Well, 2021 has certainly been a challenging year. COVID has put an enormous strain on all bereavement sector workers and as the largest provider of emergency cover in the UK, we have been understandably stretched at times.
Lee spent 6 months as regional manager for crematoria and woodland burial to Southern Co-op, following which he was appointed consultant on the new build crematorium at Thirsk for Hambleton District Council. The facility is due to open in February 2022.
New build at Hambleton as at November 2021
Melissa, Oliver and James have spent the year providing both cremator technician cover and administration cover throughout the country.
One significant development is that Georgina Bembridge has joined our associates in providing staff cover to UK crematoria. Lee came across Georgina back in 2005 when she was appointed manager of Sherwood Forest Crematorium.
Georgina has worked for Memoria, Dignity and Southern Co-op as a crematorium and cemetery manager and we are delighted to be joined by someone with such operational experience and knowledge.
Georgina has been fully occupied providing interim management assistance since joining us. She has helped take the pressure from Lee who, until this year, had provided all management assistance personally.
There is no slowdown on offers to our company to provide management assistance. Indeed in the last week, 3 authorities have contacted us for interim management help.
We are firmly of the opinion that the experiences of Melissa, Oliver and James across various crematoria mean that any one of the 3 could provide competent management assistance with the experience of Lee and Georgina to fall back on at any time.
Sharon and Curtis continue to provide excellent back office support in looking after all of our workers and associates with everything from booking flights, accommodation and car hire to payments of wages and invoicing.
Our many associates have been absolute stars during a difficult year and have done us proud. We already have 8 people booked out for December with some bookings for the next 3 months.
In terms of consultancy, we have supplied Horizon Cremation with both a review of their memorial sales throughout the group and a key stakeholder study for their proposed new build in the Wirral.
We also provided a feasibility study for an above ground mausoleum burial village for a Hertfordshire authority.
In 2019, we provided a key stakeholder study for Rushcliffe Borough Council to assist their planning application for a new build crematorium. Following this application being successful, I am delighted to announce that building work has commenced on the project. It is great to see another of our company projects come to fruition.
2021 has cemented our place as the go to company in the United Kingdom for any authority needing crematoria assistance.