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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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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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