THE dedicated work a funeral director does with bereaved families has put it in the running for a national award.

Edd Frost & Daughters has made the shortlist in the 'modern funeral director of the year' category at the Good Funeral Awards.

In another piece of good news for the firm, staff member Barbara Scrimshaw has also been nominated as funeral arranger of the year.

The Banbury company, which was recently named Cherwell Business of the Year, will discover at a ceremony in London on September 7 whether it has won the national award.

Managing director Edd Frost said that his company has been recognised because of the work it does to support families before, during and after the funeral.

He explained: "We try to make sure families have all the support they need – whether that is referring them to counsellors or just keeping in touch.

"For many people, when someone close to them dies their social life goes too so we hold events that bring people together who may be experiencing similar things.

"We form in-depth relationships and bonds at such a sad time.

"People always pop back in and see us when they are passing the office. It's much more than just a service.

"Clients have taken it upon themselves to nominate us and it's really lovely to think we made such an impression."

Speaking about her own nomination, Barbara Scrimshaw said that she felt 'overwhelmed' by the honour.

She said: "It makes me feel that everything is well worth it – that we are doing the right thing for the families we work with.

"We work with more than 200 families a year and it can get hard, but even when we are at our busiest we make sure the family does not know it.

"In this day and age with so many cuts to services, the help you need is not always available.

"We have all experienced the loss of a close one ourselves so we try to help when people really need it."

Mr Frost, who has worked in the funeral business for 10 years, said that his company was having to adapt to the changing nature of the industry.

He said: "The traditional funeral still has its place but every family loves their loved one in their own way and they increasingly want something more personal and bespoke.

"Some want to turn it in to more of a celebration, we do funerals with different themes and colourful coffins.

"A lot of people are now asking for the ashes of the dead to be turned in to jewellery they can wear.

"Our rule is as long as it is legal and socially acceptable then we are happy to organise it in whatever way the family wants."