Funeral directors hold double celebration following national award
Staff at a funeral directors have held a double celebration after winning a national award only weeks before opening their new branch.
Hughes Funeral Directors Ltd, originally of Broad Street, Cannock, have celebrated after being awarded the Funeral Director of the Year Award as part of the 2023 Good Funeral Awards.
The funeral directors, operated by Kim and Craig Hughes, are also celebrating the opening of their location on Willenhall Road, Wolverhampton, where they hope to search the community where they both live.
Embalmer and Co-owner of Hughes Funeral Directors, Kim Hughes, said: "Honestly there are no words, It's just absolutely brilliant, I really can't explain it. We are so proud and it's a nice recognition for the work we do.
"We didn't expect to walk away with the win, we went to the awards because I adore a good social, but to walk away with the win means so much to all of us here."
Kim noted the funeral directors' devout focus on family needs and values as one of the reasons they won the awards.
Kim added: "We honestly believe that the day is about the family who are there at the moment and not the next funeral coming, we try to make every family feel like they are the only ones that matter.
"We always have requests for bespoke, personal funerals, which every funeral should be. We had one lady who loved Christmas, and when we visited her she had her Christmas tree up, so when she visited us we put up Christmas decorations to help her feel at ease.
"People want things that make the day unique and special to their loved ones. With every procession we always ask 'Is there anywhere you want us to take you past' and we do that free of charge."
Hughes Funeral Director, which started in Cannock in 2021, said it specialises in building a close personal relationship with the families it serves, setting itself up as a central figure in its communities.
Kim continued: "We originally started in Cannock due to a clause in Craig's contract. I've been an embalmer for 16 years, and Craig spent many many years working for Jennings Funeral Directors. The way we see it – we are home."
"When we started our businesses we wanted to do things a little bit different in regards to the families. I and my husband would do the removal and meet families together as a husband and wife duo."
The duo are also assisted by Craig's nan, who helps with proceedings.
Kim added: "We had one family who always used to have a Chinese take-away together on a Saturday night, so as part of their day, we ordered everyone a Chinese take-away. It's those little things that make the day extra special.
"We also had a family whose father loved rum, so we offered to drive the family back so they could have a drink of rum in memory of their loved one."
The family-run business said they now look forward to serving the community where they live, where they hope to work with the local church to start a community group where those who have lost people can visit to talk.
Kim said: "We are back home. We live in Wolverhampton and we are very community-minded. We are familiar with this place and its people.
"We plan to keep on doing what we have always been doing, which is to keep making that difficult day just a little bit easier for the families."
The open day event at the funeral directors' officers takes place on Saturday, September 30, with refreshments and cake also being offered on the day.
More information on services offered by Hughes Funeral Directors can be found on the organisation's website hughesfuneraldirectors.co.uk/