The Memorial Awareness Board (MAB) has been promoting and organising the Cemetery of the Year Awards for nearly 20 years. Memoria Cardiff & Glamorgan won the 2020 Silver prize in the Small/Medium Cemetery category of the National Competition and received the award in September.
Philip Potts of the Memorial Awareness Board said:
“The awards are an excellent opportunity to reward hard-working staff and demonstrate the central role Cemeteries can play in the community. They provide places of peaceful contemplation and beauty, as well as their ecological importance.
“The team at Memoria Cardiff & Glamorgan performed exceptionally throughout the extensive judging period which is focused on Industry Standards, Environmental Issues and Good Practice”
Michelle Jones Cemetery Manager said: “This award is such a wonderful pat on the back for our team, it acknowledges that we really go above and beyond to try and provide a reliable, friendly and quality service. My team and I are thrilled”
The Cemetery of the Year Awards are supported and endorsed by the following leading industry Associations:
A flamboyant crematoria boss has hit back at government attacks over the cost of funerals pushing poorer families into worry inducing debt.
By JAMES MURRAY, The Sunday Express
Howard Hodgson rejected claims that funerals were too expensive.
An all party work and pensions select committee report found that poorer families were having to borrow from payday lenders to cover funeral costs, even with state picking up £700 of bills.
The damning report produced by Frank Field prompted the government to call for a review of all crematoria provision and facilities in England, Scotland and Wales only, which ends next month.
However, Howard Hodgson, who runs the Memoria crematoria company, says there is no need for intervention by the government or the Competition and Markets Authority.
Mr Hodgson said: “Mr Field has not done his homework because we already offer a low cost unattended cremation service for £1,100.”
“We also offer a low cost attended cremation for £1,600 or £2,000 depending on the time slot during the day. We have recognised that there that is a demand for this new service and we are reacting to it.”
“Over three days last week we had bookings for 120 cremations and 21 low cost cremations, which is about 17 per cent of the total.”
The select committee found that poorer families were forced to borrow money for funeral costs.
“We do not believe low cost direct cremations, where you don’t have the hearses and limousines, will replace traditional funerals but we do have significant evidence that it is increasing its market share at an impressive rate, signifying a distinct cultural change in the way people are approaching funerals.”
“Therefore we believe that there is not only a moral need to supply this legitimate demand, but that such provision can also reduce the cost of a funeral by around 70 per cent and that this must be good news for both the well off and the public purse.”
“Just to ignore this trend is not in the interest of either the funeral industry or the Government.”
The funeral director said that only 17 per cent of their total funerals booked were low cost, “Indeed, no costly Government intervention is necessary because the market has found a solution to the problems as it usually does in a free enterprise economy.”
“We are seeing a ground breaking change as the baby boomers end their days. This generation changed the fashion of life and now it is changing the fashion of death.”
He cited the death of David Bowie in New York last January, where there was no public funeral service and he was quickly cremated, as a sign of the times.
The flamboyant Hodgson was written two books about his experiences in the funeral business.
He added: “We believe that there is not only a moral need to supply this legitimate demand, but that such provision can also reduce the cost of a funeral by around 70 per cent and this must be good news for both the less well off and the public purse.”
Mr Hodgson has more than 50 years experience in funeral care and comes from a long line of funeral providers.
A successful author, he wrote a best selling biography of Prince Charles and has written two works of fiction based on his experiences in the funeral business.
Published in the Sunday Express, 24 April 2016.
Memoria Low Cost Funeral are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for 3 separate National Awards in this year’s Good Funeral Awards. The Awards are held annually by the Good Funeral Guide and are recognised as the flagship awards ceremony in our industry. We are naturally very excited and truly humbled to be shortlisted down to the last few after our initial nomination for the awards which are largely made by members of the public. We had recently heard that we have received a total of 5 nominations for:-
These awards are seen by many as the ‘Oscars of the Funeral Trade’ and this year the awards will be held at a glittering lunchtime ceremony in central London on 7th September.
The Good Funeral Guide said:
“Since 2012 we’ve been recognising the great work of the country’s best gravediggers, embalmers and funeral directors. The awards ceremony is a bridge between the general public and the much-misunderstood funeral industry. We’ve championed the entrepreneurs, pioneers and progressives. Our winners have gone on to make media appearances and dispel some of the myths around what happens when we die. We listen to the general public and get their views on the standard of customer service. We collate their views, offer them to the judges for verification, and then draw up a list of nominees. Winning a Good Funeral Award is a sign that the public can come to you and enjoy the high-quality service they deserve”.
The Award nomination comes as one of many received in multiple categories by Memoria and demonstrates the recognition of our ethos of providing exceptional standards of service and facility to the bereaved families.
Memoria CEO Howard Hodgson said:
“We are delighted to receive this nomination in one of the most prestigious awards within the industry. At Memoria, we always judge our success by the levels of our client’s satisfaction rather than by our levels of profit because we firmly believe the first leads to the second. Therefore, to be nominated is testament not only to the hard work of our dedicated staff but also to the opinion of our clients who really appreciate the professional people we have working for us and recognise that our teams strive to offer exceptional service to bereaved families at the time they need it most”.
Crematoria operator Memoria are today celebrating after their South Oxfordshire Crematorium & Memorial Park was named as ‘Best Crematorium in the UK’ at the Good Funeral Awards. It was a great day for Memoria who also won an award in the ‘Best Low Cost Funeral Provider’ category.
The Awards which are organised by The Good Funeral Guide are widely renowned as ‘The Oscars of the Funeral Industry’ with this year’s awards taking place at an impressive ceremony at Porchester Hall in London and attracting the most talented individuals and companies in the industry. All of those present had been nominated for their outstanding services to bereaved families.
Memoria’s reputation as the leading provider of excellence in facilities and service was underlined after being shortlisted in this year’s awards 11 times and across 4 separate categories, more than double that of any other company nominated.
Memoria CEO Howard Hodgson said, “We are absolutely delighted to win the award for “Best Crematorium in the UK” along with a second award in the “Best Low Cost Funeral Provider” category. It is our mission to provide excellent facilities to bereaved families and with 282 crematoria in the UK, it is fantastically rewarding to see our Crematoria recognised as the very best by not just taking top spot but also dominating the category with 7 of the 13 shortlisted finalists coming from our sites”.
The award in the “Low Cost Funeral Provider” category came as a very topical one just a week after the release of the annual Royal London Funeral Cost Index Report revealed that after a “False Dawn” drop in the average funeral cost in 2016, prices have now risen sharply again.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Paul Reed – Managing Executive of Memoria’s Low Cost Funeral Ltd said “The findings in the Royal London Report of an over the rate of inflation (3%) increase in the average cost of funerals will come as a bitter pill to swallow for families who are struggling to meet the already significant financial requirements of a funeral. Memoria have shown here today that the very best standards of service and facility can be achieved without busting the bank and there is a real alternative for those families who want a 5-star service at a very affordable price”.