As a family owned business for more than 140 years, Neville Funerals has a long history of supporting communities across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Director, Vicky Trumper explains: “Community involvement is important for any business, but for the funeral industry it’s imperative. People mostly come into contact with us when a loved one passes away. But how can you expect people to trust you at the most difficult and vulnerable time of their lives if they know nothing about you or what your business stands for?
“Community engagement is not only the right thing to do, it provides a shared benefit for all involved. People like to support businesses that contribute to the community. Over time, people will start to see you in a different way– not just as a funeral director but as a community partner.
“Getting involved in the community is easy, but it is much more than just donating a few raffle prizes. It should be a sustained investment that works within the overall business strategy and aligns with your values.”
Community engagement should be meaningful and relevant. A good place to start is to identify a need or cause, something that connects back to the purpose of your business that you can fully engage with.
For Neville Funerals, a lack of available bereavement services in the region led them to introduce their own groups. Community and Pre-Need Manager, Louise Clarke explains, “Supporting families following a loved one’s death is part of our commitment to customers; our responsibility doesn’t end with the funeral. Bereavement counselling can be invaluable but there was a shortage of affordable provision within our local community. So, we launched the Lea Bereavement Support Service a number of years ago, a free course which tackles practical and emotional challenges faced by the bereaved.
“It was a great success, but we found that some people felt a little lost when the course ended. Many had formed new friendships and wanted to continue to socialise with likeminded people; and so our first Talking Elephants group was born. The Luton group has been running for three years and we’ve since launched new groups in Stopsley, Hitchin and Hemel Hempstead.”
You can find full details for Lea Bereavement Support Service and Talking Elephants on the Bereavement Services page on this website.