Stories about the Charity and what it does

We Held a Networking Breakfast for Local Funeral Directors

By 30 November 2023No Comments
Five women dressed in dark suits holding a board depicting the Airedale Charity logo.

The local Dignity Funeral Services team

On the 22 November, we invited local funeral directors to meet with us for a Networking Breakfast Event.

Conversations over coffee in Airedale General Hospital’s Education Centre made for an excellent networking opportunity, followed by speeches from Andrew Gold, Chair of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust; members of our Charity team; the Palliative Care team; and the Emergency Department team, demonstrating the importance of our role in the wellbeing of staff and patients at the hospital.

Funeral directors often support us by helping bereaved families to make a donation in the honour of a lost loved one. We at the Charity felt that the event was a way to make that connection even more meaningful, so that the directors could get a deeper understanding of the scope of both our activities and our impact on the hospital and the local community.

Laura Hepworth, our Community Fundraiser, said:

“It was fantastic to have all of our local funeral directors gathered here to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at our charity.

“We have always been so grateful for their continuous support — last year, £36,120 was donated through funeral collections and ‘In Memory’ donations, so this was a great opportunity to thank them in person for all the great work that they do for us and our community.”

hree women standing in front of a banner with the Airedale Charity logo, the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust logo, the Airedale Emergency Department Appeal logo, and information about how to donate to the Emergency Department Appeal on it. The two women on the left are a part of the Emergency Department team and wear navy scrubs, and the woman on the right is part of the Palliative Care team and wears bright blue scrubs.

Left: Nicola Denbow and Cheryl Szulhan, Matron and Senior Sister from our Emergency Department team (respectively); Right: Joanne Hunter, Palliative Care Support Assistant

Vicki Howcroft, Director at Howcrofts Funeral Services in Skipton, said:

“It really hit home hearing the nurses and staff talk about how vital the Charity is to their patients and their relatives, particularly during the worst times of their lives.

“Small things like the comfort bags, toddler blankets and trolleys to make your own tea and coffee make a huge difference to bereaved families.”

Rachel Abbey, Funeral Arranger at Melia Powell Funeral Services in Keighley, said:

“As someone who is quite new in role in the area, it was great to have the opportunity to meet other funeral professionals from the locality in an informal setting over breakfast.

“It was also very informative to hear about all the good work that the AHCC is involved in so that we can talk to clients about it with a deeper understanding.”

Sarah Sharp, Business Leader at Arthur B Baxters Funeral Directors of Bingley, said:

“We have a lot of families that choose to donate to the charity, and now we are even more knowledgeable and will be able to talk to our clients in regard to where their donations will go.

“We are looking forward to helping in future events and building a great partnership along the way.”

To find out more about Airedale Hospital and Community Charity, visit the website at or contact the Charity office by email at or telephone at 01535 294870.

Our Emergency Department needs your help! You can donate to our ED Appeal today.