Full Circle Funerals Harrogate

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Funeral Directors Category: Yorkshire & The Humber

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  • Sarah Jones and David Billington are the business partners who founded Full Circle Funerals. Although, as their website says, Sarah and Dave are personal, professional and compassionate people first and funeral directors second.

    Full Circle Funerals is quite unlike any other funeral director business in the area. This is immediately apparent to anyone driving past any of their premises in Guiseley, Bramley, Harrogate and Halifax – they look more like a classy interior design showrooms than funeral director premises, with large windows, warm and natural decor and a fresh, modern feel. The website is similarly bright and attractive in design and the whole look of the company reflects the intelligent and thoughtful approach that this young business is bringing to a traditionally staid and somber service.

    Sarah and Dave are supported by a small, close-knit team and together they have created a completely different type of funeral business serving families of Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Skipton and the surrounding areas. There are no assumptions here, nor acceptance of what ‘should’ be done when it comes to a funeral; the people at Full Circle Funerals are totally flexible and committed to giving clients as much support and involvement as each family wants or needs. They are really keen to show families the range of ideas, suggestions, products and styles that are available to help each client make the decisions that are right for them.

    Completely transparent in pricing, with an online estimator to help you work out what the final costs might be depending on your choices, the philosophy at Full Circle is simple. Clear information, guidance where you need it and as much emotional or practical support as you want. You can expect to be treated like an intelligent adult, and whichever team member you meet will listen closely to what you need from them without making any suppositions. The Full Circle philosophy is to start with a blank canvas each time, and not to have any expectations about what is ‘the norm’, or what might be right for any client or their family. They believe strongly that genuine engagement in funeral planning supports a more positive grieving process and they have the communication skills and confidence to support people to achieve this.

    Sarah and Dave met when they were both working with adults with learning difficulties. Sarah had trained and worked as a doctor before moving into adult social care, and Dave had previously lived and worked in America supporting underprivileged children to access outdoor youth programmes. Their wide experience of the world is evident in their determination to breathe fresh life into the way that we deal with the subject of death, something so often hidden away behind the blinds of a traditional funeral director’s premises, or cloaked in the processional ‘otherness’ of a passing funeral cortege.

    Sarah in particular is passionate about re-designing the dialogue our society has about dying and death. She believes ardently that we would all benefit from speaking more openly about it, and her decision to move into providing an undertaking service was very much motivated by a desire to offer families the time, choices and support to create meaningful funerals.

    Away from work, Sarah is a mother to two children, and she loves walking, running and cycling with her husband and family. She loves baking and cooking and making things, and clearly has a creative eye – the attractive décor of all of Full Circle Funerals’ premises has Sarah’s stamp all over it. “I love a bit of duck egg blue,” she says.

    Dave spent some time working alongside another funeral director locally and is also a trained civil celebrant. He and his fiancée enjoy exploring the local countryside with their golden Labrador, Wilson, who is also part of the Full Circle Funerals team.

    Both Dave and Sarah have a great deal of experience of working with people from their previous occupations, and bring many skills to their venture, including managing difficult communication and public speaking abilities.

    Full Circle has four service in Yorkshire (Harrogate, Halifax, Guiseley and Bramley) from which they can support people from across Yorkshire.  David and Sarah are the funeral directors at the service in Harrogate and are supported by the wider Full Circle team. Full Circle hosts monthly free webinars and you might find their funeral arranging guide “Funerals Your Way – A Person Centred Approaching to Arranging a Funeral” helpful (available from Amazon and your local book store)

    Specific Gravity

    A contemporary, intelligent and very normal approach to helping families with organising a funeral. You can have a fully traditional black funeral if you want, they have all the kit, including the hats, but there’s a Full Circle uniform of duck-egg blue polo shirts and mid grey jumpers if you prefer that. Or they will attend in smart casual clothing if you’d rather. You tell them what look suits you.

    What’s Important?

    Empowering you to decide how best to commemorate an important life. Transparency, guidance where needed and provision of information to help you find exactly what you need to craft the type of funeral that you want.

    Environmental issues are also important, and the vehicles offered for funerals are both electric. The eco hearse and accompanying family car are an example of how Full Circle are trying to demonstrate the range of funeral options available now.

    What’s Different?

    All of the Full Circle premises are bright, light and airy environments with a fresh contemporary feel. Normal, ordinary people who are motivated by a desire to help families achieve the funeral that best suits them. Transparent pricing and a completely modern approach.

    Services

    • Your first call will be usually be answered at Guiseley by Sarah, Ruth, Lucy, Jade or Tim, at Bramley by either Andrew or Jodie, at Harrogate by Dave or Janice and at Halifax by Nicola.
    • Home visits – yes of course, or at a place of your choosing if you like. Routinely offered.
    • Same sex person to wash and dress? Yes, just ask.
    • Embalming They do not personally feel that it is necessary but if a family is genuinely fully informed (including about the level of intervention required) then it is something that they are willing to arrange.
    • Ethnic specialism Full Circle Funeral staff have the knowledge and skills to support any cultural, religious or spiritual needs or wishes.
    • Home arranged funerals – positively encouraged, supporting families arranging funerals themselves is considered a privilege.
    • Local celebrants – They have links with a range of local celebrants, independents, civil celebrants, Humanists, pagans and others in the area. David is also a trained civil celebrant and would be happy to help families. When meeting a celebrant you can ask that your Full Circle contact accompany you to ensure that your ideas and principles are not unintentionally overlooked.
    • Website – really nice website with clear navigation and an online price estimator. The website complements the fundamental ethos and values of the company.
    • Client support – excellent. Clients who need additional support will be signposted to appropriate groups or counsellors. Details of bereavement support organisations are included in the information pack.
    • Money matters – clear, open pricing detailed on the website. Two simple options are also available, Simple Ceremony and Simple Cremation. Excellent value for money.
    • Parking – Ample parking outside the premises, with car parks at Guiseley and Bramley, and on street parking alongside the Harrogate and Halifax branches.

    Remarks

    The Full Circle way of doing things is the future of funeral directing. All of the trappings and grandeur of the old patriarchal style of funeral directing have been dispensed with, replaced by stylish comfort, openness and a quality that is immediately apparent.

    Their premises are gorgeous, and your person who has died will be impeccably cared for if you choose to use Full Circle as their custodians until the funeral. The simple kindness and humanity that motivated Sarah and Dave to open their business is embedded in the values of this company, and Yorkshire people now have one of the best new progressive undertakers in the country at their service.

     

    Any decisions you take on engaging the services of a funeral director should be based on your views and research. You should not rely solely upon the views and opinions offered by us.

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    Lucy
    4 years ago

    Whilst there were choices which had to be made at each stage of the process these were made as easy as possible, rechecked regularly and I was able to change my mind and do something different if I felt the need to do so.

    I was very pleased for the coffin Full Circle found for my mother; it was a joy to look at and i gave me a great deal of comfort during the service to know it was exactly what she would have chosen herself.
    It was easy to communicate with David both by phone and email. He made sure I was fully aware of what was going on at all times and offered help with the florist and celebrant, liaising with them to make sure things went smoothly and removing the burden and worry.

    The whole process was comforting and as stress-free as it could be. The added complication of the coronavirus outbreak was carefully managed and did not impact as much as it could on the whole process.
    I was very impressed with the eco credentials of Full Circle. The Ecohearse is amazing – clearly a hearse but without being austere. Also very grateful for the tree dedication with Make It Wild.

    Anonymous
    3 years ago

    All went very smoothly and relieved us of a great deal of stress. David could not have been more helpful and supportive throughout.
    We wanted something more personal and more sympathetic than traditional funeral directors and were very happy with our choice.

    Linda
    3 years ago

    It was above and beyond any expectations that we had. I had googled ‘Direct Cremations’ and although most were cheaper than Full Circle, none offered the level of service that we received. Lucy became a friend to Wendy. She even encouraged her to eat. Nothing was too much trouble. When Wendy died, I didn’t need the same level of support but the service was wonderful. I would recommend Full Circle to anyone.
     

    Paul
    3 years ago

    We had a very full, detailed discussion with David at an early stage and although not everything was decided then, there was clarity about all the fundamentals and possibilities.

    Overall, an excellent service. Efficient and personal.

    Erica
    1 year ago

    From the moment I called Full Circle to ask if they would care for my father it was like a weight had been lifted from us. They were respectful, kind and genuinely lovely people. The funeral parlour itself was also such a lovely setting, it felt calming and warm.

    Jane
    9 months ago

    Emotional support at a difficult time but done in such a way that it made things a lot less difficult for me.

    Laura
    4 months ago

    Anne is simply an angel on earth, she is very professional, clearly tolerant of my less than politically correct sense of humour, dare I say it, my Mum is my best friend, indeed I am lucky to have many many friends, but she was the best. During my many conversations and visits to harrogate site, Anne and Adam ( I think his name was) made a ‘pleasure’ out of a very very difficult time.. Their responses and accompanying banter, and service was superlative.. I’ll even miss their company. Everything was perfect, Anne went out of her way to accommodate me and my requests.. She made my mum look beautiful and sleeping. I found great solice in being able to spend time with my mum, and indeed she looked serene. The ambience, fragrances, and overall welcome at full circle was superlative. It was so nice to hold Mums hand and warm it through, and lay my head on her chest and not hear her poorly wheezing chest, which has been a sad feature for so long.. Indeed, and without sounding dodgy or perverse (Anne will understand), it was lovely to see mum so well presented. I am an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and find dignity to be at the top of my list when it comes to patient care. Mum has for so long been neglected by services, whom didn’t even put her teeth in or her bra on. It was good to see mum’s face, hair, nails and (boobs) (sorry!).. in the right place.. I can’t thank Anne enough for making my beautiful Mum beautiful once more and it is an image I will never forget. Every detail was captured perfectly even down to my none conventional requests for carriage inscription, and shot glasses in memory of mum.. Everyone whom attended the funeral service said it was just what Pam would have wanted and would have appreciated the care and attention, humour, honour and respect that was given to her.. I wish she had been there, well I know she was but you get my drift… she would have loved the banter and arranging, in fact if I and my time again… I would have brought her in before hand to help me arrange everything… she was good at that.. She had a good sense of humour and would have loved Anne as much as I do. Not having the support of anyone else, was difficult, and indeed they probably would have disagreed with that which was arranged.. However Anne really stepped up to the mark.. Also for Anne to walk the hearse in was a lovely touch and one that ensured continued dignity. In summery…. perfect service, professional, courteous, empathetic, compassionate wonderful service.. I guarantee Mum would have loved it and Anne. . Much love and thanks. Paul. 

    Laura
    4 months ago

    had to change the venue for the funeral service three days before it was due to take place. I needed Ruth to rework the order of service and the programme in the music at about 9.30pmon Thursday night. This was a huge ask outside office hours, let alone at zero notice, and Ruth absolutely saved the day by accommodating it all with amazing speed, attention to detail and professionalism. I will always be tremendously thankful to her for that.
    Ruth talked me through all the detail of what I needed to know , what I had to do and all the different options for these without pushing me in any particular direction and giving us as much time and support as I needed to make my decisions.

    Laura
    3 months ago

    We were taken through the arrangements step by step. Martin listened and showed interest in all the things we were telling him about my Dad. It felt like he genuinely wanted to hear about his life. He did not make us feel rushed at any point and we felt like he had time for us. The funeral was perfect and just what we wanted. The choice that Martin made for Stephen to conduct the service was also a perfect one. We couldn’t have asked for more he was a lovely man who again took so much time to get to know my Dad. It made what was an already difficult time a lot easier. I had never really organised a funeral before and my Dads passing was a huge shock but I felt like I had the support with yourselves. I felt comfortable if anything was to bother me or worry me that I could pick up the phone. 
    The biggest thing that me and my mum are really grateful for is how Martin showed so much care and empathy on the day my Dad passed. I live in the North West and Martin waited for me to get over to Harrogate. He was so patient and sat and kept my Mum company. I can’t thank him enough as he gave me the opportunity to say goodbye to my Dad at home. The difference that made cannot be put into words. It also meant my mum wasn’t left on her own so thank you from the bottom of my heart for having that patience. 
    Martin again was great from the moment my Mum made that phone call to when we collected my Dads ashes. He is brilliant at his job and you can tell he enjoys it. Nothing is too much trouble and he takes the time to know all about who he is looking after. Thank you so much again, I can’t recommend you enough 

    Laura
    1 month ago

    Thank you to Anne and the Full Circle team for making a difficult process easier and catering us with everything we asked for. 

    Last edited 1 month ago by Laura
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