I grew up in Hampshire and have lived in Winchester for over 10 years. After a career in HR Management in both the UK and New Zealand, including 14 years working with Hampshire County Council, I changed career in 2010 to qualify as a Funeral Director with independent family Funeral Directors Richard Steel & Partners in Winchester. I commenced training in Funeral Celebrancy in 2017 and during autumn 2018 I became a full-time Funeral Celebrant.
I love the city of Winchester and enjoy supporting the independent and small businesses based in the city. I volunteer with local charity Winchester Bereavement Support as part of their Referrals team, having been Chair for five years (2015-2019), and also trained with them as a Bereavement Visitor (listener). I organise a local free to attend baking club, Winchester Cakes and Bakes.
I find working as a Funeral Celebrant (and formerly as a Funeral Director) very rewarding because I am helping people and making a difference, as well as supporting and being involved in my local community. I enjoy writing so creating a funeral ceremony and finding appropriate words and readings to make a ceremony unique and individual is also very special. Enabling families to say a ‘good’ goodbye (one which is meaningful and appropriate for their circumstances) is so important.
I am also passionate about encouraging people to think about and talk about their funeral wishes in advance, as I think there are many benefits to doing this. I co-host regular Death Cafes in Winchester and am also available as a speaker for groups and events.
In my spare time, I love travelling – I managed to visit 40 different countries before I was 40. I enjoy experiencing different cultures and cuisines, visiting historical sites and seeing new landscapes. I am the author of ‘High Heels and a Head Torch’, a practical guide to backpacking, and like reading. I’m a member of a Book Club, which ensures I read a broad spectrum of different books. I also enjoy food, cooking and baking. I love trying out different restaurants, and like to go walking to try to burn off some of the calories!
Diploma Level 3 in Funeral Celebrancy – 2018
Diploma in Funeral Directing – 2011 (National Association of Funeral Directors)
Master of Arts (Death, Religion and Culture) – 2023 (with Distinction)
BA (Hons) English Language and Literature – 1998 (University of Reading)
Insurance and Code of Conduct
I trained and qualified as a Funeral Celebrant with Green Fuse and have chosen to become a member of the Green Fuse Guild of Professional Funeral Celebrants. This means that I hold appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance and I adhere to their Code of Conduct. I have also adopted the Funeral Celebrants Council (FCC) Celebrant Accord.
Green Fuse Funeral Celebrants Guild
All members pledge to abide by this code of conduct, by which they agree to:
- Act to a high standard of professional and personal conduct in their capacity as a celebrant.
- Work closely with their clients to write and deliver an appropriate and well-structured ceremony according to the reasonable wishes of the client, and which accurately reflects the life, character, beliefs and values of the person who has died.
- Endeavour, where practicable, to have a face-to-face meeting with the client before writing the funeral.
- Give due consideration to the needs of each ceremony and to write each ceremony script as a unique ceremony.
- Use best endeavours to provide the client with a written draft transcript of the ceremony prior to the ceremony if they would like to see one, and take into account any feedback.
- Encourage and be open to the participation of family and friends in the preparation and delivery of the ceremony.
- Respect the cultural and spiritual beliefs of the person who has died and reflect these in the ceremony, and not promote their own beliefs in any part of their work.
- Provide accurate information concerning the services they offer, the prices of the services, and responsibilities accepted on behalf of clients.
- Liaise efficiently and maintain good working relationships with other professionals to ensure the smooth running of the ceremony.
- Deliver the ceremony to a high professional standard and within any prescribed timescale, as far as that is within the celebrant’s control.
- Respect and take reasonable steps to maintain confidentiality of all information received in the course of their work.
- Carry professional indemnity insurance.