Sarah Jones and David Read more [...]
Funeral Directors Category: Yorkshire & The Humber
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 (Halifax, Harrogate, Guiseley and Bramley) from which they can support people from across Yorkshire. Lucy and David are the funeral directors at the service in Halifax 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)
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.