Austin's Blog

 

Shave for the community video

July 26th, 2018    Author:

Claire Austin Shave for the Community – Radio Interview

July 24th, 2018    Author:

community-head-shave

On Saturday 25th August Claire Austin will shave her head to raise funds for The Stevenage Community Trust.

“I was born and bred in Stevenage and for the past 20 years have run our family funeral business which was established in Stevenage more than 300 years ago.

As a family company, we are very community focussed and are keen to support local charities and causes. I have personally taken part in a number of fund raising events including charity work in India and Vietnam and in 2014 I ran the London Marathon in aid of our local hospice.

This year I have decided to shave my head to raise funds for the Stevenage Community Trust. The trust was established in 1990 and provides funding and support to charitable organisations and individuals in Stevenage and the surrounding villages.”

Listen to the full interview below.

Therapy dogs at funerals

July 16th, 2018    Author:

In the latest trend in America, therapy dogs are being brought into funeral homes to help comfort mourners. The four-legged friends are present when families are making arrangements and can also attend funerals and wakes.

According to America’s National Funeral Directors Association there has been a rise in the number of therapy dogs being used at funeral homes in the past few years. And it seems the idea is increasingly popular. An NFDA survey found that over half of respondents would be interested in having a dog at a funeral or memorial service.

There has been lots of research on the benefits of having pets. Stroking an animal increases serotonin and dopamine, which is known to lift your mood, and it also helps lower stress and blood pressure. Having a dog around is a distraction for people who are feeling lonely after losing their loved one, and can be great for kids who’d rather talk to a furry friend than an adult.

At American funeral homes, it’s been noticed how the atmosphere changes when a dog enters the room. The family starts to feel more at ease and to talk more openly about their loved one, which helps the funeral director to plan a meaningful funeral.

Earlier this year, after reading about the trend in America, a funeral director in Shropshire decided to take his dog into work. Basil the Beagle was such a hit as a ‘comfort companion’ that some families even requested that he attend the funeral as well. So watch this space – funeral therapy dogs might become a regular sight in the UK.

Austins are happy to discuss you bringing your faithful friend along to our branches or to the Crematorium.

*  Thank you to University of the Fraser Valley for the use of this image.

* For help and support planning a funeral or cremation, please contact Austin’s on 01438 815555.

Cremation Caskets

June 11th, 2018    Author:

With cremation on the increase, there are now many different ways to keep a loved one’s ashes. We look at some of the options…

Interment and burial

The traditional storage for ashes is an urn or casket that can be buried in a cemetery or perhaps in a natural burial ground. Today you can choose one made from a range of materials including banana leaf, seagrass, oak and bamboo. There’s even one made of corn starch that decomposes when it’s underground.

Water urns

If you’d like to have a water burial for your loved one, you can get biodegradable water urns made from natural materials such as recycled paper. They’re designed to float on the water for long enough to say your goodbyes before they gently sink.

Scatter tubes

Some people prefer to scatter ashes in a place that had a special meaning to the person they’ve lost – perhaps a favourite woodland walk or a clifftop overlooking the sea.  Scatter tubes come with special easy-to-scatter tabs and can be recycled or composted afterwards. They can also be personalised with a picture that celebrates your loved one.

For the home

When you want your loved one close by, there are urns and caskets that are made to fit into your home. You could have a pretty floral urn, a teardrop-shaped urn, a wooden heart, a box decorated with dried leaves or a fabric urn made from wool and embroidered with a name plate.

For the garden

Rain, snow, sun – urns and caskets made from natural materials will withstand the elements to stay with you as each season passes. These weather-friendly caskets come in a range of designs from pretty pebbles through to Buddha heads.

 

* At Austin’s, we have a range of urns and caskets that are provided by Forever Urns. You can view the collection here