Furlough led to Norfolk grave tending business
A flourishing new grave tending service in north Norfolk began pretty much by accident.
Vanessa Pritchard explains how her business Goldfinch Grave Tending began:
“A chance discovery whilst on extended furlough from 30 years in hospitality and catering last year, ultimately ending in voluntary redundancy, led me to start my business providing visits to loved ones’ resting places on behalf of their families.
“Seeing other grave tenders advertising their service in Suffolk and Lincolnshire started my research around North Norfolk where I live, and inspired me to start the same offering for people unable to visit graves. My aim is to place flowers, make sure the graves are neat and tidy, and provide any basic maintenance and care that’s needed.
“Even before travel and lockdown rules, I always found it sad that many graves and memorials are left so unkempt and seemingly unloved. For a whole host of reasons the deceased’s close ones are not able to visit and pay respects, and keep places in order as they really would like to.
“There is a gap between services provided by funeral directors and cemetery grounds people, that myself and others working in this trade are now trying to fill. As a relatively new type of service across the UK we want to get the word out to families that we are here and able to work on their behalf putting minds at rest. We make sure that someone caring and compassionate will – with respect and thoughtfulness – visit graveyards, cemeteries and memorial gardens.”
Clients can book one-off visits or a series of dates to mark special days and anniversaries and Vanessa and her team will fulfill the booking, sending ‘before and after’ photos to give comfort and reassurance.
The business covers the whole North Norfolk district, and through also being in contact with other grave tenders across the UK can recommend another business as a referral if necessary.
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