Accrington Observer - - YOUR VIEWS -

MY first piece of ad­vice, whether you are think­ing of your own fu­neral or that of a loved one, is to do your re­search, choose your fu­neral home and ar­range a visit to dis­cuss your wishes.

Visit a cou­ple of homes be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion.

In Eng­land and Wales to date, the fu­neral pro­fes­sion is un­reg­u­lated and un­li­censed which cre­ates a huge vari­a­tion in premises, ser­vices and bereavement un­der­stand­ing.

It is not com­pul­sory to be trained, qual­i­fied or a mem­ber of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Fu­neral Di­rec­tors.

In my opin­ion there should be a na­tional stan­dard that pro­vides, pro­tects and helps griev­ing fam­i­lies. Sadly there are many un­reg­u­lated fu­neral homes with lit­tle or no un­der­stand­ing of the pro­to­cols which are so im­por­tant to those who are suf­fer­ing from shock and grief.

Make sure that the fu­neral home you use is a mem­ber of The Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Fu­neral Di­rec­tors.

They set the ex­am­i­na­tion stan­dard for our pro­fes­sion and as mem­bers we have to ad­here to a strict Code of Prac­tice which in­cludes guide­lines for waste man­age­ment.

Any­one can call them­selves a Fu­neral Di­rec­tor but this does not mean they are trained or qual­i­fied and this lack of reg­u­la­tion gives free­dom for un­ortho­dox prac­tice.

Our Gov­ern­ment needs to pro­tect the dead who can­not speak for them­selves.

You need to know to whom you are en­trust­ing your loved one and your emo­tional re­cov­ery too.

A fu­neral is not just a fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tion. It is about so much more than just the cheap­est quote.

All pro­fes­sional fu­neral homes pro­vide a ba­sic op­tion for those who find them­selves in a re­stricted fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion, but proper care and sup­port are still your right. Fu­ner­als are not just about the dis­posal of a dead body. They are emo­tion­ally sig­nif­i­cant and rit­u­al­is­tic ex­pe­ri­ences.

It is your right to have a good qual­ity of ser­vice at a fair price.

Do not be afraid to ask ques­tions, view premises and com­pare fa­cil­i­ties, staff ex­pe­ri­ence, train­ing and knowl­edge.

Fu­neral premises should pro­vide an en­vi­ron­ment that hon­ours the dead and pro­vides com­fort for fam­i­lies.

Even if that means trav­el­ling a few ex­tra miles. It is only by de­mand­ing proper fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices that we can pro­tect and re­spect those we have lost. Lianna Champ

L Champ Fu­neral Ser­vices Clay­ton-le-Moors

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