Funeral Directors Category: East Midlands
Richard Ward. Firmly established in Enderby, with over 35 years of funeral service behind him, hugely experienced, capable and a thoroughly nice man.
It all began for him at 17 when he was waiting to be old enough to train as a nurse. The Youth Opportunity Programme asked him if he wanted to be a trainee embalmer for six months and, because it was vocation related, Richard said yes. He’s never looked back. He qualified first as an embalmer, then as a funeral director (Dip FD), and has worked with independent companies and also, in senior positions, with corporate funeral directors and 6 years in senior management at the Co-operative. He decided to set up on his own, a brave thing to do, because “I believe bereaved families are best looked after by families.”
At Richard Ward’s, the team are all united in their passion, so give outstanding Funeral Service in their local community and wider. And Richard feels strongly about caring for his staff as well as his clients, supporting them all to be trained just as he was once supported by the family business he joined when he was a teenager. He wants everyone working in his business to be fully capable of doing every aspect of the work involved, and to enjoy being part of the close knit team, and he’s happy to invest in helping Naomi, Claire and James achieve qualifications and become the best funeral directors they can possibly be.
Richard lectures and trains worldwide with the ICRC (the International Red Cross). He’s a consultant with a disaster management company for which he is the Director for Europe and the Middle East, and has been in charge of operations on the ground at the scene of many disasters, co-ordinating the teams of experts, physically assisting with identification and other delicate work involved and liaising with countless shocked and bereaved families . As you can see, he’s a very capable and considerable person. Richard’s partner Sharon works within the Funeral Home, taking care of many of the administrative roles and he hopes to see his two young children grow into the business. He’s in his mid-50s but he still plays a mean game of rugby (second row). He also golfs and plays squash. He’s a qualified rugby coach, a longstanding member of the Leicester Round Table and a member of the 41 Club.
The premises at The Cross in the pretty village of Enderby (a conservation area) are lovely, a handsome, late 19th Century with huge windows on two sides making the reception and admin area bright and welcoming. The building was built and formerly owned by the local co-operative society – in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th century, ‘The Society’ was very much at the heart of the village, and the building has a solid warmth to it acquired over many years of coming and going in what used to be a shop. Now, although the exterior is preserved to appear as it has been for decades, the premises have been modernised inside and furnished in a comfortable attractive style – a neat blend of the modern and the traditional. Beyond the reception area the ‘office’ part is open plan on a raised level, and a small arranging room and chapel of rest are around the corner, along with the kitchen. loo and mortuary area. Richard has the decorator in every year to keep the it looking fresh – high standards don’t just apply to funerals.
Richard’s inclination is towards formality and, here’s the important thing, if that’s what you want then there’s no faulting his turnout. Superb. If, however, that’s not what you want, then Richard will very gladly fall in with whatever dress code you specify. If you don’t want a hearse, then Richard can provide a very suitable, less formal alternative. He even has a JCB Funeral under his belt.
What’s important to Richard is best described in his own words. Here they are: “My basic principles, those I have tried to follow all my career, are quite simple: Never do anything for a client family you would not be happy doing for your own flesh and blood. Or to put another way, treat every family or deceased person you look after the same as you would a member of your own family. I get to meet people at the lowest time of their lives. They have in many cases received a hammer blow with their bereavement and I have the opportunity to make a positive difference to those people at that time. And I am fortunate to be able to make my living helping people in that way. That’s why I love being a funeral director.”
Being his own boss means that Richard can do things as he thinks they ought to be done. That means two things. First, going the extra mile to make sure that his clients get what they want. Second, giving his clients all the time in the world to arrange their funeral as they want it. Richard seeks to “ensure that our families’ experience with us exceeds all their expectations and helps prepare them for their lives ahead without their loved one, knowing that their farewell to that loved one has been one that has been fitting, appropriate and meaningful.”
- Prices here.Your call will always be answered by Richard or a member of his team, no call centre. Only one person will look after you throughout; Richard attaches great importance to continuity of care. Direct cremation: £1659 including crematoriums fees and the doctors’ cremation forms. In the case of a coroner’s case the costs are reduced to £1495.00.
- Your Funeral Director will come to make arrangements with you at your home or at the funeral home, out of hours, if you wish.
- If you want a same-sex person to wash and dress the person who has died, that’s no problem. If you’d like to come in and help, or even do it all yourself, Richard will be very happy to support you. As he says, “Leicestershire has a large Hindu population and this is a cultural norm rather than a specific request, so it is not something I am unfamiliar with.”
- He is very happy to act as helper and consultant to anyone wanting to care for their dead person at home “at any level”.
- Richard is a great believer that “embalming of the body is the best way to ensure a family’s experience of viewing their loved one’s body is as positive an experience as possible. So much do I believe that, I don’t charge for the service as extra.” Richard is a firm believer in legislation within the industry and therefore pays for all of his staff’s training and certification, Naomi is currently training to be a qualified embalmer. If you do not want this service, then of course you don’t have to have it.
- As you would expect of a funeral director whose life work has been in this area of England, and who also works with the families of disaster victims abroad, Richard is very knowledgeable about other cultures and religions.
- Good secular celebrants on his books, with whom he maintains a close working relationship.
- Parking normally available, free, on the street outside.
- Excellent website, modern and informative. You can see photos of Richard and his staff here
Richard may be steeped in the funeral industry but, as well as being very nice, he is also unusually intelligent and forward looking. Looking to the future he sees evolving consumer expectations and a gradual break with tradition. “I embrace it and am very comfortable with it. I don’t think this should be considered a threat, it is a natural evolution and it is permeating all aspects of the industry. Bring it on!” When it comes to price transparency he is at the forefront. All his charges are listed on his website, together with those of other funeral directors. In addition to great professionalism he offers excellent value for money – see for yourself here.
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.