On a crisp Sunday afternoon last week, award winning, independent funeral directors Dandelion Farewells, opened their doors to the public with an invitation to join them for coffee and cake. The event was to celebrate two years since their launch and the opening of their new premises in Wisborough Green.
The new premises are a far cry from the norm. The warm, light and welcoming suite of rooms feel more like a private living room, with soft colours, inviting sofas, calming artwork and free access to kitchen facilities. It’s discreetly neutral and includes a care area.
The warm welcome hints at a funeral director with a difference and Dandelion Farewell advocates a flexible approach to funerals and after life care, which includes making it very personal to the deceased.
In fact, in October last year, Dandelion Farewells and their founder Judith Dandy won a prestigious award for Most Promising New Funeral Director 2016 at the national Good Funeral Awards. The award was based on their fresh approach.
Explaining the company ethos and vision behind the new premises Judith said,
“We start with a blank page and then create a funeral that reflects the person who has died and their loved ones. That may mean traditional or alternative, burial, natural burial or cremation, minister or celebrant. It is entirely up to you. We are here to help, guide and support you.
We grieve in different ways and I want people to be able to own and treat this new space as they see fit. You may have family members who want to come and spend time with you and the person who has died, you might want to bring beanbags and music or be more traditional. But what is important is that you have a comfortable, adaptable space where you can spend the time you need. We haven’t called any of our rooms the chapel of rest. I don’t want to be prescriptive. You may just want to use our space to reflect on an anniversary. It’s up to you.”
Judging by the constant stream of visitors and the very positive views they expressed, there’s clearly a demand for this new approach. The visitors came from both near and far, and included the very young as well as the more mature. Visitors also included clients past and present, amongst them Kate and Imogen who have very recent experience of the Dandelion approach,
“Judith was brilliant with me and my daughter when my husband died. She understood us and put us in touch with a brilliant celebrant who she rightly thought we’d really connect with. She helped us choose a very personalised coffin which reflected my husband’s love of bikes and she made us aware of options we didn’t know we had. Her very personal approach made a big difference particularly to my daughter and she helped make a tough time, a little bit easier.”
You can find out more about Judith and Dandelion Farewells at http://www.dandelionfarewells.com