International award for Harrogate funeral firm

A Harrogate funeral firm that set out to modernise the sector has received recognition at an international award ceremony for innovation.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 11:54 am
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 11:56 am
The Full Circle team: Nicola Sutton, David Billington, Ruth Owen and founder Sarah Jones. PHOTO: Suzy Mitchell.

Full Circle Funerals has been recognised in the Modern Work Performer category of the Modern Work Awards for its efforts to embrace transparency, well-being and new ways of working.

The Skipton Road firm was the only UK organisation to be recognised in the awards, which were organised by German consultancy MOWOMIND and rewarded companies that operate according to modern work principles including transparency, sustainability, a learning culture, and a ‘people first’ approach.

Nominees came from 12 countries and four continents, and other winners included German automotive firm ZF Group and Hong Kong law firm JC Legal.

Former NHS surgeon Sarah Jones, who founded Full Circle, said: “Offering a more modern service in a very traditional industry can be challenging and we are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved.

“Our modern funeral directors come from all walks of life, with one of our newest recruits switching from a teaching career, and we purposefully foster a learning and sharing culture through reflective practices.

“In a job that can often be incredibly challenging, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, this process of reflection and mutual support is essential to staff wellbeing and growth.”

The company’s funeral homes incoporate elements of nature in their interior design to support the well-being of staff and the bereaved.

Ms Jones said: “Physical environment has a significant impact on our mood, something that we have all become aware of during the pandemic, and we have recently collaborated with local garden centres to provide a plant voucher to everyone who has been bereaved.”

Other modern practices highlighted by the judges included the transparency of having prices listed on the website and the firm’s strong environmental focus.

Ms Jones added: “We offer green funerals, have an electric hearse and plant a tree for every funeral, as well as holding workshops on green funerals for other professionals.”