Each of the funeral directors offered their own bereavement support programmes before recognising the benefits of collaborating to create Grief Journey Essex, utilising Dr Bill Webster’s Grief Journey bereavement support system.
Managing director of Bennetts Funeral Directors Jane Bennett explained: “An alliance of three independent funeral directors is somewhat unique, particularly in the area of bereavement support. However as our businesses have the same ethos it encouraged our desire to work together to help our families long after the funeral has taken place. It is a unique arrangement that we are all eager to develop and expand [upon] for the foreseeable future.”
T Cribb & Sons’ Ann Honey added: “Independently from each other we were aware that there was a lack of support for the bereaved in Essex and had begun to look for ways to fill this gap. We were all working with Dr Bill Webster to provide bereavement support via his ‘Now What?’ booklet and seminars.
“The award is a fairytale conclusion to an idea from Phil Taylor of T Cribb & Sons, who suggested that we should combine our efforts to better achieve our aim to provide a comprehensive support system for bereaved families and individuals.”
Paul J King Funeral Directors’ Margaret Bone remarked: “We are all so pleased and proud to be the winners of the Community award category in the Essex Business Excellence Awards 2012. We feel that this has recognised and validated our hard work in this area for Grief Journey Essex.
“We were up against a huge number of entrants but the judges were impressed with our passion and commitment and felt that our wide provision of services and the unique way in which we are working together were second to none!”
Grief journey Essex provides bereavement support in four ways, through grief journey courses; bereavement support training seminars; bereavement support groups; and provision of Dr Bill Webster’s ‘Now What?’ booklets to local hospitals.
Upon learning of the award, Dr Bill Webster commented: “I am absolutely delighted for Jane, Ann, Margaret and their teams who have worked tirelessly to fulfil their vision. The award is well deserved and demonstrates clearly what can be achieved when funeral directors work together to support the bereaved.”
Image: (L-R) Margaret Bone; Ann Honey; Lou Hunt; Graham Cribb; Jane Bennett; Paul King; Jane Botright; and representatives of Essex & Suffolk Water.