I have, informally, arranged and taken part in funerals in both London and Ireland, and I have taken great pride in doing so. I believe, the production of a good funeral is an essential service because it is the last thing we do for someone and we want it to be right: right for them and right for us. Therefore, I drew together my skills, qualifications and experience in relevant areas, and trained as a Life Celebrant. I am a registered member of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants: www.professionalcelebrants.org.uk/celebrants-funerals and bound by their code of conduct. Through the Fellowship, I have resources I can draw on in support of meeting my commitments as a celebrant.
Aside from funeral work, I am a BACP registered counsellor, a counselling supervisor and staff trainer.
Previously, I worked for fifteen years as a college lecturer in health and social care which means I am an accomplished public speaker with good literary skills, experienced at facilitating groups and working with young people. Having worked for the past five years supporting clients of Cruse Bereavement Care, I well know the despair and loss of bereavement, and many times I have seen how a funeral impacts upon the subsequent grieving process. Back in the eighties and nineties, I worked for nine years with the Samaritans, and this has given me insight and empathy into the events and feelings that can make a person consider taking their own life, as well as the turmoil that suicide leaves in its wake for those around that person. I grew up in an Anglo-Irish family with a deep love of classical music and literature. Therefore, I have rich seams of resources to draw on for music, poetry and literary references.
I have lived most of my life in south-east London, an area I am glad to call home. I am familiar with, and enjoy, the wide social diversity in this part of the world. Within my own family, I have direct experience of the quandary that can arise when a faith funeral is wanted but the appropriate faith institution is unable to provide funerary services due to the deceased having had a complicated relationship with his faith.