How Far We've Come
looking back at 2018
2018 - The founding year of a local
Pershore Funeral Directors and Upton Funeral Directors.
Firstly a big thank you to all the families we have had the honour to work with this year. The trust you have placed in us is something we have found overwhelming. As a first generation funeral directors we only had our personal reputation and strong ethics to rely on when we began. We did not inherit or purchase an established business and reputation, it has all been created by us, which is something we are very proud of.
When we first opened we only thought we would care for a few families, as we know that selecting a funeral director you can turst is hard, especially when so much is hidden away from you; the services they offer, the options open to you and also their prices.
We have certainly hit some road blocks along the way, a severe knee injury (football!!), finding new suppliers due to local ones being blocked, many road improvements in the area creating havoc and the steep learning curve of running an independent business. As a family and as a company we have held our heads above all the negatives and focused on our passion to offer the best service we can. Below is a summary of our 2018.
Worcestershire Funeral Director of the Year
Our upfront, honest and quite vocal approach to working practices suprisingly gained us the award of Worcestershire Funeral Director of the year, something we are immensley proud of. We are a small company but can have a loud voice when we are passionate about fairness, so we are fully supporting the CMA during their current review of the whole funeral profession.
The New Offices
In February we began transforming the previous Avenue Veterinary Centre, adj. Pool House, Upton-upon-Severn, WR8 0PA into a modern funeral directors. The location was perfect; quiet surroundings, away from the town, plenty of parking and most importantly a blank canvas of a building to create a practical but peaceful funeral premises. We invested in custom built chapel of rest, an arrangement room overlooking the garden and a top-range equiped mortuary.
In November we opened our Pershore Funeral Directors at 68 High Street, Pershore, WR10 1DU. A completely different type of premises to our Upton Funeral Directors. The premises was ideal as it is amongst a high street full of independent businesses, with another blank canvas to create a peaceful setting. We refurbished the building, created a private chapel of rest with a sky-light to eliminate the normal funeral directors' love of a dark chapel and also equipped a fully functioning mortuary.
Matt and Laura have been supported throughout this journey by so many people, from family and friends helping with the refurbishments to employed staff. A huge thank you to all of them. We have felt our first sting of loosing a remarkable funeral administrator as Lorraine moved to Minehead, with her husband's new appointment as the Baptist minister. After spending time to find the right person to replace her Mark joined the business as the manager of our Upton funeral directors. Mark's years of experience as a local funeral director lead us to welcome Sylvia back to the profession. With Mark and Syvlvia's combined 60+ years of experience we know that the Upton commmunity will be extremely well cared for.
A big part of us opening a business was to have the freedom to give back to our community and not use charity work as an advertising method. Our larger charity events this year have included; Charity Race Night for Upton in Bloom, Pershore Rotary Club's Tree of Light and St Richard's Hospice's Santa Dash, all have been publicised on social media but our smaller charity work is completed privately. In eight months we have helped support over 20 different charitable causes. For 2019 we will be supporting four local charities and hope to plan a few events, we will also be taking part or helping with quite a few little ones. We do this as we have benefitted from charities ourselves and understand how important this funding is.
Where do we start with this one. As some of you may know, the funeral profession is under investigation by the CMA and this is largely to do with hidden and often confusing prices. If you have ever had to arrange a funeral you will know that the costs build up quickly without you really understanding why. Not many other professions can get away with this and we felt that from the very beginning, our prices would be visible, transparent and easy to understand. Our vocalisation of pricing has caused some controversy, we do apologise, but we have done thisy so the general public know they do not need to spend thousands of pounds to receive an exceptional service. Having looked back at the families we have served, we have saved them a combined £191,972.38 (using data extracted from Sunlife's Cost of Dying Report, an average UK funeral costs £4271). The cost of dying maybe increasing but we are continually looking at ways to reduce this financial burden without there being any impact on the high quality of service we offer.
Looking Forward to 2019
Our improvements will continue on in 2019 as we hope to gain membership to national associations. We are also looking to further our green credentials by reducing our paperwaste and try to move to a paperless system, including all cremation paperwork. As said above, we will be increasing our support of local communities and charities by organising and participating in more events. There will be further investment in our fleet as we look to purchase a newer hearse and limousine as well as another private ambulance. A big development for us will be our 'helping hand, DIY funeral', this will allow a family to create and arrange a funeral with us providing the advice and support they need help with. This will be entirely lead by the family and will be overlooked by us to make sure they have completed the necessary legalities required.
From all of us at Jackson Family best wishes for the new year and thank you for your support.
24 hour personal attention from Matthew Jackson or Mark Campion.