Funeral Director celebrates ten years in Crawley

The Freeman Brothers Funeral Directors Crawley branch soon turns ten! Read more about the upcoming anniversary here...

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Having begun in Horsham in 1855, Freeman Brothers Funeral Directors has been serving Sussex and Surrey for over 160 years, with offices across the county in Billingshurst, Crawley and Hurstpierpoint. As the tenth anniversary of the company’s Crawley branch approaches, the local funeral director is running an exciting competition – read on for further details.

In 1971, it was all anybody could talk about. As decimalisation took hold, it felt as if the whole world could be neatly ratified and arranged into rounded units of ten. And over the years it is not just economists who have felt its presence: in sport, ten remains the top score in Olympic competition; in science, it’s the atomic number of neon – the colourful element that adorns night clubs and chips shops across the country; and how many of us first learned to count on our own ten digits? More recently, with British politics taking centre stage, it’s arguably the most famous address in the UK!

All this fame pales into insignificance however, for us here at Freeman Brothers, as the number ten has taken on a far greater significance: in November, our Crawley branch – Holly Lodge on Brighton Road – celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Vicky Jarman and Jennifer Bolt of Freeman Brothers Crawley

Since its opening in 2009, this converted Victorian semi and its staff have gone from strength to strength, serving the people of Crawley and the surrounding areas by offering kindness, compassion and a level head when it was needed most. We are looking forward to marking this tremendous milestone with some exciting activities but, for now, Holly Lodge would like to count down ten highlights that we think are worth celebrating…

  1. Serving our Community
    Since our grand opening in 2009, staff at Holly Lodge have cared for over 800 members of our community, arranging and conducting bespoke ceremonies that celebrate and honour each unique life. From the moment they are brought into our care, we pride ourselves on treating each individual – and their family and friends – with the dignity and respect we would wish for our own relatives. We work hard to ensure that their farewell is as close to perfect as is humanly possible and are proud that so many families put their trust in us, time and again.
  2. Knowing our Community
    Crawley is justly proud of its diverse and multicultural population and, here at Freeman Brothers, we’re no different. Over our ten years at Holly Lodge, we’ve arranged funerals for members of major world religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, as well as many and various secular ceremonies, such as Humanist and Pagan. We understand that difference is a strength to be celebrated and so, thanks to our broad network of officiants, venues and suppliers, we are able and willing to provide funeral ceremonies that are as unique and special as your loved one.
  3. Commitment to Excellence
    As adults, we never stop learning and, at Freeman Brothers, we recognise that continued training and development of our staff is vital to maintaining our professionalism and unrivalled service. Our Crawley branch is the proud home to one of our most devoted and experienced embalmers, Vicky. Having joined us from the care industry, Vicky’s compassion and dedication to caring for people in their most vulnerable moments made her a natural candidate for mortuary training, and she can often be heard chatting warmly to those in her care as she gently and skilfully prepares them for their ‘big day’.
  4. Moving with the Times
    As time and generations move on, so do our expectations. With the digital age in full swing and record numbers of us working long, highly-pressured hours, finding time for personal errands and concerns is becoming harder and harder. When it comes to managing funeral arrangements, we know our customers feel this pressure most acutely so, in a bid to help alleviate some of this pressure and stress, we’ve recently taken on new staff at Holly Lodge to allow us to open the branch on Saturday mornings. Whether you need to drop off a photograph, make a payment or collect a loved one’s ashes, we will be open and happy to help!
  5. Supporting our Friends
    This year, St Catherine’s Hospice launched the tremendously-popular HeART to Heart Trail, raising money to support their own extraordinary work, and Freeman Brothers were proud to sponsor this very worthy event. ‘Keepsake’ – painted by local artist, Lindsay Seahorse Wright, to resemble a silver locket – was displayed in Tilgate Park’s Walled Garden throughout the summer. The heart, together with the 25 others on the trail, will soon be put up for auction to raise even more funds for the charity. Not satisfied to let our contribution end there however, those taking part in the trail were also invited to donate food for families struggling on the breadline, in exchange for a Freeman Brothers goodie bag.
  6. Giving Something Back
    To celebrate our tenth birthday, we at Holly Lodge want to do something for our local community, as a thank you for the support we have received from the people of Crawley. With that in mind, on the 16th November, members of staff and their families will be giving up their time and joining forces with a local charity, Giving Back Crawley, to provide a meal for homeless people sleeping rough in our streets. Staff will be involved in planning, cooking and serving a hot dinner in the town centre and we very much look forward to making a minor contribution to the work of this great charity.
  7. Celebrating Our Milestones
    No birthday is complete without a cake and, in addition to the 2-course meal we will be providing in November, our friends at Putty Cakes will be providing us with a massive tenth birthday cake to share – yum!
  8. Caring for Others
    As part of our on-going commitment to supporting homeless charities in Crawley, for the last six years we’ve held an open collection for good-quality clothing, non-perishable food and unopened cosmetics. We are always happy to accept donations from the public, and this year is no different. As winter draws closer, we are particularly on the hunt for cold-weather clothing; coats, hats, scarves, gloves etc. So, if you are planning a good clear out in the run up to Christmas, please drop your unwanted items into our offices on Brighton Road – we will be happy to receive them!
  9. A Little Healthy Competition!
    Our tenth birthday is not all about virtue – we’re also celebrating by offering one lucky winner a lavish night on the town! Our competition to win four tickets to a West End show of your choice is now open! You can find out more about how to be in with a chance to win in this week’s Crawley Observer, or click here.
  10. Honouring Those We Have Lost
    Finally, on Wednesday 4th December, we will be supporting our colleagues in Hurstpierpoint as they hold their first Community Remembrance event. It promises to be a wonderful evening of poetry, song and celebration, with our special guests – The Phoenix Choir of Crawley – and we’re thrilled to be taking part.

Phew! – What a busy decade it’s been. We are so proud of all we have achieved and look forward to the next ten years serving Sussex – it’ll be ‘knockout’!


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Written by Becky Hughes

Community Co-Ordinator

October 28, 2019

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