little thingsOne of the real privileges of editing Funeral Director Monthly is having the opportunity to get to know NAFD members and the work they do to support bereaved people.

In December’s magazine we have featured two wonderful stories of funeral directors going above and beyond to support families or the deceased individuals they are looking after.

One that you may have read about in the media is the extraordinary response to an advert placed in the local newspaper by NAFD member Roland Whitehead & Daughter asking for mourners to attend the funeral of 99-year old World War Two veteran, Harold Jellicoe Percival, so that he would not make his final journey alone.

Thousands of people from across not just the country, but the all over the world, responded – even the Red Arrows made contact to express their sorrow that a previous appointment (in Afghanistan) prevented them from attending.

The other story, quite different yet no less amazing, is that of funeral director LeighAnne Hedges of Walter C Parson who has been quietly making hundreds of tiny outfits for still born or late miscarried babies for the last few years, having been moved by the concerns of one family who did not want their stillborn son to be buried unclothed. She now supplies SANDS, The Miscarriage Association and local hospital early pregnancy units and mortuaries with her ‘Little Things’ outfits and has set up a social media page on Facebook to try and help as many families as possible.

Also December’s packed edition of Funeral Director Monthly is the news that the NAFD has signed a partnership agreement with Birmingham City University as part of a strategy to develop the Association’s training and qualifications work.

This is the first time that the university has endorsed an external qualification and has involved the development of a pioneering quality endorsement badge for the NAFD’s Diploma qualifications. The qualifications have recently been re-designed by Angela Allen, Education Development Manager and members of the Committee for Professional Development and Board of Examiners at the NAFD.  This is an exciting development that helps further establish the NAFD’s qualification framework and diplomas as benchmark programmes for the industry.

Finally, don’t miss the feature on the Coffin Works project; the project to preserve 100 years of funeral history in the shape of the former Newman Brothers Coffin Fittings Works in Fleet Street, Birmingham.

Wishing all Funeral Director Monthly readers a very Merry Christmas  and a happy and prosperous 2014.