New funeral home opens in March
- Credit: K.E. Rolfe Independent Family Funeral Directors
The first independent funeral home to open in March since the 1900s has officially opened its doors.
K.E. Rolfe Independent Family Funeral Directors has taken over and refurbished the former Johnson’s Ironmongers in Dartford Road.
Kerry Rolfe, who will run the funeral home, has worked in the sector for over 20 years and decided to start her own venture.
She said: “I’d been working for a large funeral provider in March for 11 years and I was ready to set up on my own.
“This premises became available and we could completely overhaul the building to create a bespoke location that would suit our needs, and the needs of the bereaved families we will be looking after.”
Kerry is a trained funeral arranger and funeral director. She is also qualified in embalming.
Members of her family will also help with the business.
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She said: “An independent funeral director can really offer families a personal touch.
“I can be there from that initial phone call, will handle all the arranging for them and can also be there at the funeral service itself.
“And if, for whatever reason, it can’t be me then I can tell families who their contact will be and know they’ll still be well looked after.”
She added: “When an independent funeral home handles everything, it also gives families comfort in knowing that when their loved one is in our care, they will be with us the whole time as well.”
The funeral sector has been under intense pressure throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and the guidelines it works to change regularly.
For example, services are currently restricted to 30 mourners though this may change since the full lockdown was introduced.
They are also asked to sit socially-distanced within their household bubbles.
Kerry said: “Losing a loved one is hard enough, but it’s particularly difficult for families at the moment.
“We do everything we can to support them and if anyone has any special requests, we will do our utmost to accommodate their wishes.”
The last independent family funeral director to open in March was George James & Son in 1904.
K.E. Rolfe Independent Family Funeral Directors is open 24/7. To contact Kerry, call (01354) 651499.
As society has become more conscious of the environment, a growing number of people are now opting for natural burials.
In the Fens, Muchwood is an independent green burial ground situated on the outskirts of Ramsey.
It is considered to be an environmentally friendly alternative to cemeteries and churchyard and offers burials, ash interments and ash scatterings for nature lovers.
A memorial tree is planted for every grave and since opening in 1999 they have created a peaceful woodland, full of wildflowers, birds and wildlife.
All faiths are welcome and the spacious site allows plenty of friends and family to attend funerals with religious or non-religious graveside services.
There is also the option to pre-purchase plots so wishes can be met met when the time comes, and it also saves families from having to make hard decisions at an already difficult time.