

Blackheath Funeral Service got a special mention from the Mayor for all the hard work Jill had done and everyone enjoyed refreshments after the service.

Jill said: “It was a pleasure and privilege to be asked to go along to the bench’s unveiling.  It is a beautiful bespoke piece of artwork which can be looked upon with remembrance for many years.  It was a wonderful afternoon well attended by the residents who had worked so hard together to raise these funds.  I was just a very small part of that but so happy to do this for them.”

John Blenkiron & Sons Supports Local Christmas tree Festival

John Blenkiron have sponsored the Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary’s Church in Barnard Castle for a number of years with 2019 being no exception.

The festival runs from 4th-8th December and is a showcase of 52 stunningly lit Christmas trees. As well as the trees for everyone to enjoy there is also music from local musicians, a raffle, mulled wine and refreshments, not to mention St Mary’s church brew ‘Ale Mary’.

Members of the community are invited to attend the festival to place a message on the tree to remember a loved one.  A member of the John Blenkiron team will erect their tree at the beginning of December and leave remembrance stars so that the community can place them on the tree.

Many of the other local businesses place a tree in the church and decorate them according to various themes synonymous with their type of business such as the local hairdressers who use hairdressing equipment to decorate theirs.

The John Blenkiron tree can be located in The Lady Chapel and people are encouraged to visit this wonderful community event.

J & L win gold

A surprise visitor from New Forest District Council was overwhelmed by J & L Sturney Funeral Directors’ customer service, giving them gold in the Up Your Game, Up Your Gain 2019 initiative.

Lyndhurst-based Funeral Arranger & Administrator Helen Osment chatted at length with the mystery shopper and offered refreshments, prompting New Forest District Council to award the top accolade.

Helen said: “We’re proud of the service we provide at J & L Sturney Funeral Directors with our families and local community in mind, so I didn’t hesitate in entering the branch for the initiative.”

“I gave advice to the mystery visitor as requested, made up an information pack and chatted over refreshments. She left thanking me for all my advice and attention.”

Twenty-six companies applied for Up Your Game, Up Your Gain 2019, an initiative that gave secret customer experience reviews of businesses in Lyndhurst town centre and awarded bronze, silver and gold certificates based on their hospitality.

The initiative was created by New Forest District Council in partnership with the Lyndhurst Chambers of Commerce and insight6, the customer experience specialists, to give businesses tailored advice on their customer service.

Hilary Brand, Councillor at New Forest District Council, said: “It is testament to Helen’s hard work, dedication and cheery disposition that J & L Sturney’s taking one of the top spots.”

Helen said: “I was so thrilled. I am proud of the branch and surrounding community because New Forest District Council was so impressed.”

J & L Sturney Funeral Directors were given their certificate of achievement at an awards ceremony in November, which celebrated business excellence in Lyndhurst.

Carols at Christmas

E Sargeant & Son are delighted to be able to sponsor the 2019 ‘Carol’s at Christmas’ Service at St Mary’s Church in Slough. Traditional carols, the story of Christmas and refreshments all for local charities Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice and Cross Roads Care, Slough.

Join us on the 8th December for this truly magical evening

St Mary’s Willesborough Clock Restoration

Earl & Co are the proud sponsors of the number eleven on the clock face.  Having donated funds to help towards the restoration, the clock has now been fully restored and affixed back into its permanent home, atop the church.