THE FINDERS INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH FUNERALS CONFERENCE

In drafting a new guide to Public Health Funerals, something that can overlap with normal empty homes work, I found a website provided courtesy of Finders International that is, “intended as a guide for staff in Local Authorities and Hospitals who perform this task”. I promptly booked a place on the Finders International London PHA Funerals Conference.

First up was an excellent precis of the services of Quaker Social Action who help people who are struggling with funeral costs. DWP assistance was also covered. https://www.quakersocialaction.org.uk/we-can-help/helping-funerals/down-earth 

Next, a stylish set from the conference organisers, Finders International that illustrated how the firm has earnt its enviable market position and that made me think of a Flobots song that goes, “My reach is global, my tower secure, my cause is noble, my power is pure”. I was most interested in the insurances available to heirs when working with probate hunters. See here for details https://www.findersinternational.co.uk/our-services/missing-beneficiary-indemnity-insurance/

Lambeth Cruse Bereavement Care ran through the tricky tasks of breaking bad news and helping people along the road to restoration after the death of a loved one. It reminded me that I must always myself whether I am speaking in a way that is best for each client. We can sometimes communicate in ways that keep others from understanding. One cannot avoid grief in or out of our work https://www.cruse.org.uk/

After a spectacular lunch, we heard the story of the rise to the top of Memoria Low Cost Funerals. The speaker might not have been the first in his industry to joke about being on the, “graveyard shift”. He showed a photo-eulogy with Johnny Cash as backing that left our Finders International compere welling up, and confused me greatly with the line, “and we let you collect your own ashes”. The big thing in among ‘les croquet-morts” is Direct Cremation. See https://www.low-cost-funeral.co.uk/

The gig ended with pieces by a law firm on coroner’s inquests and by a London based clearance company with excellent news for future generations. They operate ‘zero-landfill’.

Highlight of the Day? The ‘elephant in the room’ all day was the recent press coverage of a probate hunter firm’s misdemeanours.  When the Finders International MD had finished his talk, the compere asked us for our questions and the very first question was all about that ‘elephant in the room’. The Finders International speaker’s answer was comprehensive and diplomatic. But who asked this first question? It was our compere, Finder International’s own Public Sector Development Officer.

The Black Mirror Moment of the Day? Whilst eating my lunch I looked up to find a tattooed geezer all dressed in black pointing the lens of a hefty video-cam straight at me from 2 yards away.

In summary, while the Finders International compere said the conference, “gives us a chance to give something back to local authorities” it didn’t really give me much practical PHF info. But the talks were instructive on issues that fringe my empty homes and PHF roles.