The first cheque in the Stoodley Community Fund was presented at the launch evening in the Tithe Barn at Haselbury Mill by funeral directors Tracey Warren and Colin Roberts. £150 was awarded to Lorraine Clarke and her mum Angie for The Teresa Braley Memorial Garden at Merriott Social Club. Teresa Braley who was Lorraine’s younger sister passed away suddenly while on holiday in the Canary Islands earlier this year. Lorraine said: “Thank you Tracey and Colin, me and mum were so overwhelmed to be the first ones. It was a lovely surprise.”
Funeral director Tracey Warren at Stoodley & Son said: “Crewkerne has such a strong sense of community and we are proud to be part part of it. In our 95th year of serving the local community, with this community fund, we are able to give something back and help the smaller groups and projects. It was a very special night where Colin and myself presented the first cheque from the Stoodley Community Fund to a very worthwhile cause.” The independent funeral company’s new hearse was unveiled at the launch party. Built at Pilato SPA in Italy, the Queen 11 Pilato took 13 months of planning the design and received its final specifications at funeral vehicle specialists Superior UK Automotive Ltd, who sent representatives along to the event from their HQ in Reading.
The launch event was extremely well attended with live entertainment by local singer Victoria Starr. There was an opportunity for people to find out more about another Stoodley & Son success story – Grief Journey South Somerset. The bereavement support group is now in its fifth year. It is offered free to local families and the six week structured programme is facilitated in confidence by fully trained volunteers. While guests at the launch party enjoyed refreshments of canapes and cool drinks and socialising with others, they were also able to find out more about the natural choice by talking to representatives from Musgrove Willows. The hand woven, environmentally friendly, bespoke willow coffins have been made for four generations by family members on the Somerset Levels, where more than 60 varieties of willow are grown on 100 acres at Westonzoyland near Bridgwater, which has become a popular attraction for group tours and school visits.