Co-op opens its 1000th funeral home in Ashtead

June 16, 2016

Members of the community and local businesses came together yesterday to witness Simon Ling, the Vice Chairman and local District Councillor, officially open Co-op Funeralcare’s 1,000th funeral home in Ashtead, Surrey.
 
Attendees at the opening included the Ashtead Rotary Club, local clergy, and the Surrey Bowls club. All were present to witness Councilor Ling unveil the brand new Ashtead plaque, which commemorates the opening day as the 1,000th Co-op funeral home.

The Ashtead funeral home, on 56 The Street, Surrey, KT21 1AZ, is one of the first to take on the new Co-op branding, which was unveiled at Co-op’s Annual General Meeting in May of this year. The new funeral home features a reception room, two warm and welcoming family arrangement rooms and a service chapel, which offer a calming environment for the bereaved and members of the local Ashtead community. 
 
The chapel was then officially dedicated by Reverend Richard Jones, of St Giles and St George Church of Ashtead, before attendees had the opportunity to see the horse-drawn carriage parading around the street, and sample the buffet provided by local catering company, Truffles.

Jan Neeson, Funeral Director at Ashtead Co-op Funeralcare commented: “The opening of Ashtead was a great success and we hope that people will come to see us as a friendly ear in the community.

“Our team are very passionate about building relationships with local people, and I have no doubt that they’ll get stuck into many projects and charity events as the months go on.”
 
After the reading given by Father John Inglis, Dean of Epsom, the attendees were delighted by the talents of opera singer Karina Lucas, who sang a selection of hymns. The British Red Cross, the Co-op’s charity partner, were also supportive of the opening.
Colin Brown, British Red Cross UK Director for Independent Living & Crisis Response, said: “Congratulations to everyone at Ashtead Funeralcare on becoming the 1000th Co-op funeral home. Co-op Funeralcare is making a valued contribution to our partnership with the Co-op group to tackle loneliness and social isolation.

“The partnership has already raised £2million in the first 8 months. We look forward to working with colleagues in Ashtead and around the country, as they continue the fundraising effort and we further develop our services to provide vital care and support that helps thousands more isolated and lonely people reconnect with their communities.”

The open day also acted a celebration for Co-op Funeralcare, as Ashtead is the 1,000th funeral home to have been opened across the UK. There are 1550 members within a two mile radius of the new funeral home, which helps to support the Co-op’s focus on making itself more accessible to its members throughout the country.

Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare, Richard Lancaster, commented: “The opening of Ashtead is a great milestone for the Co-op and forms part of our focus on making our services as accessible as possible to customers and members within their local communities.

“Our presence in Ashtead will provide bereaved families in the local community with access to the high quality of care and professional standards that we have stood by for over 100 years. In addition to being there for the bereaved when they need us most, colleagues like Jan show exactly what the Co-op stands for by also taking an active role in their communities to make a difference.”

 

Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact:
Caroline Canty: caroline.canty@co-operative.coop
Emily Dalton: emily.dalton@co-operative.coop

About Co-op Funeralcare:
Co-op Funeralcare is the UK’s leading funeral director and part of the Co-op, the UK’s largest co-op business, whose purpose is “Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities.”
Further information is available at: www.co-operativefuneralcare.co.uk

About the Co-op:
The Co-op, which is the UK’s largest co-operative business with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of approximately £11 billion.