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Cremation in Wales is like a ‘conveyor belt’

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A NEW report published by funeral provider Dignity uncovers that Swansea crematorium is one of eight in Wales that offer time slots of 30 minutes or less.

The report also found that 43% of people in Wales who had organised a cremation funeral felt that the experience was like being on a conveyor belt, and 34% of mourners also said that they were not given enough time to properly say goodbye to their loved one at the crematorium.

This is despite the fact that the research showed that for most people having a private and uninterrupted moment to remember their loved one is the most important factor in a funeral service. In the UK today, 77% of funerals are cremations, meaning that this conveyor belt feeling is experienced by mourners at hundreds of thousands of funerals every year.

The research revealed that 44 of the UK’s 290 crematoria offer time slots of 30 minutes or less, which a significant majority (59%) of people in Wales believe is not long enough. Time slots at 20% of crematoria are 30 minutes or less and 37% offer less than 45 minutes. As well as Swansea, seven other crematoria in Wales offer a slot of 30 minutes or less: Bangor; Margam; Coychurch; Gwent; Aberystwyth; Llanelli and Wrexham.

The report ‘Cost, Quality, Seclusion and Time: What do UK consumers want from a cremation funeral?’ by leading research agency Trajectory also found that 65% of people in Wales said that cost wasn’t a consideration when arranging the cremation. Moreover, the research showed that the length of a service impacted on whether people felt they had received value for money, whereas the price they paid made no difference.

Dignity is today publishing a cremation comparison tool that will allow members of the public to identify the length of time slot their local crematorium offers, as well as other key factors such as the cost and capacity of a crematorium. All of Dignity’s own crematoria have a time slot of 45 minutes or more and the majority offer 60 minutes.

Simon Cox, Head of Insight, Dignity said: “Today’s findings should concern us all. The funeral service is a critical time for people who have lost a loved one. Whether it is a solemn occasion or a celebration it is essential that we have enough time to say goodbye.

“The fact that so many mourners felt rushed at the crematorium should give pause to everyone in the funeral industry. The sector is letting down a third of mourning families. In response to these findings we are calling on all crematoria to commit to a minimum 45 minute time slot for a funeral.”

Prof Douglas Davies Director for the Centre for Death and Life Studies at Durham University said: “At a time of unprecedented choice over many aspects of life this important research clearly maps many contemporary attitudes to funerals.

“In pinpointing the image of the ‘conveyor belt’ as a popular expression of how mourners can feel too processed at crematoria it brings statistical weight to my own observations of some thirty years ago that it was not actual machinery but that sense of being processed that made many unhappy.”

The report finds that many crematoria are not providing consumers with the service or information that they need to choose the right crematorium.

In particular, the report explains that the price per minute paid for a cremation is a better measure of value for most consumers than price alone. Carried out by leading research company Trajectory, the study involved a survey of 2,022 people who had organised a funeral, focus groups in London and Manchester, as well as interviews with industry bodies and funeral directors.

The research began in July 2017 and took a year to complete. The research concludes that consumers should use six key criteria in choosing the best crematorium for them:

Not seeing other mourners – enough time in the chapel and a period of time around the service;
Keeping the absolute cost within budget;
Value – aside from cost, making sure that the service delivers the desired experience of having sufficient time to remember a loved one;
Personalisation – such as music, or video facilities;
Making sure that all the people who want to attend can attend as well as finding a convenient date and time.

A new online crematorium comparison tool based on these six criteria has been published here: www.dignityfunerals.co.uk/crematoria-comparison

Report author, Tom Johnson, Trajectory, said: “This is the most rigorous study of cremations ever undertaken in the UK. The consumer voice comes across loud and clear; the thing that people most value at a cremation is the time to say goodbye to their loved ones and at the moment not enough crematoria are giving consumers what they want.

“We hope that the six criteria for crematoria we have identified will give consumers the information they need to make an informed choice when organising a cremation.”

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D-Day anniversary offer for veterans

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FOLLOWING the first meeting of 2019, the Ceredigion Armed Forces Community Covenant (CAFCC) wishes to endorse Royal British Legion’s generous offer of providing a fully-funded tour back to the beaches for 300 D-Day veterans.

June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

Following the CAFCC meeting, Councillor Paul Hinge, Ceredigion’s Armed Forces Champion said, “This most generous gesture is fantastic, everyone of those eligible to travel is a nonagenarian 90+ year old and this trip will be a fitting way to say ‘thank you’ for their contribution as the Allies won WW2.”

The Royal British Legion, in partnership with Arena Travel, have chartered a ship, the MV Boudicca, to provide a fully funded tour for 300 D-Day Veterans from 02 June until 09 June. Each veteran will be able to bring one carer who will also be fully funded.

Veterans interested in applying for the trip need to complete the eligibility form by Monday 4 February 2019. The eligibility form and more details of the event can be found online at: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/community/d-day-75/

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Sex offender caught trying to flee to Ireland

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A sex offender from Bow Street near Aberystwyth who tried to move to Ireland without telling anyone has been jailed.

Dennis Bull, aged 67, was caught trying to drive a van onto the Fishguard–Rosslare ferry with his belongings in the back ready for a new life in the Republic.

Bull, of Nirmit, admitted failing to comply with the conditions of registration as a sex offender and was jailed for 16 months.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court it was the third time he had breached the order, imposed at Caernarfon crown court in February, 2016, for possessing indecent images of children.

That conviction was on top of earlier offending in New Zealand that included indecent exposure, outraging public decency and gross indecency with a child.

Mr Thomas said Bull had been jailed for 16 months in 2016 and ordered to register with the police. The restrictions imposed included a requirement to tell the police if he intended to change address.

On November 13 last year police at Fishguard harbour became aware of a Ford Mondeo registered to Bull.

A few minutes later Bull was arrested as he attempted to drive a van onto the Stenna ferry, which was loaded with household items.

Bull told the police he had made arrangements to move to Ireland “lock, stock and barrel” because he understood the monitoring of sex offenders was less strict.

In particular, said Mr Thomas, Bull did not like prospective employers being told about his convictions.

Judge Geraint Walters told Bull, “This was a planned and determined attempt to avoid detection. It was only the eagle eyes of the authorities that brought you to book.

“Your record is troubling and you present a risk of committing more offences of a sexual nature.

 “You are defiant of court orders that are there to protect others and it is truly disturbing that you are so keen to breach them.”

Bull was warned that the 2016 order remained in place for a further seven years.

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Newcastle Emlyn woman to brave the shave for charity

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TO MARK her 50th birthday, a Newcastle Emlyn woman will brave the shave to raise money for Diabetes UK Cymru.

On January 26, Newcastle Emlyn’s Coopers Arms will be the venue where Yvonne Lloyd’s shoulder length hair will hit the deck, as it is shaved off by hairdresser Pamela Atterbury. Mayor of Newcastle Emlyn Cefin Evans will make the first cut, in an evening that will include a buffet, raffle and live music from local band Back Tracks.

Yvonne, a waitress at Ty Croeso Delicatessen, said: “My son Tristan, now 25, developed Type 1 diabetes when he was at university. However well managed, it is a life-changing condition which you can never forget.

“He was diagnosed after an emergency admission to hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by extremely high blood sugar. It can be fatal if not treated immediately. He was in hospital for four days and now relies on four insulin injections a day.

“I’m having my head shaved, not just to raise money, but also to educate people. There are a lot of myths about diabetes and how it can affect your life.”

The hair cut will start at 8.30pm on Saturday January 26 at the Coopers Arms, Station Road, Newcastle Emlyn. Entry costs £5 and doors open at 7.00 pm. All are welcome.

You can support Yvonne by signing one of the sponsor forms at the Coopers Arms and Ty Croeso, or online at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/yvonne-lloyd2

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