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ereavement BCompanion The

B E R E AV E M E N T S U P P O R T & G U I D A N C E


A N N UA L M A G A Z I N E 2 0 1 8 / 1 9

Harwood Park

The perfect setting to commemorate the life of your loved one

Crematorium and memorial gardens created and managed by the Austin family in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside

01438 815555

www.crematorium.co.uk Keeping memories alive 2

Welcome It gives us great pleasure to introduce our 2018/19 Annual Bereavement Companion Guide. The Bereavement Magazine is packed full of useful information on what to do when bereavement occurs including planning for the future and services available during a difficult time. From articles covering the process of registering a death, to choosing floral tributes, this guide aims to hold your hand and give you details of organisations that are there to help. We hope that our guide will make the process of dealing with a bereavement that little bit easier. With Best Wishes

Gabriella Draper, Director of Meadowview Media Limited CONTENTS:


Registering a Death............................................................................................................................................................... 4 Serving the Local Community for 10 Generations.......................................................................................................... 6 Considerations To Make When Choosing A Headstone - Offley Memorials............................................................ 8/9 Funeral Plans.................................................................................................................................................................... 10/11 Coping With Grief - Kate Bird, Bereavement Counsellor.............................................................................................. 13 Choosing a Meaningful Farewell Ceremony........................................................................................................................ 14 Layout Of Order Of Service................................................................................................................................................ 16 Floral Tributes....................................................................................................................................................................... 18 Planning Ahead..................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Investment Advice - Raymond James............................................................................................................................ 20/21 Power Of Attorney............................................................................................................................................................... 22 Helping Children Come to Terms with Loss - The Dragonfly Story............................................................................ 24/25 Harwood Park....................................................................................................................................................................... 26 Making A Will....................................................................................................................................................................... 29 Macmillan.............................................................................................................................................................................. 32 Samaritans........................................................................................................................................................................ 34/35 Coping.................................................................................................................................................................................... 36 Coronor.................................................................................................................................................................................. 37 Bereavement Organisation.................................................................................................................................................. 38 Dementia............................................................................................................................................................................... 40 Choosing A Care Home................................................................................................................................................ 42/43 Organ Donation.................................................................................................................................................................... 44 Useful Numbers..................................................................................................................................................................... 46

ereavement BCompanion The

B E R E AV E M E N T S U P P O R T & G U I D A N C E


A N N UA L M A G A Z I N E 2 0 1 8 / 1 9

Publishers: Meadowview Media Ltd , 24a Market Square, Potton, Bedfordshire SG19 2NP t: 07931 512 253 e: info@meadowviewmedia.com w: meadowviewmedia.com Editorial: Catherine Rose, Austin’s Funeral Services, The Counselling Foundation, Katie Bird-Bereavement Counsellor, Samaritans, Macmillan Cancer Care, Hertfordshire’s3 Coroner’s Service.

Design: Meadowview Media Ltd Disclaimer: All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith, however, Meadowview Media Ltd can not take any responsibility for the content of the adverts, the service provided by the advertisers or any statements given in the editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher. We would like to thank all the advertisers for supporting this publication.

Registering a Death.. Registering someone’s Death:

Forms you will get from the registrar:

All deaths need to be registered with the registrar

A certificate for burial and cremation. This is known

of births, deaths and marriages. This must be done

as the green certificate. This gives permission for the

within five days in England, Wales and Northern

body to be buried or for an application for

Ireland and eight days in Scotland. These time-

cremation to be made and you should give this to

frames may differ if the registrar agrees to extend

the funeral director.

the period, or if the death has been referred to the A certificate for registration of death. You’ll need


this to deal with the person’s affairs if they were Where to register the Death:

getting a pension or benefits.

The registrar’s office closest to where the person died. If the burial needs to happen quickly: What you will need:

Some burials need to happen within 24 hours of

Birth certificate

death, for example for religious or cultural reasons.

NHS medical card

You can get advice from your local registrar or the

Proof of their address- example a utility bill

funeral directors about this.

Driving licence Passport

Getting copies of the death certificate:

Marriage or civil partnership certificate

After the death has been registered you can get a

Don’t worry if you can’t find all these documents;

death certificate, which is a copy of the entry made

you will still be able to register the death without

in the death register. You will probably need a

them. The registrar will also want to know:

number of copies of the death certificate, for

The person’s full name (at the time of death)

example to give to any insurance, bank or pension

Any other names that the person used (e.g a maiden


name). Any previous names they may have used like their maiden name.

You may also need to give copies to the executor or

Their date and place of birth including the town

administrator who is dealing with the property of

and country if they were born in the UK or just the

the person who has died. The registrar will work out

country if they were born abroad.

how many copies you will need.

Their last address, their occupation or their last occupation if retired.

If a death has been referred to the coroner you will

The full name of their husband, wife or civil partner,

need to wait for them to give permission before you

if they’ve died.

can register the death.

Details of any state pension or other state benefit they were receiving.

There is no cost for registering a death.



FUNERAL PACkAgES Minimum numbers apply.

to suit all budgets

The beauty and serenity of the setting here at Knebworth house is a natural choice to celebrate the life of someone close. The Barns provide an exclusive area to meet, set in the grounds of Knebworth Park and offers use of its 250 acres of parkland. Our team fully appreciate that this is an extremely difficult and stressful time for you and your family. We are sensitive to your situation and will sit down with you and make suggestions to help ease the burden and make sure things meet with your expectations. We have a wide range of packages to suit all budgets including fork and finger buffets but are more than happy to create something more tailored to your individual requirements.



Serving the Local Community for Ten Generations Austin’s Funeral Service, established in 1700 in Stevenage, is still owned and operated by the Austin Family. We are proud to have served the community for ten generations. Over recent years the company has extended its services to include branches in Buntingford, Hitchin, Knebworth, Welwyn, Welwyn Garden City, Ware and Hertford.

Memorial Gardens, which include a beautiful lake and waterfall feature. Those wishing to lay their loved one to rest in a local churchyard or cemetery may like to consider the extensive range of traditional memorials available from AUSTIN’S own stonemasons, whose offices are located in Church Street, Welwyn.

Geo. W. Blow of Welwyn and Alfred Scales of Hertford were acquired by the company and until quite recently continued to trade under their original names. The family then decided that, to reflect their ownership, all funeral offices should trade as AUSTIN’S.

AUSTIN’S also provides a tailor made prepayment funeral plan designed to give peace of mind to families and individuals by relieving them of the worry of funeral expenses and arrangements. The Hertfordshire Funeral Plan, operated by an independent trust, is exclusive to AUSTIN’S and gives the opportunity of selecting and securing all aspects of the funeral service in advance.

The staff at AUSTIN’S ensures that families receive a superior quality of service, providing sympathetic and personal attention at these most delicate of times.

Our commitment to bereaved families has established AUSTIN’S as Hertfordshire’s leading, family owned and operated funeral director. Those working within our family business are proud to provide a standard of professionalism, dedication and depth of knowledge, recognized by members of the public, professionals and other funeral directors.

In 1997 the Austin family designed and built Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Gardens. Set in the beautiful countryside of Hertfordshire on the outskirts of Stevenage, Harwood Park is one of the few privately owned crematoria in the country. Funeral services are provided seven days a week in peaceful and tranquil surroundings. A wide selection of memorials is available for dedication in the twenty-five acres of

Further information may be obtained from any AUSTIN’S office or Harwood Park Crematorium. Telephone: 01438 815 555


G & H Seamer Funeral Directors - Established 1903 Tel: 01767 680519 - www.ghseamer.co.uk 47 High Street, Sandy, Beds SG19 1AG Email: jimseamer@btconnect.com

Family run and Independent Funeral Directors Providing a sensitive and dignified service. 24 hour removal service Home visits to make arrangements at the convenience of the family

We strive to offer a sensitive and dignified service to the residents of Sandy and the surrounding villages as we have from the beginning. Families are provided with a choice of service when making arrangements for their loved one, these include a service in a church or crematorium or at a woodland burial ground. We also are able to provide Orders of Service should families require them and these are all produced at our premises which allows more flexibility when these need to be personalised for the deceased

Members of the National Association of Funeral Directors

Pre-paid Funeral Plans Available

Perfect Choice Funeral Plans


Offley O


“A Family Business with Family Values”

- Nicholas Prutton

We work in partnership with our clients to ensure that whatever the budget, we can create the finest, most fitting lasting natural stone tributes


Luton White Hill, Offley, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 3DL People’s memorial mason of choice throughout Herts, Beds & Bucks.

01462 372 371 8

www.offleymemorials.co.uk • info@offleymemorials.co.uk

Considerations To Make When Purchasing A Headstone A memorial can provide a focal point of affection and remembrance. It can be a celebration of a life and often headstones are as unique as the person’s life they are commemorating. It can also mark the sense of loss, love and respect felt for a family member or friend.

Who can supply a memorial?

Most choose to contact a memorial mason local to where their loved one is buried or interred. They will be able to offer guidance on the various stone alternatives, their suitability to your needs as well as advising you of the materials, finishes and sizes permitted by the local Burial Authority. Offley Memorials Ltd have over 40 years experience in providing lasting natural stone tributes so have a wealth of knowledge that they are happy to share. With samples in the office as well as brochures and a vast gallery of completed works, you won’t have far to look for inspiration! Going direct to a stonemason is often the most cost effective way of purchasing a memorial although you may also wish to contact the funeral director who arranged your loved ones’ service as some offer in-house memorials although most outsource to local masons. Privately owned cemeteries tend to supply their own limited range of memorials offered as part of a burial or cremation package. It is highly recommended that you check with your preferred supplier that they hold a license for the Register of Qualified Memorial Fixers (RQMF). This is a widely recognised accreditation across the country and all memorials must now be fixed in line with the NAMM code of safe working practice.

What type of memorial is suitable for my requirements?

There are guidelines to follow in cemeteries and particularly in churchyards which will govern the type, size, material and design of your natural stone tribute depending on whether it is to mark a burial or cremation plot. It is important to be aware of the individual characteristics of each stone and their suitability to meet your needs. Whether you are looking for a new memorial or replacement, or to add an additional inscription, a fee will be charged either by the council or your local parish. Offley Memorials have an up-to-date list and will be able to advise you accordingly. They will also be well placed to guide you on any maintenance requirements which will help you to make the right choice at the beginning of the process, as well as ensuring that your memorial stays in the best possible condition over the coming years.

Natural stone tributes come in all shapes and sizes including:Plaques which lie flat on the ground and are flush with the grass. They can incorporate a flower container if size and regulations allow.

Tablets (sometimes referred to as a desk or wedge) sit flat on the ground. The back of the stone is higher than the front creating a slanted surface for the inscription. Vases which are placed directly on the ground can have inscriptions, carvings and etchings on the faces if required.

Gravestones, commonly referred to as headstones, are upright and traditionally fixed to a matching base which in turn, sits on a concrete foundation below ground level. Kerb memorials which usually cover the entire footprint of the grave often incorporate an upright headstone or carved book. These sit on a concrete foundation commonly referred to as a landing for full support and can be finished with either chippings, a cover slab or earth for planting depending on your preference.

How long do I have to wait before placing a memorial on the grave?

New burial graves can take a while to settle, especially if there are extremes in the weather i.e. heavy rain, snow or a long dry summer. In chalky and sandy areas, this settlement can take even longer so it is recommended that you wait a minimum of 12 months before placing a memorial on your loved ones grave. Some cemeteries have a different foundation system meaning that you can place a headstone straight away. Offley Memorials will be able to advise you on the scheme in place at your chosen cemetery. It is worth being aware that to place a headstone too soon would put it at greater risk of subsidence which in turn could cause great distress and additional costs to correct and should therefore be avoided. Stone tributes to mark a cremation plot however can be sited as soon after the interment as you feel ready, due to there being less ground disturbance.

How long does a memorial take to order?

Offley Memorials hold stock of the most popular designs and colours whilst more unusual headstones will be made to order. It is worth bearing in mind that it can sometimes take approximately 12-14 weeks so it is recommended that you start thinking about new memorials no later than 6 months after the burial date but cremation stones can be planned and ordered soon after interment.

What happens to an existing headstone to allow for an additional burial/interment in the same grave/plot?

This is worth checking with your funeral director as everyone works differently. Most funeral homes will automatically contact their own stone mason unless you specify otherwise. Be aware that at this point it is often assumed their mason will carry out the additional inscription work as well as the removal and storage of your memorial. However if you have a preferred memorial mason whom you would like to undertake the work on your behalf, perhaps for example the firm that supplied you with the stone initially or one that has been recommended to you, it is imperative that you contact them directly within a few days of death and notify the funeral director of your intention. Advise the mason of the funeral date once you have one and they will arrange removal of the memorial in good time. Offley Memorials regularly facilitate removals and subsequent additional inscription work and are able to work on these at short notice and at very competitive prices.


Planning a Funeral... At a time when you are possibly numb with grief,

big send off! And you can now have ashes made into

preparing for a funeral may seem like an onerous

‘diamonds’ and set into memorial jewellery for loved

task but keeping busy with the arrangements for


honouring and carrying out a loved one’s last wishes can provide comfort and purpose at a time of

If you don’t have a close relative to make


arrangements for you, or you have concerns about discussing what can be a distressing topic with

Most people will be unprepared for a death as it

your family, you could instead discuss your funeral

is not something we like to think about, let alone

wishes with a funeral director in advance. You can

make plans for. But talking to loved ones about our

then keep the name of your chosen funeral director

wishes or theirs, and putting arrangements in place

and your agreed plans in a safe place with your Will

now, can make everything run more smoothly when

and any other important documents. Some funeral

death occurs, resulting in less stress for everyone at

directors accept payment in advance which can

what is already bound to be a stressful time.

remove financial worries for your family when you die. Speak to several.

Making your Wishes Known

When Someone Else Dies

If you are thinking ahead to your own funeral, talk to family or close friends about your wishes and

If someone in your family has died without

the type of service you would like, mentioning any

apparently leaving instructions, it is important to

special music, poems or readings you want included.

check whether they have:

It is possible to leave a side letter with your will (a

1) A pre-paid funeral plan or arrangements with a

copy can also be given to your solicitor if you have

local funeral director

one) where you can give details of any arrangements

2) Left instructions for their funeral with their will

you would like made, for instance, you may prefer

3) Arranged for their body to be given to medical

burial to a cremation or you might want a special

education or research

type of coffin - wicker, for example.

4) Agreed to donate their organs

It may be that you don’t like the idea of a traditional

One and two are particularly important when there

funeral or even having a service at all (and contrary

is not enough money in the deceased person’s estate

to popular belief, you actually don’t have to).

(money, property and possessions) to cover funeral

Perhaps you are attracted to the idea of a simple

costs as it will fall to the family members to do so.

green or woodland burial or would like your ashes scattered in a place that means something to you.

Pre-Paid Funeral Plans

It is also now possible to break with tradition

There is no doubt that funerals are costly so you may

completely and make some unusual requests too.

want to think about setting some money aside now

The late Blue Peter TV presenter John Noakes asked

to cover at least part of the expense. Alternatively,

for some of his ashes to be put into a firework for a

you could consider taking out a funeral plan.


A pre-paid funeral plan allows you to choose the

when the time comes.

kind of funeral you would like and pay for it in advance at the current rate or at a slightly reduced

If you or your family would like a headstone, look

rate which will save money later.

at the church or cemetery regulations regarding their policy on memorials. Some cemeteries have

When you die, the plan should cover all agreed

quite strict regulations about what can be put on a

funeral expenses, however much they have increased

memorial and what can’t.

since you took it out. Make sure you compare several schemes and check terms and conditions carefully

In our modern age, secular funerals are now

before you agree to them and sign a contract. Also

becoming increasingly popular. For example,

ensure your relatives are aware you have a pre-

civil ceremonies which don’t adhere to a religious

paid funeral plan and where to find the relevant

framework are becoming more common. Humanist

documents in the event of your death.

funerals are also non-religious. Humanists do not believe in an afterlife but instead concentrate on

Types of Funeral

celebrating life itself.

Traditionally, most people will opt for either a

Woodland and green burials have recently come

cremation or burial in a church yard or multi-

to the fore following a growing concern for the

denominational cemetery.

environment. With these burials, there is either no grave marker or a tree can be planted.

If you would like a church service, you will need to speak to the Church Vicar or Rector of the Parish.

For more information on every aspect of planning a

Many church yards do not have room for new

funeral service, visit:

burials but it is possible to have your service in the church of your choice with a burial or cremation


elsewhere. The Vicar or Rector can also oversee the burial or cremation service, working alongside the funeral director.

By Catherine Rose

Local authorities run most crematoriums, and these have congregational buildings or chapels where you can hold a service with music and readings. Brochures explaining the rules and charges will be available at the crematorium of your choice. If you opt for burial, you or your family will need to purchase a plot. This can also be done in advance and there may be double plots available should you wish to be buried in the same plot as your spouse



Come and talk to Janice about your memorial. We also restore, add inscriptions, clean and repair existing memorials in all areas.




Grief & Loss Stress & Anxiety Relationships Pop into our showroom, or call us to talk about your needs.

01438 748 476


Weight Loss Addictions Confidence


m: 07907 288 017 e: kate@talktometherapy.uk

114a High Street, Old Town, Stevenage, Herts. SG1 3DW


A R O M AT I C S Pampering & Beauty Holistics

Welcome to

Aromatics - a Haven of Peace, Pampering & Relaxation in the Heart of Potton Bedfordshire.


  Â?   OFF With This  Â?Â?Â?Â? Advert Â?Â? ­ Â?­  Â?€ Â? 


Daizy have been specialist funeral florists for over 10 years using flowers of the best quality. We are happy to discuss specific requirements or suggest suitable designs for your funeral flowers. Our own collection of tried and tested funeral tributes is available to purchase online at www.daizy.co.uk t:


01438 871 871

e: enquiries@daizy.co.uk



www.daizy.co.uk version 2

Coping with Grief... In this article, Kate Bird, Bereavement Counsellor, writes about grief, outlining some of the emotional and physical symptoms experienced. She also explains why talking to a counsellor can be a positive way to help move your life forward. One of the most stressful experiences we can go through is the loss of someone close to us - a bereavement. Grief is the reaction to bereavement, the pain and suffering experienced after the loss; it is a natural response. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief. People have described the situation as feeling as if they are in a dream, where nothing feels real. Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. Reactions will be based upon a number of factors including the nature of the attachment, the mode of death, previous experiences, personality, culture and upbringing. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and there is no given timescale. People around you will be going through their own grief pattern, at their own pace and in their own style. As we grieve we experience many feelings such as: • Anger • Despair • Guilt • Shock • Disbelief • Sadness • Loneliness

• Fatigue • Yearning/Longing • Relief Our behaviour may also change and we might experience sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, absent mindedness, social withdrawal, fear of being alone, restlessness and constant crying for example. This is all normal but can be confusing and overwhelming. Whilst some people will handle their losses quite competently and move on with little difficulty, others may need some help to get through the journey. Some people find they are unable to talk to friends and family for fear of upsetting them whilst a counsellor will help you work through the intense emotions you are experiencing in a safe confidential and non judgemental environment. Letting someone know how awful you feel and asking for help is not a weakness; talking to a trained counsellor is a healthy way to deal with the pain and is a positive way forward. A counsellor will work with you identifying and responding to your needs, giving emotional and practical support for as long as it is needed. The importance of someone listening and providing uninterrupted space for you to talk about your loss and subsequent feelings should not be underestimated. By Kate Bird, Bereavement Counsellor TALK TO ME THERAPY m: 07907 288 017 e: kate@talktometherapy.uk www.talktometherapy.uk 13

Ceremony... Choosing a Meaningful Farewell Ceremony Whether you choose a conventional religious, non-religious, semi-religious service, or a more contemporary secular, humanist or environmentally friendly ceremony, your choice should be guided by the express wishes of the deceased, if previously stated, or the inclination of those nearest and dearest. Other deciding influences include cultural and social preferences, as well as religious tradition.

with contemporary thinking and values. You can find out more at: http://www.funeralservicesguide. com/Funeral-Ceremony-Options-A-MeaningfulFarewell-196.asp#sthash.bTG5UyIs.dpuf

The following list of funeral ceremony options is by no means exhaustive; it merely covers a few of the most commonly encountered funeral ceremonies seen in the Western World: • Religious Service: Typically followed by cremation or burial, even within the scope of a Christian service, the emphasis may vary considerably depending on the particular denomination or faith involved.

Humanist Funerals: Humanists abide by the overriding principle of mutual respect for other living beings, in the here-and-now, with no prospect of an afterlife. Humanist ceremonies are, therefore, nonreligious, highly individualised and based on the belief that this life is finite and should be celebrated accordingly.

• Woodland / Green Burials: Growing concern for the environment, as well as increased disaffection with traditional religious funeral ceremonies has driven demand for green and woodland burials, in recent times. Simplicity is key with these types of ceremonies which are conducted by professional officiants; the focus throughout is on making the ceremony meaningful and reflective of the life and views held by the deceased. • Secular / Civil Funerals: An increasing number of the Western population is opting for a civil funeral celebration that eschews a religious framework in favour of a ceremony that is more in keeping


• Funerals without Ceremonies: A mistaken belief exists that a ceremony is an essential requirement for any funeral. In reality, a funeral without a ceremony or service is perfectly acceptable, particularly where the deceased has previously indicated this. In summary, a funeral ceremony in a religious establishment or a crematorium chapel is not a prerequisite for any funeral. Provided the legal requirements relating to death and the disposal of the body have been adhered to, the way we say goodbye to someone is entirely at our discretion. For more information, visit: http://www.funeralservicesguide.com/FuneralCeremony-Options-A-Meaningful-Farewell-196. asp#sthash.bTG5UyIs.dpuf




The Duncombe Arms Waresley REFURBISHED & NOW A FAMILY-OWNED FREE HOUSE Situated in a quiet, picturesque village on the border of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, The Duncombe Arms, Waresley is perfectly placed to host a personalised and private funeral reception to remember and celebrate the life of your loved one.

Catering for up to 100 people, we can supply tailor-made hot and cold buffets, afternoon tea or a full sit-down menu. Smaller gatherings can be accommodated in our cosy snug or our air-conditioned Reading Room restaurant. In addition, we have a lovely, peaceful garden overlooking the village church and plenty of parking at the rear.

any dietary requirements.

All our dishes are freshly-made from local produce in our five-star hygiene rated kitchen. We cater for

Eltisely Road, Waresley, Cambs. SG19 3BS


Our staff are on hand to listen and ensure your reception goes smoothly at this sad time. Please telephone our patron head chef Daniel Rose on 01767 650764 for enquiries and pricing or pop in and speak to Jamie Rose, our front of house manager.

THE DUNCOMBE ARMS 01767 650 764 www.duncombe-arms.com


Order of Service... Layout of the Order of Service Funeral and memorial services are difficult times in anyone’s life, and choosing funeral order of service templates can be hard. A funeral is usually much more than a simple speech, and you may want to include a variety of things in tribute to your loved one. When you decide what you would like to include in the funeral service, you will want to create a funeral order of service. Those in attendance will use these programs as a means of knowing what to expect during the service. Order of Service Cover The front cover of the funeral order of service is usually used as a space for a photo of your loved one. The cover should also include the person’s full name, their date of birth, date of death, and the time and location of the services. Many people choose to include “In Loving Memory” or another similar caption. Inside of Funeral Order of Service The inside of the order of service pamphlet can include a favourite poem, Bible verse, or song that is meant as a tribute to the deceased. If you choose to include one of these, you should make sure to include the composer, the name of the person who performed it, where the verse can be found in the Bible, or who wrote the poem.

Order of Service You will want to include a page dedicated to a timeline of the services. This can include speakers, times for prayer or music, and closing remarks. It will usually look something like this: Procession – This is usually music, and should include the name of the piece. Introduction – Listing who the speaker or speakers are, and their relationship. Songs, Music, and Poem Readings – You should include the titles of any songs or poems, as well as the authors or composers. If someone will be reading it, you should also include their name and relationship to the deceased. Funeral Readings – This area is used to list whomever will be speaking the eulogy or in memory of speeches. Again, you should include each speaker’s name in the correct order, as well as their relationship to the departed. You may also choose to play a musical tribute of their favourite songs or spiritual pieces. Prayers – List who is saying the prayer Hymn or Music – Include lyrics if you want the attendees to sing along Committal and Blessing – Include the speaker or pastor Closing Music

You can also use one of the inside pages to display your loved one’s full obituary, or a simple layout that uses their name, date of birth, date of death, birthplace, place of death, and loved ones who have preceded them in death or are still living.


Beautifully Designed andPrinted

FUNERAL ORDER OF SERVICE BOOKLETS Meadowview Media have been producing funeral order of service booklets for over 25 years, creating a bespoke & personal special keepsake, portraying the life of your dear lost loved ones. We also produce other funeral design products listed below: Order of Service Designed bespoke booklets with personal pictures and order of service, printed on quality card stock. Attendance Cards These can be left on seats for friends and family to sign their name. This helps you to know who attended the service. Thank You Cards Bespoke cards designed with your special message, thanking those who attended the service supplied with matching envelopes. Posters Mounted photo to display at the service & funeral reception.

For any further information or quotations please call: Meadowview Media Limited t: 07931 512 e: gabbi@meadowviewmedia.com www.meadowviewmedia.com 17


Floral Tributes... Facts On Funeral Flowers Although it is now customary for many people to request that relatives and friends attending a funeral donate to a charitable cause rather than spend money on flowers, floral tributes nevertheless remain an important part of the funeral service for the immediate family. A professional display of beautiful flowers coupled with a heartfelt message, however simple, can help express feelings of loss as well as honouring your loved one.

• If you would like a single floral tribute from the family to accompany the coffin, this can take the form of a coffin spray or for Christian burials, you can opt for a cross made up of a single flower type such as rose or lily. Either of these can be placed on top of the coffin throughout its journey. Floral lettering (such as ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ or the name of the deceased) remains popular and these will usually sit at the side or rear of the coffin on its journey to the service and carried in on arrival separately.

• Don’t feel you have to stick with white or cream for a funeral unless that is your preference. In the same way that you can include uplifting music at a funeral service, colour adds impact to flowers and can send out the message that you are celebrating your loved one’s life. Lime green, purple, orange, red and yellow can all be appropriate as funeral arrangements. You may want to choose a colour or a flower that was a favourite of the deceased. Bear in mind that some flowers may not be available throughout the year.

• Flowers that are available all year should be cheaper and are usually long-lasting. Lilies, roses, carnations and gerbera come in a wide choice of colours and will give a touching display whatever the season. These also all make good main flowers. Remember that larger lilies such as calla require seven days to open and flowers need to be properly conditioned for 24 hours before use, so place orders as early as possible to have the flowers you want looking their best.

• If you are struggling to choose an appropriate tribute, florists will have catalogues that contain ideas and pricing for funeral flowers. Please note that photographs are usually taken of the largest sized tribute so if the size


you order is smaller, it may not look quite the same as the picture. If you know what you would like - perhaps a bespoke design such as a teddy or animal or an arrangement to reflect a hobby of the deceased, etc. do give plenty of notice to your chosen florist as more complex tributes may need a specially prepared base to be made which adds to the time needed to create them.

• Most florists will deliver your flowers to your chosen funeral director free of charge so that the tributes can be included with the coffin in the hearse. This will usually be around two hours before the funeral although you can have them delivered to your home should you so wish.

• Whether you are ordering flowers in person at a florist, over the phone or through a website, take time to think about the message you would like to incorporate with your tribute beforehand, so you can plan your words while you are not under pressure. If you feel lost for words, there are some beautiful poems that have been written for these difficult times and florists and funeral directors can both give you ideas for messages.

• If you end up with a lot of flowers after the funeral, you could consider giving them to a local hospice or old people’s home, bringing some joy to others out of a sorrowful day. You may also like the idea of having some of the funeral flowers dried afterwards and incorporated into a picture along with your loved one’s photograph. These can even be given as memorial gifts to family members. Several companies offer this service or if you like crafts, you could try doing this yourself using a simple flower press. By Catherine Rose

Planning... Planning Ahead for Peace of Mind Arranging a funeral for a loved one can be a distressing experience for family and friends. Quite often the wishes of the deceased have never been discussed and it is left to grieving relatives to second guess what they may have wanted. Hertfordshire’s leading independent funeral directors Austin’s, offers an exclusive, pre-payment funeral plan which enables you to have the funeral of your choice and your family to avoid any emotional or financial stress. Unlike many other plans, the Hertfordshire Funeral Plan is bespoke so arrangements can be as simple or elaborate as required. And whatever choices you do make, you can rest assured that you and your loved ones will benefit from the exceptional customer care that Austin’s is renowned for. How it works If you are considering a plan, our funeral arrangers will be happy to guide you through the options. They will go through the details in the same way as any other funeral and will provide you with a written estimate. The cost is based on Austin’s current price list and is fully inclusive of all Austin’s charges. You will receive a draft plan of the arrangements for your approval. You may wish to discuss your wishes with family and friends and any changes can easily be made prior to finalising the plan.

Austin’s Funeral Directors are proud to support Stevenage Community Trust

Once you are completely happy, and payment has been made, you will receive a certificate outlining all the details of your plan. When the time comes your family simply informs us that you have a Hertfordshire Funeral Plan and we will take care of everything. Frequently asked questions • Is the plan secure? Although the Hertfordshire Funeral Plan is operated in conjunction with Austin’s Funeral Service, its fund and administration are protected under an independent trust. • Must I be in good health to take out a plan? No. A Hertfordshire Funeral Plan may be taken out by anyone regardless of age or state of health. • Can I change my mind about the arrangements? Yes. Changes may be made by contacting Austin’s. • What happens if I die away from home or on holiday? The plan will cover returning you from anywhere in the United Kingdom, to your home area. Should you die whilst overseas, the plan includes collecting you from any UK port or airport. • Will the plan completely cover the cost of my funeral? Yes. Providing that the funeral arrangements are carried out in accordance with the details of your plan, no further funeral director’s charges will be incurred. The complete funeral service



01438 316623

Bereavement Article 2018 A4 Double.qxp_Layout 1 05/06/2018 14:00 Page 1

Don’t let finances cloud your memories You may think it is unlikely that investment advice would be needed when dealing with the death of a loved one, but sadly, worries about money often surface at difficult times. This is especially true if the person who died usually managed the family finances. You may find yourself dealing with unusually large sums of money through inheritance, which can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming experience. You may have well­meaning friends and family offering to help but what may be best is sympathetic, impartial professional advice from people who understand investments. Based in Hitchin, the local branch of Raymond James Investment Services are a family run business located in the town centre. Headed by Susie Bewell and Faye Silver, who together have over 40 years experience in financial services. Backed by an excellent team, Susie and Faye offer sound planning and investment advice tailored to your needs. They will look at your financial situation and discuss your concerns, answer your questions and make realistic suggestions. They pride themselves on speaking plain English, not ‘investment jargon’ as, even if you've never dealt with investments before, it is important you understand the choices available. Even if you are not yet dealing with loss, you may still have concerns about what will happen in the future to your finances or the care of a family member. Whether you need to explore ways to fund care home fees or options around selling the family home, Raymond James can help you plan for and address these difficult decisions when they arise.

Risk Warning. With investment, your capital is at risk. The price of investments and the income from them can do down as well as up and neither is guaranteed. Raymond James Investment Services Limited is a member of the London Stock Exchange and is authorised and registered by the Financial Conduct Authority Registered in England and Wales No.3779657. Resisted office: Broadwalk House 5 Appold Street London EC2A 2AG. 20

A family business based in Hitchin, headed by Susie Bewell and Faye Silver, who together have over 40 years financial services. A family business basedexperience in Hitchin,in headed by Susie Bewell and Faye Silver, who together have over 40 years experience in financial services. All initial meetings are FREE, so if you have any investment questions then please give us a call onAll01462 initial422507. meetings are FREE, so if you have any investment questions then please give us a call on 01462 422507. We have a free ‘Drop­in’ on the first Friday of each month. Just come to the office and talk overWe your concerns or book on a free a timeJust to suit you. have a free ‘Drop­in’ the impartial first Fridaymeeting of eachatmonth. come to the office and talk over your concerns or book a free impartial meeting at a time to suit you.

For more visit: visit: www.rjwealthmanager.co.uk or or For informa�on more informa�on www.rjwealthmanager.co.uk www.facebook.com/RJISHitchin/ or call on 01462 422507 www.facebook.com/RJISHitchin/ orthe calloffice the office on 01462 422507 21

Power of Attorney The Importance of Understanding LPA... Although you may be fit and well now, there could

Before 2007, Power of Attorney was known as

come a time when you will need the help of your

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). Although now

partner, adult children or a trusted relative to manage

replaced by LPA, if you took out EPA before 2007

your finances or healthcare and make decisions on

it is still legally valid. EPA only covers wealth and

your behalf.

property, but unlike LPA, doesn’t have to be registered until you have lost the mental capacity to manage

It is now becoming increasingly common to take out

your affairs (as verified by a doctor or solicitor). But

a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which gives your

your attorney(s) can still act on your behalf prior to

chosen person or people the legal right to act for you

registration, with your agreement.

following a decline in your health or mental capacity. If you want someone to temporarily make decisions If you give more than one person Power of Attorney,

for you due to short-term incapacitating illness, you

for example your children, you can stipulate whether

can take out an Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA)

they act jointly or severally.

which also doesn’t have to be registered but will automatically expire before its end date should you

There is no minimum age at which you can take out

lose mental capacity.

a Power of Attorney although many people find it convenient do this when they make or update their

Being an attorney brings responsibility to manage the


donor’s affairs honestly, transparently and in their best interests. That means keeping their finances separate

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: one

from your own.

which covers property and wealth; and one which covers health and welfare. Most people take out both

If you don’t have a Power of Attorney in place and

in a single document.

become mentally incapacitated, your loved ones will need to make an application through the Court to act

Giving someone LPA over your property and wealth

on your behalf which can be long and costly.

means that they can legally help you manage your bills, banking or even sell your property to pay for

Powers of Attorney can only be set up while you are

your care fees; while a health or welfare LPA allows

still of sound mind – not after - and they end in the

your chosen attorney(s) to make decisions on your

event of your death.

behalf about your medical and healthcare. LPA must be registered, for a small fee, with the Office By Catherine Rose

of the Public Guardian before it can come into force.


Gary and the team welcome you to the refurbished Fox & Duck in Stotfold, just a short drive from Hitchin, Bedford and the A1(M) Junction 10. At the Fox and Duck we pride ourselves on using locally sourced produce in our restaurant. Our restaurant and

outside space is surrounded by beautiful countryside. We also have ample parking at the Fox and Duck. Our friendly and caring staff will look after all your needs at this difficult time.

Our Buffets costs start from just £7.50 per head.

For more more information Contact Gary on:

t: 01462 732434 e: info@foxandduckstotfold.co.uk Fox and Duck, Arlesey Road, Stotfold, SG5 4HE

C ommunityC are M atters G A M L I N G AY Our company is socially aware, and works for the community interest with a ‘not for profit’ ethos. We offer a unique independent Caring Service for both Families and Carers.

Our Services - Helping Families

Our Services - Helping Carers

Enabling control over care support for loved ones to be able live in their own homes.

We provide free guidance and support for Carers to enable them to:

• You Choose Your Carer From Our Carer Network • You Pay The Carers Directly • You Receive Continuity Of Care • You Receive Sufficient Time For A Great Service

• Work Independently • Earn A Good Salary • Have Control Over Their Work Schedule • Have Time To Provide A Great Service.

Helping to Build a Rapport for a Caring Safe, Trusting Relationship Anne Hutson - t: 07776 021 611



...Care with a social conscience not for profit 23

The Dragonfly... Helping Children Come to Terms with Loss As adults, the grieving process is difficult enough for us to cope with but when the time comes to talk about the death of a loved one to a child, it can be even harder.

would climb the stalk of a lily pad up towards the light, and never come back. None of the other nymphs could understand why they had disappeared or where their friends had gone. It made

The dragonfly story is a wonderful way of explaining the concept of an afterlife to children which they can understand and may give them (and you) comfort.

them sad and afraid. So, one day the water nymphs made a pact. The next nymph to climb a stalk up into the sky would promise to return and tell

The Dragonfly Story...

the others what was there.

Once, at the bottom of a cool green

Not very long after that, one of the water

pond, among the waving fronds of weed

nymphs had the strongest urge to climb a

and stones, there lived a little colony of

stalk. Up and up the nymph went, higher

water nymphs. They were very happy in

and higher. The shifting columns of light

their watery world - it was quiet and shady

became bigger and brighter. The nymph

on the pond bed and high above them was

could now see how clear the water was that

a sky of lily pads. They could move easily

surrounded him and how light from above

through the water, walking over the sandy

him was shining through the lily pad

stones and swimming in the shafts of light

leaves, making them glow a rich green.

that danced in the darkness.

He realised there was something beyond them and vowed to himself that he

There was only one sorrow for the

would return and tell his friends what he

nymphs. Every so often, one of them

discovered there.


When at last the nymph reached the top

there was nothing to fear.

of the lily pad, he was very tired. With a

But he could not get back into the water.

final burst of energy, he climbed onto the

Every time he tried, he simply bounced off

smooth flat lily pad and fell into a deep

the surface. He was no longer a creature


of the pond. Now he lived above the water where he could not see his friends and

After a time, he awoke and looked around

they could not see him. He had become

him. He was no longer in water but

a beautiful dragonfly who existed in a

instead, he was in a strange new place

different but wonderful world.

surrounded by air. High above him was the dome of a blue sky with a dazzling

He flew off knowing that although he

golden disc shining out of it. Unlike the

could not tell his friends this now, one day

coolness of the pond, he could feel its

they too would join him and understand.

warmth on his back and suddenly, he

And they would be together again.

realised that he now had a pair of the finest iridescent wings.

Retold by: Catherine Rose

He tried his wings and flew up into the sky, circling and diving. It was the most amazing feeling. Excitedly, he remembered his promise and knew he must return to his friends and share with them his happy news; that


Harwood Park... Keeping Memories Alive Nestled in the Hertfordshire countryside on the outskirts of Stevenage, Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Gardens is a place of peace and tranquillity. It is owned and managed by Austin’s, Hertfordshire’s leading independent funeral directors, and has been serving the local community for 15 years. In this relatively short period of time it has become the preferred choice for many bereaved families and now carries out over 2,200 cremations a year. The crematorium was a labour of love for the late John Austin who was the ninth generation of his family to run the 300-year-old company. For over 30 years he campaigned for a local crematorium but having failed to convince the cash-strapped authorities of the need for such a facility he finally decided to build and run it himself. Having fought so long and hard, John was determined to provide the community with a first class service and facilities. He had visited crematoria all over the country and was exasperated at what he perceived to be a lack of thought and consideration for the needs of the bereaved and their loved ones. He decided that at Harwood Park the needs of the mourners would be paramount. This meant not only providing a personal, caring and compassionate service but also getting the practical things right

Austin’s Funeral Directors are proud to support Stevenage Community Trust

including ensuring mourners did not leave a service to be confronted by the next group of mourners; providing state of the art music technology; making sure the administrative offices were away from the chapel and placing the catafalque (on which the coffin rests) off-centre so mourners are not forced to look at it but can instead look out a strategically placed window over rolling countryside. “Dad was passionate about getting Harwood Park right,” explains his daughter Claire who is now managing director of Austin’s. “And his efforts have been appreciated by so many people over the years. The gardens are beautiful and our dedicated gardeners make sure that they always look stunning and welcoming.” Mourners are offered a variety of ways to commemorate their loved ones including memorial seats, dedicated trees and shrubs, a rose garden with plaques and stone memorials. In addition to Harwood Park, Austin’s has eight funeral arranging offices throughout Hertfordshire. It has recently won a number of prestigious international and local business awards including business of the year at the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry awards and medium business of the year at the Hertfordshire Business Awards.

The complete funeral service www.austins.co.uk


01438 316623


Let us help you remember and cherish your loved one... At Knebworth Golf Club we do all we can to provide the atmosphere, where you can cherish and fondly recall the life of your loved one with friends and family. In picturesque surroundings and with experience in hosting funeral receptions and wakes, we can assist you with all arrangements ensuring your day is stress free at this difficult time.

Choose from a range of catering options: • A range of Buffet styles • Cream and afternoon Tea • Our Head Chef is happy to create a custom menu designed just for you We are situated just a short 5 minute drive away from Harwood Park Crematorium. Please call the office for a personal quote on 01438 812 752 or email us at:

We have two different function rooms, firstly our conservatory which overlooks the beautiful views of the golf course with access to the outdoor patio area and can hold up to 150 guests.

e: office@knebworthgolfclub.com w: www.knebworthgolf club.com The Knebworth Golf Club Limited Deards End Lane, Knebworth Hertfordshire, SG3 6NL

Our second function room, the Dining Room is suitable for more intimate functions and can hold up to 35 guests.

Please call the office for a personal quote on 01438 812752 or email us at office@knebworthgolfclub.com

www.knebworthgolf club.com


Bereavement Counselling Makes Major Steps Forward in St Albans and Luton... Counselling choices for people suffering after the loss of a

Death does not have a set time frame or definition – everyone

loved one has taken a major step forward due to the efforts

reacts differently and there is no right way to grieve - there is

of The Counselling Foundation, a charity with centres across

just what you feel, whether that’s in the immediate aftermath of

Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

a loss or years later, regardless, your counsellor is there for you.

The Foundation has taken on the counselling service,

Feedback the Foundation receives shows how much it can

clients and clinical lead from the recently closed St Albans


Bereavement Network (SABN) and has extended the muchneeded service to Luton.

“At the start, I would cry all the way home in the car, now I can smile and think about good times.

Jo Spilling, bereavement clinical lead commented “we were

I was struggling to see how I could carry on.

so pleased to be able to keep the service and combine it with the

Now I can at least focus.”

additional support from the Foundation. I’m very glad that we can offer bereavement counselling to the communities of

Anyone over 18 seeking bereavement counselling is welcome to

St Albans and Luton with the level of care that they require.”

contact The Counselling Foundation on:

Bereavement counselling enables people to talk through

01727 868 585 or visit

feelings in confidence until they can find away that works for



They do not need a GP referral.

“Death might be universal, but grief is completely unique.” Foundation Bereavement Counsellor

Here to listen to you Bereavement counselling in St Albans and Luton The Counselling Foundation is a charity providing specialist bereavement support for anyone over the age of 18. Counselling provides a safe and confidential space for you to talk about how you’re feeling, regardless of when your loss occurred. Please contact us to see how we can support you. Other talking therapy services and counselling training are available from our centres across Herts and Beds. 28

Contact us: 01727 868585 | bereavement@counsellingfoundation.org | counsellingfoundation.org

Making a Will... How Do I Make A Will? We spend our lives working to provide for ourselves

be shared out between beneficiaries (who get what).

and our loved ones. You may have a house or a flat in the UK or overseas, shares, savings, investments


as well as your personal possessions. All of these

• What happens if any of your beneficiaries die

assets are your ‘estate’. Making a will ensures that when you die your estate is share accordingly to your wishes. Everyone should have a will but it’s even more important if you have children, your own property, or have savings, investments, insurance policies or

before you do • Who will look after your children (if you have any) • Who should carry out the wishes contained in your will (your executor) • Any other wishes you may have for example if you want to be buried or cremated.

you own a business. WHEN SHOULD I CHANGE MY WILL?

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DIE WITHOUT A WILL? If you die without a will you have no say in what happens to your estate. Instead the rules of ‘intestacy’ will divide your estate in a predetermined way and this may not be people who

• Once you have written your will you should review it regularly to make sure it reflects your wishes, especially if you : • Get married / enter a civil partnership

you wished to benefit. It may also not be carried out

• Get divorced

in the most tax-efficient way.

• Have children or relatives you wish to benefit, for example nieces, nephews, or grandchildren

If you live with someone even if you are married, in a civil partnership, or have step children they may not automatically inherit your estate. HOW DO I MAKE A MAKE A WILL AND DO I

• Have brought a new property or have recently obtained an expensive asset (such a buying a car) HOW DO I FIND A SOLICITOR TO HELP



• First you must list what you have in your estate,

• To find a solicitor who can help with making your

and then you can decide how your estate should

will visit the Law Society website.


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Estate Planning

It is essential that your affairs are maintained in good order. We tend to leave matters until the last possible moment, which is often too late and loved ones have to pick up the pieces when they themselves are in an emotionally raw state.

Committed to Service

Comprehensive Approach

We take the time to understand your Every successful strategy starts with an current situation and work with you excellent client relationship. Our to put your affairs in order now and mission and values include exceeding for the future. By working together our client’s expectations. Contact us we ensure your affairs are put in today to find out how we can help put order now and that your beneficiaries your affairs in order. seemlessly inherit in the future.

• Funeral plans (all have Guarantees) • Trusts (incl. Secret) • Lasting Power of Attorney • Wills (Single & Mirror)

HOME CONSULTATIONS Email - robert@robertlawless.co.uk • Landline - 01438 230 015 • Mobile - 07779 131 617

Professional Removal & House Clearance Service

Losing a loved one is never easy, so allow us to remove the stress and worry for you at this difficult time, our professional service is always carried out with respectful caring, dedicated staff.

Our Services:

• House Clearances • Removals • Garden, Shed/Garage Cleared • Same Day Service Available • Local Pick-Up’s & Drop Off ’s • Fully Insured & CRB Checked FOR A QUOTATION CALL ALAN:


Local & Reliable

Macmillan... A Gift to Macmillan is a Gift to Everyone Macmillan Cancer Support knows how a cancer

simply wish to update an existing will.

diagnosis can affect everything, so when you need

With a choice of legal partners and writing methods

someone to turn to, they’re there, because no one

across the UK, from face to face at your home or

should face cancer alone. Right from the moment

solicitors, online or over the phone, you’ll feel safe

you’re diagnosed, through treatment and beyond,

in the knowledge that your family will be cared for

they’re a constant source of support to help you feel

and your wishes carried out. Some of Macmillan’s

more in control of your life.

legal partners can even visit hospitals or hospices, for those that need a will created in a short period

Yet more and more people are going to need

of time.

Macmillan’s support in the future. By 2020, nearly one in two people in the UK will receive a cancer

There is no requirement to leave a gift in your will to

diagnosis in their lifetime. That’s why it’s important

Macmillan to use the service, but any gift, no matter

now more than ever to plan for the future and write

how big or small, would help ensure that the charity

a will.

is there for people you love in the future. Family. Friends. Even people you’ll never meet but who you

A professionally written will is the only way to

want to help because you understand how tough it

ensure your family is cared for and that your final

is to be affected by cancer. A gift in your will would

wishes are carried out. If you die without making a

help enable Macmillan to be there for all of them if

will, you become an ‘intestate person’, meaning the

they ever need support.

law decides who inherits your estate. This can cause added stress to families at an already difficult time

Gifts in wills are vital for Macmillan, funding almost

and in some cases be problematic – meaning your

a third of the support the charity provides for people

money or possessions may not be inherited by those

affected by cancer. Without them, for example, one

you would have wished.

in three Macmillan Cancer Support nurses would disappear.

Macmillan’s discounted will writing service makes planning for the future easy, enabling you to save

To find out more, or to request a booklet with more

money on creating or amending a will with a legal

0800 107 4448 email: leavealegacy@macmillan.org.uk or visit: macmillan.org.uk/legacies information, please call:

professional you can trust. The service is open to all, with no age specifications and even for those who


(We are happy to come to you for a small extra charge)



Our staff have successfully dra ed Wills for many years; truly we are experts.

Helping you prove a Will a er death.

£135 inc. Single Will

£595 inc. Plus Court fees [unless it is a huge estate]

£199 inc. Mirror Wills

to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Court

Contact us for some friendly advice:

01462 674 767

Arranging for a rela ve/friend to act on your behalf if you lose mental capacity.

Abbeyhill 507 Broadway Letchworth SG6 3PT mhprobateservices@gmail.com

£295 inc. Plus Court fees to dra & register with Public Guardian Office

FUNERAL RECEPTION Chesfield Downs is set in 162 acres of stunning countryside. Set apart from the busy, fast paced local town, Chesfield Downs is surrounded by rolling fields and magnificent views. The Conservatory has its own private bar and patio area with breathtaking views across the course, creating a comfortable and peaceful environment for your friends and family to gather. We are the perfect venue for all sizes of funeral reception, from smaller intimate gatherings to larger groups. At this difficult time, let our experienced and attentive team take care of your catering requirements.



Our Events Manager Chesfield Downs Golf Club, Jacks Hill, Graveley, Hertfordshire, SG4 7EQ T: 01462

482 929

E: chesfielddowns-events@crown-golf.co.uk





North Herts & Stevenage Samaritans welcome initiative to offer armed forces and their families specialist support... Samaritans will be offering armed forces staff and their families tailor-made confidential support services round the clock, wherever they are in the world, Chancellor George Osborne announced in the recent Budget.

• Face to face training to create listening volunteers within the forces, available night and day for colleagues who need to talk about difficult thoughts or feelings Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK, and of men and women aged 20-34. For men who are 24 or younger and have left the armed forces, the risk of them taking their own lives is between 2 and 3 three times higher than men the same age who haven’t served in the military.*

The charity will receive £3.5m over 3 years to develop a national programme that helps military personnel , veterans and their loved ones identify when someone may need emotional support, and access Samaritans’ services more easily, whether they are in the UK or stationed overseas. The money is coming from what’s known as the LIBOR fund, following the rate-fixing issue, where fines paid by the banks are passed on to the voluntary sector.

Director of North Herts & Stevenage Samaritans, Leigh Grigson, has welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement: “We rely on men and women in the armed forces to put their lives on the line to keep us safe. With this funding, Samaritans can share its expertise with the military so that those serving or leaving the forces and their families are better equipped to deal with their unique circumstances, as well as the day to day struggles that we all face.

There will be 3 elements to the national programme: • Building on Samaritans’ existing digital technology to offer service men and women at home and abroad access to confidential support by text, email and instant messaging

“Samaritans are already here for anyone who is struggling, including those in the military. This funding will enable Samaritans nationally to share their expertise and give service men and women vital skills in listening and supporting others that they can use in their careers and later in their civilian lives.”

• Online training for military personnel and their families in listening skills, giving them the confidence and expertise to encourage each other to open up when life is tough


Samaritans has a track record in tailoring its services to the needs of those who may be more at risk of taking their own lives. For example, it has developed a listening scheme in prisons, which is now in its 25th year, where inmates are trained in listening skills and offer emotional support to prisoners finding it difficult to cope. Since 2010 Samaritans has been working with Network Rail and the wider rail industry’s 200,000 staff to develop online and face to face training in the skills needed to identify anyone who may be vulnerable, keep them safe, and direct them to sources of support such as Samaritans.

For further information, please contact Samaritans’ press office on:

020 8394 8300 or


• You don’t have to be suicidal to call us. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), visit www.samaritans.org to find detail

of your nearest branch. • It’s the public’s kind donations and more than 21,000 trained volunteers that mean Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope. • Samaritans’ Media Guidelines on reporting suicide or a suspected suicide are here:

www.samaritans.org/media-centre/ media-guidelines-reporting-suicide • *Figures taken from research carried out by Kapur et al, 2009, University of Manchester. • The government has committed money raised from banking fines following the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal to go towards charitable projects and good causes, with millions of pounds distributed every year over five years from 2013. In its first three years, the fund supported 96 charities and good causes supporting the armed forces community in a variety of ways.


Coping... Family Life Following the Loss of a Partner... Making the adjustment to living as a family without your partner is tough and you should not feel ashamed to seek out support. Each family member will deal with their grief in their own way and if there are children involved, you may instinctively want to focus all your energy on them. However, it is important that you have somewhere to turn to also. Bereavement counselling, even if you have not tried counselling before, can be very helpful at this time and is certainly never a sign of weakness. Taking time out for yourself is vital.

Emotional Support

Talk to your children about your feelings and encourage them to express theirs. This won’t hurt them and is, in fact, an important part of the grieving process as you adapt to a new routine in your daily lives. The charity Gingerbread (www.gingerbread.org.uk) provides an established support and advice network for single parents and can be an invaluable source of help and comfort. Cruse Bereavement Care (www.cruse.org.uk) is the UK’s leading national bereavement charity with a local network that can give you coping strategies. Their website www.hopeagain.org. uk is specifically targeted towards children and young adults. Spending time with your children after the death of their other parent will be a top priority. If you are working, talk to your employer to see if they will offer extra time off as part of your contract. Many employers will give you paid compassionate leave (although unfortunately there is no legal right to do so). If they don’t offer this and you can’t afford to take unpaid leave, ask about taking paid annual leave or if you are struggling and not ready to return to work, you could be eligible for sick leave. Speak to your GP.

Practical Support

As well as the emotional fall-out, coping financially can be a tremendous worry after the loss of a partner. Financial support


is available, so make sure you get the help you deserve for you and your family. Following the funeral, there will inevitably be financial arrangements to be made for you and your family, particularly if your partner was the main breadwinner. Considerations can include your employment rights, any benefits and tax credit entitlement and taking time off work or organising childcare. If you were married or in a civil partnership you could be entitled to specific bereavement benefits. Turn2us is a national charity that offers help with financial support during a crisis at www.turn2us.org.uk. The website has a benefits calculator, a useful summary of the financial support available, and contact details so that you can make payment applications. You will also find information on bereavement allowance, bereavement payment, widowed parent’s allowance and the funeral payment fund. Once you have registered the death, it will be necessary to inform several government departments about your bereavement. Fortunately, the government has made this simpler with their Tell Us Once service. This service means that you don’t have to contact all the necessary government departments that need notifying as they will do this for you, contacting Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Passport Office and your local council on your behalf. When you register the death, the registrar will be able to tell you if the service is available in your area and give you a unique reference number. You can then either phone (the registrar can supply you with the number) or simply log on to wwwww /after-a-death/organisations-you-need-to-contactand-tell-us-once/ and follow the instructions. By Catherine Rose

Coroner... Hertfordshire Coroners Service Hertfordshire Coroners Service provides investigatory and administrative support to Coroners for the jurisdiction of Hertfordshire, in accordance with the Coroners & Justice Act 2009. The duties of the coroner are: • To investigate the circumstances of the deaths of

• • • • • • •

all persons whose bodies are lying within his

Industrial disease Deaths abroad of British citizens Suicide Acute alcohol poisoning Bone fracture within 3 months of death Industrial accidents Deaths during operations, anesthetic or surgical procedures

jurisdiction where he has reason to believe that the death was violent, unnatural, of unknown cause or if the deceased died in custody or in state detention. • To decide whether a post mortem examination is

Hertfordshire Coroners: Senior Coroner: Mr Geoffrey Sulllivan Deputy Coroner: Mr Graham Rollason Danbury

necessary for the purpose of the investigation and

Assistant Coroner: Dr Frances M. Cranfield

if so to give directions to the appropriate

Assistant Coroner: Mr Edward Solomons

pathologist. • To hold an inquest with or without a jury as required under the Coroner’s and Justice Act 2009. • To notify the registrar of the findings of the

Coroners are independent judicial officers. Coroner’s Officers investigate deaths on behalf of the Coroner and liaise with the bereaved and professionals involved in the case.

inquest or that an inquest is not required. Examples of deaths that are reportable to the coroner are: • Doctor not in attendance • Transport and road collisions • Drugs or alcohol/poison • Death within 24 hours of admission into hospital • Sudden infant death • Homicide

Contact details: Hertfordshire Coroner Service The Old Courthouse St Albans Road East Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 0ES Telephone 01707 292 707 Email coroner.service@hertfordshire.gov.uk


Bereavement Organisations... Each organisation is trained to support you and your family during the loss of a loved one especially if you have recently been widowed and have no other family to turn to for support: Cruse Bereavement Care Counselling Foundation Samaritans Child Bereavement UK Survivors of bereavement by suicide Hospital bereavement services Coroners Service Royal voluntary Service Care of a sick relative and support available to you and the person you care for. Respite care in hospices (Garden House Hospice) Keech Cottage Children’s Hospice Macmillan Cancer support Diabetes UK Alzheimer’s UK British Heart Foundation Care homes Marie Curie


Supplying Memorials throughout Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire for the last 40 years... • All Designs of Memorials

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www.quincememorials.co.uk 39

Dementia... Living with Dementia... Sadly, with so many of us living longer than ever before, dementia seems to be a growing problem in old age. The changes that happen with this disease are life-changing and watching or caring for a loved one as they go into decline is traumatic and difficult. Help is out there however, and being aware of how dementia develops can help ease the emotional burden. Dementia is defined as: ‘…a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.’ It is important to remember dementia can be used to describe a set of symptoms that include memory loss, difficulties with thinking and speaking or problem-solving. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases often associated with old age. It is usually progressive which means that it will worsen over time. Below are the most common causes of dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease This is perhaps the most well-known and also the most common cause of dementia. During the course of the disease, the chemistry and structure of the brain changes, leading to the death of brain cells. Vascular Dementia If the oxygen supply to the brain fails, for example due to a series of strokes or TIAs (transient ischaemic attacks), brain cells may die either suddenly or over a period of time. Hardening of the arteries may also lead to ongoing dementia as small blood vessels in the brain becoming blocked. Lewy Bodies Dementia (DLB) Linked to both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease, this rarer but often misdiagnosed form of dementia is typified by protein deposits that develop inside nerve cells and affect the chemical messages between them. Their presence in the brain leads to the degeneration of brain tissue. Cognitive Impairment Old age can bring with it a certain amount of mild


cognitive impairment which is similar to, but not classified as dementia. MCI is a relatively recent term used to describe people who have some problems with their memory but do not actually have dementia. It is important to get a firm diagnosis of dementia for a variety of reasons that include being able to obtain professional help and benefits. Dealing with Dementia Early on…. In the beginning, the only symptom may be becoming more forgetful. It is always worth visiting your doctor if you have concerns. A firm diagnosis of dementia can be a shock but there are strategies to help you cope. • Set up a daily routine but which includes some mental stimulation such as keeping a journal or completing a puzzle • Focus on one task at a time or break down a complex task into small steps • Keep your personal belongings in the same place • Avoid distractions • Get support from friends and family. There are also aids which can help with tasks that involve memory – for example using a mobile phone calendar or alarm. If you are not comfortable with electronic aids, then you could use a wall calendar or wipe-clean noticeboard to write things down. Make a list of useful numbers and keep them by the phone or even in the fridge! That way, they are somewhere you will remember them. If you don’t already have one, order a daily newspaper to keep abreast of both news and the date. It is probably a good idea to get your legal and financial arrangements in order now if you have not already done so.

The Alzheimer’s Society at

www.alzheimers.org.uk offers lots of support and information about dementia. You can telephone their helpline on: 0300 222 1122

Peace of mind for you and your family The Hertfordshire Funeral Plan is a bespoke, pre-payment plan exclusive to Austin’s which takes care of your wishes and simpliďƒžes the arrangements for your loved ones.

01438 794420



Planning ahead for peace of mind 41

A Time to Care

Whoever makes the decision, moving into a care home is a significant step that inevitably takes time and consideration. Is a care home the right option?

being put to bed at night and a variety of social activities throughout the week.

If you, or an elderly relative or friend are needing care during the day and at night, have increasing mobility issues or are suffering from mental impairment which is beginning to impact on your safety or the safety of others, then a residential care home may be the best option. Rather than struggling, there are trained staff on hand to help at all times throughout the day and night. Sometimes this decision is made necessary after a bout of illness. Following a stay in hospital, an elderly person will have their needs assessed before discharge and may be advised to go into care for a period of respite if they are not yet fit enough to look after themselves at home. When an elderly patient is discharged home, usually recommendations will be made to improve their environment with the help of professional specialists such as occupational therapists so that they can continue to live independently. They will then continue to receive care at home which is provided by carers who visit the house on a regular basis. Some private care firms also offer live-in carers. Sometimes however, following a respite period, it may be decided that the best care can be given by making a permanent move to a residential care or nursing home.

Being in a care home doesn’t mean you are confined. You will still be able to go out and visit family, friends and relatives, and they will be able to visit you. Some care homes even provide overnight accommodation at a small cost for visitors. A nursing home is for those who need a higher level of care and alongside carers, they employ medical professionals to help look after their residents. Those who are on specialist medication, have worsening dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, suffer from severe mobility problems including being bedbound, have double incontinence or serious health issues may need to consider a nursing home. Both care and nursing homes will usually offer the services of visiting chiropodists and hairdressers. They will also have specialist equipment such as hoists and mobility baths or showers which are not always possible to have at home. Many homes have ensuite wet rooms.

Where do I start? The first thing to do is assess the needs of the person going into care. You can request a health care assessment from Social Services which provides a guide as to whether the person’s care needs can be met at home with assistance, or if moving into a care or nursing home would be more suitable.

What is the difference between a residential care home and a nursing home?

How do I choose a home?

For those who are struggling to live independently, a care home can assist by providing a clean comfortable room, help with personal washing and dressing, help to go to the toilet, laundry, meals,

Once you have made the decision to investigate a care or nursing home, start by visiting as many as possible and make a checklist in advance of what


you think they should offer. Your hospital or local authority should be able to provide a list of local homes or you can look online. Which does an online directory of care homes and services that can be found at: https://www.which.co.uk/elderly-care/careservices-directory Before you arrange to visit, make sure that the home caters for any special needs you have, for example, if your loved one has early onset dementia, you should ideally find a home that offers dementia care. You will usually get a gut feel for whether a place is right for you or your loved one. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, including the ratio of staff to residents/patients. The most important question to ask yourself is do you think you, or they, would be happy there? The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the national independent regulator of all health and care services in England. They regularly inspect care homes and their reports can be found on their website. Checking this will see how the care or nursing home you are looking at has performed during the past year and whether they are meeting their targets or if there are areas of concern.

Who pays for care? Unfortunately, care homes are expensive, starting from around £600 per week but some can cost up to £1000 a week depending on what they offer. You can ask for a financial assessment by your local authority to see whether you qualify for help with the fees but if you or your relative has savings and assets of more than £23,250, you or they will be fully responsible for paying for care. If you own your home, its value is taken into account unless a partner or spouse

remains living there. If assets are between £14,250 to £23,250 then you will need to contribute to the fees on a sliding scale. This is worked out by the local authority. Assets and savings of less than £14,250 will usually mean that the local authority will offer the maximum financial support towards the cost of care, depending on the home you choose and the type and cost of room they have available. Some care and nursing homes offer shared rooms which are cheaper. It is possible for a friend, relative or charitable organisation to pay ‘third party top up fees’ towards care if a home is particularly expensive and you either don’t quality for financial help from the local authority or the care/nursing home you want is more expensive than the amount the authority is willing to pay. In rare cases, if someone’s needs are very complex or they require an extremely high level of care, the NHS will pay nursing home fees under their Continued Health Care (CHC) scheme. You will be advised if you or a relative may be eligible for this funding and a full medical and care needs assessment will be carried out. This financial help is not means tested so any income and savings are not taken into account.

When the time comes for care, it can be a daunting prospect but remember there is help at hand - www.carehome.co.uk can put you in touch with the leading associations, organisations and charities that provide advice on care, as well as giving you details of the relevant local authority department you need to contact. Catherine Rose


Organ Donation... What is a Donation? Is there anyone that can’t donate? The donating of organs and tissues needs to be done safely to protect both the donor and the recipient. Each case is assessed on an individual basis. Currently, the only restrictions are:

Donation is giving an organ or tissue to help someone who needs a transplant. Transplants can greatly enhance the lives of other people, but this relies on donors. There are two types of donors: living and deceased. Organ donation helps save the lives of those with damaged organs. Tissue donations can be used to treat many life threatening conditions.

• Those aged over 85 years old. • Those who have Creutzfeldt- Jakob Disease (CJD), or • A cancer that has spread in the last 12 months. What about religion? All the major religions in the UK support the idea of organ donation and transplantation. It is important to talk to your family and make them aware of your decision regarding donation. Further information regarding specific religions and donation can be found on the website listed below.

What can be donated? The following organs can be donated by an individual:

How can I help? Your family’s consent is needed for a donation to go ahead. It can be difficult to make this decision, so letting them known now will make it easier for them in the future. So please, have a chat with your loved ones about your decision either way or once you’ve signed up to the register, share this decision with your family.

• Heart • Lungs • Liver • Kidneys • Pancreas • Small bowel In addition, tissues such as corneas can be donated which would help restore sight to someone that is blind.

To register, please call:

0300 123 23 23 or visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk

Editorial provided by Lister Organ Donation Committee


BOOKINGS FOR 2019/20 BEREAVEMENT COMPANION MAGAZINE Bookings are now being taken our for next years annual magazine. We are pleased to offer a second-to-none service with a professional design team that can help to create your advert all with incredible prices . For further information please contact: Gabriella Draper on 0793 1512 253 or email: gabbi@Meadowviewmedia

24a Market Square, Potton, Beds SG192NP

Trevor & Helen welcome you to The Royal Oak, it is the oldest pub in the historic market town of Potton in Bedfordshire, situated in a Grade 2 listed building. Here you’ll find real ales, fine wines and fresh and delicious food. The oak beamed bar with a real fire in the colder months provides a friendly and intimate atmosphere, whilst for those warmer summer days the beer garden offers a pleasant alternative. We cater for private functions including i.e. Weddings & Funeral receptions our amazing buffets can be taylor-made for any occasion. Please call us with your requirements and we will be happy to help.

The Royal Oak, 4 Biggleswade Road, Potton SG19 2LU 01767 261 888 • www.royaloakpotton.co.uk

Useful Numbers... Samaritans: 116 123 (this number is FREE) Macmillan Cancer Support: 0800 107 4448 Citizens Advice Bureau: Letchworth 01462 411 1444 Citizens Advice Bureau: Luton 01582 731 616 Citizens Advice Bureau: Mid Bedfordshire 01767 601 368 Citizens Advice Bureau: North Herts & District 0845 688 9897 Counselling Foundation: Luton & St Albans 01727 868 585 or visit www.counsellingfoundation.org Garden House Hospice: 01462 679540 Keech children’s hospice: 01582 492339 Bereavement Service Lister Hospital: 01438 284208 / 288463 / 284185 Hertfordshire Coroners Service: 01707 292707 Organ Donation Registration: 0300 123 23 23 Alzheimer’s Society: 0300 222 1122 Care Select: (www.careselect.co.uk) offers a handbook that is a comprehensive guide to choosing and funding a care or nursing home. Tel: 0800 389 2877. Age UK: publishes a range of helpful guides. Call 0800 169 6565 or visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/homeandcare Carepod: offers care, fees advice and helps you protect your assets Visit: www.carepod.co.uk or call 0843 479 0130 Care Quality Commission: website - http://www.cqc.org.uk/ Find Me Good Care: The website (www.findmegoodcare.co.uk) also provides useful information on homes in your area.



Stevenage Golf & Conference Centre offers a warm and welcoming venue for funeral wakes and receptions to celebrate the memory of a loved one. The Centre is set in beautiful countryside around the village of Aston with close proximity to Harwood Park and boasts excellent parking facilities and a seated patio area that offers panoramic views of the Golf Course and surrounding picturesque countryside.

We have a choice of buffets or alternatively our Chef will be happy to provide menus that are tailored to your personal taste. If you would like to view our rooms and discuss your requirements further please do not hesitate to contact us on:

01438 880 223

With personal empathy and unique attention to detail our dedicated team offer a warm, friendly, sensitive and adaptable planning service that is designed to make this difficult time a little easier. We have two rooms, our John Jacobs Room is light and airy with views over the patio and golf course. For a more intimate wake our Champions Gallery offers a warm and cosy space.

Stevenage Golf & Conference Centre Aston Lane, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7EL jane.watts@sll.co.uk

Personal, caring and independent. The complete funeral service 224 4 hhour our sservice ervice

Private P i C Chapels h l off R Rest

Memorial Stonemasons

Funeral Plans

Own Crematorium ST EV EN AG E • 01438 316623 H IT CHIN • 01462 438422 KNEBWO RTH • 01438 812365 BU NT IN G FO RD • 01763 274111 WELWYN GARDEN CITY • 01707 390018 WELWYN • 01438 714686 H E RT FORD • 01992 582052 WARE • 01920 468551 LET C H WORTH • 01462 684292


Harwood Park

The perfect setting to commemorate the life of your loved one

Crematorium and memorial gardens created and managed by the Austin family in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside.


48 Serving the local community for ten generations

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The Bereavement Companion 18/19  

The Bereavement Companion magazine is an all- encompassing, bespoke guide filled with useful information on what to do when bereavement occu...

The Bereavement Companion 18/19  

The Bereavement Companion magazine is an all- encompassing, bespoke guide filled with useful information on what to do when bereavement occu...