Kicking off a new blog series which explores what sets Steve’s services apart from the rest, Amy Griffiths, who has worked alongside Funeral Celebrant Steve Game-Blackmoor as his Personal Assistant since 2019, offers a little insight into her important role within the business.
People and Family Matter
I have always had a passion for working with people in a social and care capacity and started my early educational year’s training to be an adult social worker. I spent several years working with two separate UK based charities, supporting children and young adults with learning and physical difficulties. Around this time, I welcomed my children into the world and, like most, tried to balance both my career and family life. Since then, I have become a carer for my partner, along with raising our children.
A Valuable Support Service
The opportunity to work as PA to Steve arose in March 2019. In the two years we have worked together, I have had the immense privilege of being a part of his award-winning work and learning how Funeral Directors operate in their service to families. Most importantly, I have been honoured to work with families facing challenging times in their lives.
Whilst working together, Steve and I have carefully picked apart our internal policy and the structure of our support, developing our guidance and using relevant industry knowledge. Our family’s needs always being in the forefront of our minds. We work hard to ensure that we speak with the family on receiving a booking from a Funeral Director within a six-hour time frame, often reaching out to families much sooner than this.
I am usually the first point of contact. Families have a lot to think about at such difficult times and appreciate the clarity I can offer them, and the reassurance Steve will provide when he meets them.
Although Steve’s preferred method of contact is to meet with families face to face, we also offer Zoom, WhatsApp, or telephone consultations. The use of the internet for meetings has been especially prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In my role as PA, I manage Steve’s diary, ensuring initial meetings are arranged as soon as possible, always following up the initial contact with an email confirmation.
When speaking with families, they often share their memories and initial thoughts about the ceremony with me, which is always nice. My contact with families continues after the ceremony, too. I follow up ensuring everything went as they had wished and offer the chance to give feedback if they wish.
Families And Funeral Directors Appreciate Our Administrative Support
I liaise with Funeral Directors daily, often answering questions about Steve’s availability. I manage Steve’s online diary which participating Funeral Directors have access to. I also ensure the Funeral Directors receive a booking confirmation stating the ceremony’s date, time, and location. They are also informed when an appointment has been made for Steve to meet the family.
Steve is appointed either by a funeral director on the family’s behalf or by the family directly. Either way, my job is to register details of the ceremony onto the correct platform, inputting any music choices the family have made and ordering other media services required.
I also organise any additional details or requests for other services such as Gazebo’s or chairs to be placed outside during a graveside ceremony or interment, and I process invoices and other administrative duties promptly and efficiently. Many people have commented on how efficiently and professionally we operate. I sometimes take minutes at business meetings too and update information about the industry as it changes.
Continued Professional Development
My work with Celebrant Steve is very gratifying. I participate in a program of ‘Continued Professional Development,’ learning more about grief and bereavement, and discovering new ways of offering support during the challenging initial stages of grief and arranging funeral ceremonies.
I look forward to offering my support to families and to Steve for many years to come.
“Amy’s support has been invaluable,” Steve writes, “and more importantly families appreciate the support she offers them, often taking the administrative burden away from them and so reassuring that all is well at such a difficult time.”
Amy is the warm welcoming voice at the end of the telephone when you call to enquire about Steve’s services, offering a quality service, with oodles of compassion from beginning to end.