According to the NAFD, the annual event will aim to “tackle the big issues facing the funeral sector today – and in the future”.
Dr Bill Webster, executive director of The Centre for the Grief Journey, is set to discuss how progressive funeral businesses need to evolve to meet the changing needs of the people they serve, focusing particularly on the care of bereaved people, which is being shaped through regulatory changes.
He will be exploring the proposition that the “mark of a progressive funeral business is being willing to constantly adjust the things you do to meet the changing needs of the people you serve”.
The NAFD said Dr Webster brings a “unique blend” of personal experience, academic education and years of practical application to his work.
Having been widowed in 1983, Dr Webster struggled to come to terms with his own loss, as well as the task of bringing up his two sons, who were nine and seven years old when their mother died. After graduating from the University of Toronto with his doctorate in 1990, he began facilitating grief support programs in numerous communities.
Dr Webster is a member of the Association for Death Education and Grief Counselling, and has been awarded the association’s Fellow in Thanatology from University of Illinois in recognition of his work and his lifetime contribution to the field of grief counselling.
In 2019, he was awarded the British Citizen’s Medal in a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster in London, England in recognition of the work he has done over 25 years in helping local communities organise and facilitate local community grief support programmes in the UK.