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Home > News & Advice > Celebrating International Women’s Day with some of the inspiring women in our network

As we reflect on the importance of International Women’s Day 2022 – a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, we’d like to celebrate and recognise some of the inspirational women in our network of valued partners:

Gay Gooding

Gay Gooding is a Director and Co-owner of Gooding Funeral Services which accommodates local families within the Leeds area. She plays a vital role within the everyday running of the business, as well as the strategic side, too.

With previous experience in a number of sectors including education, civil service and banking, Gay values the importance of customer satisfaction and she ensures customers remain central to the Gooding Funeral Services ethos.

Helen Horne

Helen Horne established her own business - Helen Horne Funeral Directors in Orford - after nine years’ within the funeral profession. With a wealth of experience, Helen has focused on creating a funeral home where families feel comfortable and at ease.

Her independently owned business is a family affair, with her daughter employed as a receptionist and social media manager whilst also studying.

Donna Spiers

Donna Spiers is another one of our valued funeral directors within our network who strives to offer the highest level of service. Donna of Norman McBriar & Son decided to retrain after 25 years in nursing. She has been serving the local community of Ballynahinch for the past five years as a funeral director.

“A funeral director is an important service for the local community. It’s a privilege to help the families we meet and bear some of their load, making the process as simple as possible during a difficult time. I find this to be an extremely rewarding job.”

Julie Sullivan

After almost 10 years in the industry, Julie opened her own funeral home in 2021 – Julie Sullivan Independent Family Funeral Services – and has since been serving her local community in Moreton-in-Marsh and Chipping Campden.

“I absolutely love what I do and cannot imagine another career. I'm excited to see what the future holds as a funeral director in the coming years as the industry evolves.”

Lou Meighan and Steph Lyons

This inspiring duo opened their funeral business back in 2019 and have been developing strong relationships with their community ever since. The team are proud to operate an open-door policy and say they have made lasting friendships with local families.

Ruth Jardine

Ruth Jardine is the Business Manager of Jardine Funeral Directors, a sixth-generation, independent family business serving Dumfriesshire since 1862. Ruth delivers truly personal funeral ceremonies that capture the very essence of a loved one and celebrate a life that has been lived. Her passion for the arts and literature is invaluable in helping to select the right readings, poignant poetry, and reflective music, to create a ceremony that is unique and exactly as families wish it to be.

Ruth regularly contributes to the work of the Scottish Government and advised on the statutory guidance of funeral costs.

Janice Stevens

Serving the local community of Tollcross in Glasgow, Janice Stevens established her own business - Janice Stevens Independent Funeralcare after a lengthy career within the industry. Her independently run business has built good relations with families and other small businesses in their local and wider community. Janice has also helped raise funds for worthy causes and sponsored various groups, such as school football teams, darts teams and bowling clubs.

Susan, Jacqui and Jayne Lownds

We wrap up our spotlight series with Kevin Lownds Funeral Services – a family run business in Stoke-on-Trent. Susan, Jacqui and Jayne Lownds play a vital role within the business from managing director to funeral director. They each set a high standard of service and care for their local community and ensure each families wishes are carried out above and beyond expectations.

It’s clear to see the hard work and dedication that these inspiring women put into serving their local communities.

In what has been a traditionally male-dominated profession, it’s great to see more women represented in various roles within the funeral industry. We look forward to seeing more women entering the profession over the coming years.

Golden Charter

Smart Planning for Later Life

Golden Charter has one of the largest networks of independent funeral directors in the UK. Many are long-standing, family-run businesses and all provide a compassionate and professional service.

Find out more about how you can plan for your funeral with one of the funeral directors in our network.