My name is Laura Wordsworth.
I have worked for CPJ for 2 years.
I work at Attree & Kent, in both Brighton and Hove offices.
I work 20 hours a week as a Funeral Arranger and 20 hours as Community Champion, so I am very lucky, to be able to work in office to arrange funerals and also to be out and about on the community. I am a people person so I do love spending my day with many people, and of all ages.
As Community Champion for South Coast, I have five offices I work with. I liaise with the Funeral Director from each Funeral Home and we spend time together doing Community work such as visiting care homes and supporting the local communities of the area.
Along with the FD’s we have set up three Never Alone groups, one in Hove, one Lewes and one in Brighton. These groups meet once a month and are building numbers each month. Not only are these groups for bereaved but for lonely people in the area.
Forget Me Not is a new project we have been working on in the different areas. So far I have built two groups, but with the pandemic we were unable to continue. We will resume once this is over. These groups enable residents to meet with one another and for them to get out for an afternoon, to visit another care home. It is also great for the care staff to be able to get to know other staff from various homes and share thoughts and ideas, and make new friends.
Part of my role is to spend time each week in the various care homes and hospices. I offer a weekly activity which gives me the chance to sit and chat with residents and staff, and of course raise our company awareness to the staff. We have made bird feeders, birthday cards, jewellery, to name a few fun projects. As well as working in the care home, we have taken the residents out. What could be more fun for them to have a chauffeur driven limousine arrive at the care home, to go for a scenic ride to Eastbourne for afternoon cream tea and cakes. It was enjoyed by all, including our CPJ Team.
And on the subject of cake, CPJ staff do enjoy a slice of cake ! But well deserved cake after a team of us, including FD’s and RH staff, spent a day at St Peter and St James Hospice in Chailey. We spent the morning working in their beautiful grounds, gardening. The afternoon was spent in the warehouse sorting through bags and bags of donations for their charity shops.
The reward for this was cake ! The cake was delicious but more rewarding to us all was the fact of knowing the goodness we had done in helping this wonderful hospice. We had lots of laughs, great memories from the day and a year later we are still talking about it !
Window displays are also a good way to get creative and raise awareness to who we are with local people passing by. I try to make it bright and appealing to catch the eye, as well as promoting and advertising for local charity awareness, such as Whoopsdaisy, Amaze, RockingHorse Appeal or local artists. We have spent a few evenings working with the local Brownies in Hove, who made our window look spectacular for Christmas and Easter. It has been fun too watching the Brownies come by the window and admire their art work.
We have also hosted fund raising events, such as a fish and chip quiz night and raised £340 for Rocking Horse Appeal. A Christmas raffle, and funds were donated to Amaze. The Martlets, 5k Mud Run as a CPJ Field event.
Community work is a lot about being sociable and getting out in the local community, to speak with local people and businesses in the area. We have been very fortunate to attend a few evening events with solicitors, Cruse Bereavement, the Mayor of Brighton, a skittles fun night in Lewes with The Rotary Club, I might add we came into the runners up team, so played for two nights, and we even attended a Gala at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, with the Mayor and 13 local charities. In March this year we hosted at the Careers fair at the Amex. We try to break the taboo within Funerals, and it was interesting to work with the young children/adults and see their perspective. We let them try on a FDs hat. Some were keen and others not so !! We even tried to entice them with sweets but didn’t work with them all !!
Social media is also part of our role, keeping posts updated with events happening and all the good work that has happened in the community, plus of course awareness to the public to advertise that “CPJ are more than just a Funeral Directors”.
As far as working for CPJ Field, with the two roles I do within the company, it gives me the opportunity to do what is important for me.
Each day I like to make a positive difference to someone’s day.
It can be a simple hello, a kind word, or simply a smile, but to one person hurting inside or lonely that small thing can be all is needed to make that difference to someone’s day.
No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
So with the work I do within the Funeral Home I am able to show the compassion and care when someone’s loved one dies, when they are at their most vulnerable time, not knowing who to turn to and who to help them. As we all know a funeral, as sad as it is, will have that lasting memory, so in doing what we do we are able to make that day a perfect memorable one, including all the final small details that are important to the deceased and their families.
And when I am out working on the community it gives me that opportunity to do what I do best… Chat!!