In the community
Helping people at one of the most difficult times in their lives is our core social purpose and contributing to the communities in which we operate benefits both local people and our business. It helps to promote awareness of our brand and values, enhances our reputation, promotes employee engagement and attracts new clients to our business.
Making a meaningful difference to the local communities we serve remains a key quality of our business. Our people continue to build strong links through engagement with local initiatives and fundraising for charities and support many events every year.
British Heart Foundation
In 2018, Dignity raised £218,000 for its corporate charity, the British Heart Foundation, and has raised £448,000 since January 2017.
Fundraising initiatives include sponsored walks, marathons and skydives; selling lapel badges; football events, raffles, carol services and numerous cake sales and coffee mornings. Dignity also gave clients the option to make a charitable donation when adding a message of remembrance to our Memorial Christmas Trees.
Every year 30,000 people in the UK have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but the survival rate is less than one in ten. British Heart Foundation is on a mission to change that and want to increase the number of people that know how to save a life.
During our partnership there will opportunities for Dignity staff to learn Call Push Rescue (CPR) techniques that may help save a life.
Dignity sponsored defibrillators
A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation and it is an essential life saving step in the chain of survival.
There are already many defibrillators available in public places such as train stations, shopping centres, airports and leisure centres. These defibrillators are often known as public access defibrillators (PAD) as anyone can use them in an emergency.
Our partnership with British Heart Foundation enables us to purchase defibrillators to be located at crematoria for use in an emergency.
We are also looking to acquire defibrillators to be located on the exterior of funeral homes in areas where there is a high footfall and towns without existing defibrillators.
Further details about British Heart Foundation and their research projects can be found at www.bhf.org.uk
Scottish War Poets Memorial
In November 2018, Dignity donated a memorial dedicated to Scottish War Poets that is now located outside the Writers Museum in Edinburgh. It is the first free standing dedication that honours those Scots that served in World War1 and were driven to put into words their thoughts and feelings about the horrors they experienced.
The memorial design is based an original idea by Dignity and developed with staff from Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities and the Scottish Poets Library. It takes its theme from the well-known phrase ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ and carries the inscription: ‘Their words touched us more than conflict could hurt us’.
Violets in Bloom Children’s Memorial Garden
In August 2017, more than 100 people gathered to witness the official opening of the Violets in Bloom Children's Memorial Garden at Lichfield Crematorium. The garden is named after Violet Mornington who was just five years old when she died of an extremely rare blood disorder in July 2013. Her parents, Kerry and Ivan, established the charity, Violets in Bloom, to raise funds for a memorial to their daughter and to provide a sanctuary for other bereaved parents.
Prior to Dignity’s ownership of the crematorium, the previous contractors had left the original memorial garden unfinished and the work they had completed was not of an acceptable standard. Dignity approached the Mornington family and offered to fund the design and development of a new garden that was a fitting memorial to Violet. Dignity’s in-house Legal Counsel took action to retrieve the charity’s money so that it could be used by other parents that had lost a child to fund a memorial and burial plot.
The garden was opened by Spandau Ballet singer, Tony Hadley, who has a personal connection to the Mornington family.
Other fundraising initiatives
During the last 12 months, Dignity employees have also taken part in national campaigns such as Bag It Beat It, where staff donated unwanted clothes, books, CD’s and DVD’s to the charity’s shops in order to replenish their stock.
The Company’s crematoria are also part of a national scheme where metal is recycled and the profit donated to this worthy cause.
Charity of the Year 2012/16
Between 2012-2016 Dignity raised over £300,000 for Marie Curie.
Marie Curie provides high-quality nursing, totally free, to give people with terminal cancer and other illnesses the choice of dying at home supported by their families.
In 2010, Marie Curie cared for over 30,000 patients, across the whole of the UK. It costs just £20 to provide one hour of nursing care so your help can make a big difference.
Charity of the Year 2010/11
Dignity raises £108k for children's hospices
Dignity funeral homes and crematoria around the UK have raised £108,000 for their staff elected charity, Children's Hospices UK, during the past 12 months.
Children’s Hospices UK is the national charity that gives voice and support to all children’s hospice services. Hospices provide care for approximately 20,000 children each year and the charity supports 41 children’s hospices nationwide.
Dignity employees chose to support this worthy cause for 2010/11 with over 1,000 members of staff taking part in the decision making process. There were many fund raising initiatives held during the year including tea parties, car washes, raffles, sponsored walks and golf tournaments. Some of Dignity’s athletic employees chose to raise funds by taking part in sponsored parachute jumps, cycling events and marathons. At Christmas Dignity chose not to send Christmas Cards but instead donate the money that would have been spent on cards to the charity, an initiative that raised £2,500.
Dignity’s clients were also very generous when it came to supporting the charity. Those attending Services of Remembrance and placing messages on Memorial Christmas Trees within Dignity’s branches boosted the funds with over £7,800 being raised in the North West of England alone.
The company directors and senior managers were also very eager to support the charity. Operations Director, Andrew Davies and friends, raised £2,000 for Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice by cycling the 55 miles between Brecon and Cardiff Bay, a route known as the Taff Trail. Anthony Driver, Regional Manager for South London also took part in the charity’s Big Boss Ride and raised over £750. This was a two-day challenge where directors and executives from companies that support Children’s Hospices UK cycled from the oldest hospice in Oxford to the newest in South East London.
Charity of the Year 2009
Help the Hospices
The majority of charities we work with are chosen at a local level by staff. However, during the successful Dignity Tsunami Appeal in 2006, our staff demonstrated a willingness to work together for a common cause in addition to their other charitable activities.
In 2009 staff voted to support Help the Hospices, aiming to raise £25,000 for hospices across the country, with branches working alongside local hospices to raise much-needed funds in support of their community.