Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services Blog

Rise in Number of ‘Pauper’ Funerals

PH funeral graphMedia attention continues to focus on the rise in the number of ‘pauper’ funerals (ie those provided by the local council because families cannot afford them).

As prices of funerals soar, so the number of people facing financial difficulty to fund them rises.

As a company, we are committed to keeping the cost of funerals as low as possible. We do this by rejecting the corporate approach of upselling, and by focussing on the emotional benefit of a funeral.

“We don’t tell you what you need, we listen to what you want.”

Look out for our new, full page advert which is due to appear in The Hunts Post this week. It explains that funerals don’t have to be expensive, and encourages people to speak to several funeral directors before making their decision who to appoint.

We recently saved a client over £1500 simply because she shopped around.

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services are proud to be the only locally-owned, fully independent funeral directors in Huntingdon and St Neots. We are recommended locally on The Best of St Neots and nationally by The Natural Death Centre. Visit our Huntingdon website or our St Neots website, telephone us on (St Neots) 01480 471001 or (Huntingdon) 01480 412938, or call in and see us at Gate Lodge, Cemetery Road, St Neots PE19 2BX or 10-10A Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA (opposite the registrar).

Helping Make Huntingdon Dementia-Friendly

VDT KIFD poster version 3In recent months the forecast increase of dementia has been highlighted in the media and recognised as a global health challenge. With a predicted 40% increase in the next 12 years there will be few of us whose lives are not affected directly or indirectly by dementia.

We have offered our premises in Huntingdon on Monday 16th November 2015 to ‘training2care’ to enable them to carry out the Virtual Dementia Tour. This training is the only scientifically proven method of giving people with a healthy brain an experience of what dementia might be like.

The Virtual Dementia Tour is a unique, interactive training experience that is proven to improve communication and care for professionals in the health and care industries, those caring for their loved ones or individuals just wanting to know more about dementia. Meeting someone with dementia can be a daunting experience, because sometimes we do not know how to deal with the situation.

This ‘tour’ will hopefully enable people to identify with and better understand the behaviours and needs of those affected by dementia.  There is a fee of £23.99 for each participant. If you would like more information about the tour or to book a place please call us on (01480) 412938.

Please Support our Easter Egg Appeal

Easter EggsKingfisher Funerals of St Neots and Huntingdon are collecting Easter Eggs to give to sick children this Easter. We will present all the eggs we collect to children on Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in the hope that we can bring smiles to some small faces at this celebratory time of year.

The Hunts Post carries a picture of Scott, Nicola and Philip clutching as many eggs as possible, on page 2 this week.

We have already been astounded by the generosity of people dropping Easter Eggs in to our offices, and we assure you that every gift, no matter how small, really will be gratefully received.

If you would like to donate an Easter Egg, please feel free to drop it in to either of our offices during normal opening hours.

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services are proud to be the only locally-owned, fully independent funeral directors in Huntingdon and St Neots. We are recommended locally on The Best of St Neots and nationally by The Natural Death Centre. Visit our Huntingdon website or our St Neots website, telephone us on (St Neots) 01480 471001 or (Huntingdon) 01480 412938, or call in and see us at Gate Lodge, Cemetery Road, St Neots PE19 2BX or 10-10A Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA (opposite the registrar).

Kingfisher Funerals win Best in Category 2015

2015---Winner-in-Category2015 is the fourth consecutive year we’ve been in the top five best-loved funeral directors in the UK. In 2012 we came fifth, in 2013 we moved up one place, last year we came third, and this year we are very proud to announce that we have become the winners of the category in the annual Local and Loved awards.

The awards are run by The Best Of – a UK-wide business with franchises in many towns and cities in the country. Winners are chosen based on the number of positive testimonials they receive from clients during the year. The testimonials are verified before being accepted.

We strive to be the best funeral directors in our local area, and in particular in Huntingdon and St Neots. Our independence allows us to stand out amongst local competitors because we are able to encourage our clients to do whatever is right for them when it comes to arranging a funeral. We are not under any pressure to sell expensive or unnecessary items, and we genuinely make sure that each and every one of our clients to be treated as an individual.

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services continues to grow as a business. As more and more local funeral directors are bought by large, faceless, corporate companies, we thrive on being open and honest about our ownership, our services and our costs. We believe that we are the only funeral directors in Cambridgeshire to openly display all of our prices on our website.

We are recommended locally on The Best of St Neots and nationally by The Natural Death Centre. Visit our Huntingdon website or our St Neots website, telephone us on (St Neots) 01480 471001 or (Huntingdon) 01480 412938, or call in and see us at Gate Lodge, Cemetery Road, St Neots PE19 2BX or 10-10A Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA (opposite the registrar).

Dignity Acquires T L Cobbold Funeral Directors in St Neots

Under New Ownership2T L Cobbold Funeral Directors of St Neots, together with Woodman & Sons of Biggleswade and Cecil Newling of Royston, have been sold to Dignity plc. Dignity is a huge company, which, according to Wikipedia is the largest provider of funeral services in the UK. Their own website states that they own more than 690 ‘funeral locations’ and operate 39 crematoria.

Speculation that Lodge Bros would sell the businesses was aroused in March 2014 when the freeholds to the three premises were sold by auction, with provisos that they were leased back to the business with 15 year contracts.

Dignity already owns William Peacock Funeral Directors in Huntingdon, Swearers of Ramsey, Clarabut & Plumbe in Bedford, Harry Williams & Sons and Weyman Funeral Services in Cambridge. The acquisition of three more funeral directors in our locality leads us to call for much clearer declarations of ownership. The vast majority of people who deal with funeral directors under the ownership of large, corporate companies, believe they are dealing with small, local individuals.

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services are rightly and justly proud to be the only locally-owned, fully independent funeral directors in St Neots and Huntingdon. We take huge pride in providing a personal and individual service to each and every client. We are open and honest about our independence. We hide absolutely nothing. We display our prices on our website, and we believe we offer the very best value available in the local area. Small, independent funeral directors’ charges are almost always lower than those of large, corporate funeral directors.

We are recommended locally on The Best of St Neots and nationally by The Natural Death Centre. Visit our Huntingdon website or our St Neots website, telephone us on (St Neots) 01480 471001 or (Huntingdon) 01480 412938, or call in and see us at Gate Lodge, Cemetery Road, St Neots PE19 2BX or 10-10A Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA (opposite the registrar).

A Long-Distance Funeral

Skype Funeral 1We felt hugely privileged to be asked to host the funeral of Jorge Resende yesterday. A lot of Jorge’s family live in Portugal, as does a close family friend who is also a priest.

Our challenge was to bring everyone close together using technology, which we achieved with the help of Skype and a large television screen.

Friends in Huntingdon gathered at our premises in Princes Street at 8pm, at the same time as the priest and members of the family met at the family home in Portugal. A Skype link was then set up so that both parties could see each other.

The service was conducted in Portuguese with participation from both countries during the live link.

The atmosphere at Princes Street ensured that everyone felt welcome and able to relax, and lots of emotion was experienced when people who had not met for a long time saw each other on the big screen. The premises were ideal for an occasion such as this.

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services are proud to be the only locally-owned, fully independent funeral directors in St Neots and Huntingdon. We are recommended locally on The Best of St Neots and nationally by The Natural Death Centre. Visit our Huntingdon website or our St Neots website, telephone us on (St Neots) 01480 471001 or (Huntingdon) 01480 412938, or call in and see us at Gate Lodge, Cemetery Road, St Neots PE19 2BX or 10-10A Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA (opposite the registrar).

Huntingdon Funeral Directors Firmly Establishing Presence in Town

Kingfisher Staff at HuntingdonToday marks 12 weeks since we opened the doors to our new office in Huntingdon, and what a roller coaster ride it has turned out to be!

We have been extremely privileged to have been asked to arrange far more funerals that we had ever imagined, with clients frequently citing our friendly and open approach as the reason they have chosen us.

Many people have told us how nice it is to see the building in use again, and the fresh coats of paint, both external and internal, have given what had turned into a run-down premises a new lease of life.

As soon as people walk into our office, they comment on the light, airy feel that it has, and the stunningly colourful kingfisher canvas on the wall. The atmosphere we strive to create is the same as at our St Neots office – warm, welcoming and approachable.

The photograph shows Nicola, Scott and Andrew in the reception area in Princes Street.

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services are proud to be the only locally-owned, fully independent funeral directors in Huntingdon and St Neots. We are recommended locally on The Best of St Neots and nationally by The Natural Death Centre. Visit our Huntingdon website or our St Neots website, telephone us on (Huntingdon) 01480 412938 or (St Neots) 01480 471001, or call in and see us at 10-10A Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA (opposite the registrar) or at Gate Lodge, Cemetery Road, St Neots PE19 2BX.

First Pictures of Kingfisher Funerals Huntingdon Office

Huntingdon 1The last few weeks have been extremely hectic, to say the least.

We opened our second office, in Huntingdon, on Tuesday 6th May 2014. What we hadn’t quite planned for, was that May became our busiest month to date at our St Neots office, so all the decorating that we intended to do at Huntingdon didn’t quite happen as fast as we’d hoped.

However, with the exception of a delivery of 2 chairs to match the sofa, the reception area is now complete, and provides a light and airy welcome to our visitors and clients. Roxie seems to feel at home here already.Huntingdon 2

The arranging lounge, which can also be used for funeral ceremonies with up to 25 people present, is undergoing its final stages of preparation. The window sills have been painted today – just one radiator to go!

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services are proud to be the only locally-owned, fully independent funeral directors in Huntingdon and St Neots. We are recommended locally on The Best of St Neots and nationally by The Natural Death Centre. Visit our Huntingdon website or our St Neots website, telephone us on (Huntingdon) 01480 412938 or (St Neots) 01480 471001, or call in and see us at 10-10A Princes Street, Huntingdon PE29 3PA (opposite the registrar) or at Gate Lodge, Cemetery Road, St Neots PE19 2BX.

Kingfisher to open new funeral director’s premises in Huntingdon

Princes StreetIt gives us great pride to announce that we have completed the legalities on the lease of our second premises, 10-10A Princes Street, Huntingdon.

The former stable block forms one side of the Lawrence Court development which houses the registrar, coroner’s office and library. It is a listed building with loads of character, and being old it requires a little attention before we move in. This should take roughly three weeks, and we expect to open after the first bank holiday in May 2014.

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services has grown as a local business since its conception in October 2010. The company employs three full-time, qualified funeral directors and prides itself on the often-copied but never-bettered level of service it provides to the Huntingdonshire community.

Andrew Hickson, who lives in St Neots and owns the company, said “Kingfisher Funerals are proud to be the only locally-owned, fully independent funeral directors in St Neots. We have found over the last year or so that clients from Huntingdon are using our services more and more, and the next logical step was to open an office in Huntingdon to better serve their needs. Princes Street is a great location for our expanding business, which can now claim to be the only independent funeral director in Huntingdon as well.”

Nicola Jarmaine, who has been with Kingfisher Funerals for just over one year, will become the face of the Huntingdon branch of the business, while Scott Hardiman, who joined the company in May 2013, will be the person most people will meet at the St Neots office. We will, however, continue to be a very close-knit team, covering for each other as and when necessary, and providing the out-of-hours call-out service which is vital to our business.

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services are proud to be the only locally-owned, fully independent funeral directors in St Neots and Huntingdon. We are recommended locally on The Best of St Neots, and nationally by The Natural Death Centre. Visit our Huntingdon website or our St Neots website, call us on (01480) 471001, or drop in and see us at Gate Lodge, Cemetery Road, St Neots PE19 2BX or at 10-10A Princes Street as soon as we are open! A warm and friendly welcome is assured at any time.

 

Hayley’s Coronation Street Funeral – Humanist Funerals and Coffin Choices

Garden CoffinYesterday evening’s screening of Hayley’s funeral on Coronation Street will have made viewers think about funeral choices, and in particular humanist funerals and cardboard or eco-friendly coffins.

We very much hope that bringing a funeral such as this into the wide public domain will inform people that they do have choices, and will inspire people to ask for what they want, rather than what they think they have to have.

We encourage each and every one of our clients to tell us how they want a funeral to be. We have no set ideas or ideals. We pride ourselves on tailoring funerals individually and providing as much help as a client wants to ensure that a funeral is a very personal event.

The term humanist funeral is often assumed to mean anything other than a religious or church funeral. In fact a true humanist funeral will make no reference to God or the afterlife, instead concentrating on being a celebration of a life. Humanists denounce the exitence of a higher being, and look to science rather than religion to discover and understand the world.

A critic could say that this imposes values as much as a church funeral imposes religion.

A further option is known as a civil funeral. Civil funeral celebrants design funeral ceremonies unique to each person, and will not “impose their values on others”.

We tend to find that once we have explained all these options to our clients, they opt for a civil celebrant, simply because of the flexibility it offers, allowing hymns and prayers if desired.

We are extremely proud of one of our local suppliers, Will at Greenfield Creations, who designed and made the coffin that was used for Hayley’s funeral. Will’s coffins are spectacular and original, and his business has been one of our key suppliers since we established Kingfisher Funerals in St Neots.

We don’t tell you what you need, we listen to what you want.

Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services are proud to be the only locally-owned, fully independent funeral directors in St Neots or Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. We are locally recommended on The Best of St Neots, and nationally recommended by The Natural Death Centre. For more information please call us on (01480) 471001, e-mail us info@kingfisherfunerals.co.uk or call in at Gate Lodge, Cemetery Road, St Neots PE19 2BX.