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‘World-first’ study about the importance of funerals launched

A national study has been launched aiming to find out whether it’s possible to measure the importance of a funeral in the grieving process.

The research is being carried out by independent Leeds-based funeral director Full Circle Funerals, with support from an advisory committee including academics from Leeds Beckett University and representatives from The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management, The Good Funeral Guide and The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).

They have asked for anyone who has organised or attended a funeral at to participate and the funeral director claims it is the first time such a study has been conducted.

The study is open to anyone over the age of 18, from all ethnic, cultural and religious or non-religious backgrounds, who have arranged or attended the funeral of a close relative or friend in the UK. Participants are required to take part in an interview over the phone, or in person, which will take approximately one hour.

Sarah Jones, of Full Circle Funerals, is a practising funeral director with a background in medicine, having worked as a surgeon and with previous research published in peer reviewed journals. She is seeking to explore if it’s possible to use medical wellbeing measures to test whether poor funerals have long-term impacts on mental health.

Jones said: “There is a startling lack of research into what constitutes a ‘good funeral’ from the perspective of those who have been bereaved. This study aims to find out what people think is important when they are attending and organising a funeral, as well as looking at how it helped their grieving process, further down the line.

“A funeral is a major event and it is vital that people get the best possible support at such a difficult time. Although evidence-based practice is used in many other industries such as healthcare and education, it’s practically non-existent in the funeral industry and hopefully this study will help to change this.”

She added: “We’re delighted to have the support of so many leading academics and industry bodies and now need as many people as possible to share their personal experiences. Anyone can participate as long as they’re over the age of 18 and have recently attended a funeral in the UK.”

People interested in taking part in the study should call Sarah Jones on 01943 262626 or email sarah@fullcirclefunerals.co.uk to receive further information, which is also available at www.fullcirclefunerals.co.uk

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