Death is an industry that has traditionally been a very male orientated one. So, in 2021 it is only right on International Women’s Day that we take a look at some of the women leading the way and bringing a fresh perspective to the dealing with and talking about death.
Nicky Hector – co-founder of Life Ledger: Having witnessed the painful process of dealing with the administration of bereavement, Nicky co-founded Life Ledger, a platform aimed at simplifying and automating the death notification process. Using experience gained from launching ecommerce for Morrisons and product marketing at Ocado she is now rolling out Life Ledger. She is instrumental in transforming the way we deal with the practicalities of bereavement and is already helping hundreds of families across the country.
Poppy Mardall – founder of Poppy’s Funerals: With a career art at Sotheby’s and volunteering at the Samaritan’s, Poppy set up Poppy’s Funerals after seeing television exposes on the funeral sector that she realised that she wanted to “empower and support people to have better experiences of funerals by making informed choice and gentle, thoughtful care the norm.” Her thoughtful and empathetic approach to funerals and funeral sector is a lesson to us all.
Dr Kathryn Mannix – author of “With the End in Mind”: a palliative care consultant and best-selling author, Kathryn has spent her career looking after those at the end of their lives. Her focus is to reshape the way we look at and talk about death and break the taboos and discomfort that surround the subject. With the End in Mind is a masterpiece in story telling, using every day encounters to examine how we do, and how we should deal with death.
Linda Magistris – founder of the Good Grief Trust: following a deep personal tragedy and losing the love of her life, Linda felt grief to be a living thing. Needing to do something to help others who were struggling and to ensure that everyone had access to the support and help they need at a time when they need it most, The Good Grief Trust was born. The vision is “to bring all bereavement services together around the country, to ensure that everyone receives the support they need to move forward with their lives.”
Sarah Jones, Full Circle Funerals – a female-led Funeral Directors: with a background as a surgeon, and after starting a social care business, Sarah saw that there was a need for funerals that reflected the individual, which was why she set up Full Circle Funerals. Sarah says “I believe passionately that we would all benefit from speaking about death more openly, so we are better able to support ourselves and our loved one.”
Rachel Clarke – author, “Dear Life: a Doctor’s Story of Life and Loss”: a palliative care doctor and writer, her book Dear Life brought how we deal with death sharply into focus. Rachel “cares deeply about helping patients live the end of their lives as fully and richly as possible.”
Vicky Wilson – founder of the Bereavement Standard campaign: after losing her grandmother, Vicky realised how difficult and disjointed the administrative processes after death are. She launched and set up the Bereavement Standard to try and drive unity between all the different sectors and make dealing with death a little more straight forward.