THEIR work often goes unnoticed when helping people through what can be the hardest moments of their lives.

But a number of dedicated funeral workers who have gone above and beyond with grieving families have been recognised in this year's Good Funeral Awards.

Funeral director Lucy Coulbert, from Rose Hill, and Kicking the Bucket Festival organiser Liz Rothschild from Faringon, joined the team from South Oxfordshire Crematorium and Memorial Park in Garford in picking up awards.

The crematorium, which was crowned Best Crematorium in the UK, also bagged an award in the Best Low Cost Funeral Provider category at a ceremony in London on Thursday.

Howard Hodgson, CEO of Memoria, the operator behind South Oxfordshire Crematorium and Memorial Park, said: "We are absolutely delighted to win the award for Best Crematorium in the UK along with a second award in the Best Low Cost Funeral Provider category.

"It is our mission to provide excellent facilities to bereaved families and with 282 crematoria in the UK, it is fantastically rewarding to see our crematoria recognised as the very best by not just taking top spot but also dominating the category with seven of the 13 shortlisted finalists coming from our sites."

Liz Rothschild and Lucy Coulbert shared the Good Funeral Award for the Most Outstanding Contribution to the Understanding of Death.

Ms Rothschild has behind her almost three decades worth of work in the field, from being a celebrant to running a green burial ground.

She also set up Kicking the Bucket Festival, which has been staged three times in Oxford, hosted the first 'Death Cafe' in the city and works with secondary schools all to educate people about death and grieving.

The festival explores death and issues such as the cost of funerals.

She said: "Working in this field is far from being depressing.

"It is life enhancing because it reminds you to live each day as it comes, say what you really want to say and follow your dreams because who knows what tomorrow will bring.

"Thinking about death helps you to live life to the full."

Ms Coulbert founded The Individual Funeral Company in Rose Hill following her work with a national chain of funeral directors and as a carriage master, in a bid to offer a bespoke service.

Ms Coulbert said: "I wanted people to know that they can do everything themselves.

"We are here to help with just a couple of things if they want to do almost everything.

"I really didn't expect to hear my name called out at all.

"I don't think I am doing anything special. I just see it as doing the right thing and speaking up on behalf of the bereaved and vulnerable."