The efforts and dedication of staff and volunteers working at Philips Park Cemetery have been recognised after it was named the best in the country.
The cemetery won the national Cemetery of the Year Gold Award by the Memorial Awareness Board who, for nearly 20 years, have been raising awareness on the importance of memorialisation.
During a year in which so many families have been touched by loss, it is a poignant award to receive for the staff working at Philips Park Cemetery.
The award is also recognition of the tireless work of the Friends of Philips Park Cemetery, volunteers who give up their time to ensure that the cemetery is a welcoming place for all and provides a place of peace, beauty and support for the community.
The Friends group and cemetery staff have implemented a number of unique features which make this cemetery special, such as the Children Grieve Too nature trail, which provides a means of support for young people experiencing grief.
In recognition of this award the cemetery will receive a granite plaque which will be installed in its grounds.
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “I am incredibly proud of our members of staff who, for more than a year, have been working in some of the most difficult of circumstances.
“Providing care and support to families, as well as ensuring a person receives a dignified funeral is hard in the best of times. But in a pandemic the challenges at times have felt insurmountable.
“This is a group effort and we have been supported at all times by the Friends of Philips Park Cemetery, and this award is just as much theirs.
“I am sure everyone will continue working with the same level of care and dedication which no doubt played a role in securing this award.”
Philip Potts of the Memorial Awareness Board said: “The awards are an excellent opportunity to reward hard-working staff and demonstrate the central role Cemeteries can play in the community. They provide places of peaceful contemplation and beauty, as well as their ecological importance."