Introducing our panel of judges…
It has been my honour to currently represent SiMBA on the Scottish Government Stillbirth group, Bereavement Sub Group and the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Multi Agency Pregnancy and Infant Loss group and formally on Edinburgh City Councils Mortonhall Working Group, the National Committee on Infant Cremation group, National Committee sub groups- Forms and Record Keeping, Infant Cremation, Training and Communication and The Policy and Code of Practice groups.
Having supported bereaved families for over 21 years in my role as a midwife and founder of SIMBA I understand the importance of the services that funeral directors offer; helping to alleviate the worry and supporting families to say their final goodbyes. I am delighted to be a judge in this process and I am delighted that SiMBA has been chosen to be an affiliate charity for the first ever Scottish Funeral Awards.
I am privileged to be asked to judge the first funeral awards. As a bereavement and funeral advisor for Scotland’s first not for profit funeral director we hope that the winners can demonstrate ethical practises, empathy towards the bereaved and innovative practices within the industry.
Caledonia Cremation works not only to give people the choice to seek an alternative to the more traditional funeral but we also play an active part within the community, supporting people to open up conversations about death and dying. Proudly being awarded two awards for our industry changing enterprise, we want to keep supporting families in Scotland. Most importantly we want companies to treat people fairly, and with respect.
As a graduate from RGU with 20 years of experience working in youth justice and child protection and having been at the forefront of many high profile projects within the NSPCC, my experience has given me the ability to understand grief, and trauma. I am passionate about the welfare and rights of others.
Barbara Chalmers innovated, designed and launched FinalFling.com as the UK’s first online, end-of-life planning platform in 2012, immediately winning the title Most Outstanding Contribution to Understanding Death at the UK Good Funeral Awards, being crowned Best New Website, 5-star rated by WebUser Magazine. Thousands have used the site’s free Life Planning Tools to engage with the reality of end of life and plan their own funeral.
Barbara hosted the first Death Café in Scotland and has facilitated Death Meet-Ups, a range of public engagement events and co-hosted a Death Symposium for public and third sector partners with service-design agency, Snook.
With her expertise in service design, communications and end of life, she has been an adviser to Scottish Government, NHS, Cruse Bereavement, the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care and Macmillan Cancer Care.
Barbara has a Masters in Design Innovation (Service Design) from Glasgow School of Art. Her studies focused on 21st century funerals, winning her a distinction and two prizes: the Chairman’s Medal for Innovation and GSA’s Inaugural Prize for Design for stakeholder engagement tools.
Barbara founded the Humanist charity, A Quiet Revolution, and as a Humanist celebrant creates and conducts weddings, funerals and rites of passage.
Alison Anderson is the Mortuary Services Manager for NHS Lothian and has been employed by the National Health Service for 30 years starting her career with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
As a Council Member of the Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology (AAPT) and, with a specific interest in the mortuary management of mass fatalities, she is the AAPT Lead in Emergency and Preparedness. Her NHS career has been interspersed with several field roles including placements in Bosnia and Kosovo as part of Forensic Teams deployed by the United Nations. She was a first responder to Thailand after the Asian Tsunami in 2004 assisting with the victim identification process and has also facilitated, on behalf of International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP), training on Mortuary Management in Iraq.
From 2009 to present Alison has been part of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission project in Fromelles, Northern France to recover & identify (where possible) WW1 soldiers buried in a mass grave and re inter them in individual plots in a newly constructed cemetery. Her roles were to advise on design, set up and manage the mortuary/anthropology laboratory complex. In her current role Alison works closely with partner agencies, including Funeral Directors, to ensure bereavement care in both adult and paediatric services is of the highest standard.
I have been working in the floristry industry for the past 28 years. A shop for 10 years before finding my passion in teaching which I have enjoyed over the last 16 years, 11 of which at Glasgow Clyde college and over the past 3 years as senior lecturer. This has enabled me to building a strong team and expanding the department. I was delighted to be awarded the British Florists Associations floristry tutor of the year in October at the presentation in Birmingham. I’m still as passionate about our industry as ever and get actively involved at every opportunity.
James Beaton is a native of Inveraray, and a long time piper. He currently is employed at The National Piping Centre, where his responsibilities have included managing the piper hire process, as well as teaching and running the library.
Joy is the patient and family support team lead at a local hospice. Having over 20 years’ experience in the Bereavement Industry, she then worked on the report for the Scottish Government in relation to Funeral Poverty.