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Photos showing the arrival of 300 boxes of the Fifth Edition of The Natural Death Handbook at the charity's headquarters in May 2012. Additional images were taken at 'Death Fest' at the Southbank Centre 27-29th January 2012, where we spoke to hundreds of people and with their help created a bejewelled pink coffin.
Trustees & Staff
Founders of The Natural Death Centre:
The Natural Death Centre was founded in 1991 by Nicholas Albery and his wife, psychotherapist Josefine Speyer.
A break up in their relationship some years earlier had led Josefine to see a link between the process of dying and that of giving birth, and she had explored the subject in some depth. Her acquired knowledge came in useful during when Nicholas's father died and communication was very difficult. Nicholas and Josefine had long discussions and felt that there was a need for death education, along similar lines to sex education.
They set up the Natural Death Centre with three aims in mind:
To help break the taboo around dying and death, and make it a natural topic to discuss over dinner.
To bring the dying person back to the centre of proceedings and enable them to die at home if they so wished.
To empower people and make them aware of their legal rights and choices, taking the power away from institutions.
Nicholas died in a car accident on June 3rd 2001. His funeral was organised by Josefine with help from family and friends. He was buried in a bamboo woven coffin, on private land where they owned a little hut in the woods and had spent many happy times. The funeral took a whole day and involved a journey to the land, a Quaker style ceremony around the coffin in the field, a procession to the grave side, song, music, poetry, recounting of memories, Tibetan prayer flags, a Christian blessing, a tea party, and a dance around the grave at the end of the day.
Nicholas's obituary in The Guardian can be read here.
The current trustees and staff
Left - Right: Richard Putt (Trustee), Fran Hall (Chair), Rosie Inman-Cook (Centre Manager),
Rupert Callender (Trustee), Susan Morris (Trustee & Company Secretary)
Natural Death Centre Manager
Rosie has many years experience in the Natural Death Movement. Winner of the NDCs award for 'Best Natural Burial Ground in the UK'. Rosie values liasing with the public to inform them of all options available, including pragmatic advice on DIY funerals. She is experienced at cultivating relationships with Funeral Directors, encouraging the choices offered to all families and enjoys working with landowners looking to establish new burial sites.
Rosie has many years practice with the media in multiple formats and has been a Director of several successful and leading companies.
Rosie is a mum of four and now a Grandmother and is a keen knowledgeable amateur naturalist.
Contact Rosie on 01962 712690 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lara joined the Natural Death Centre in 2010 shortly after the charity moved to Hampshire. Being Rosie's daughter she is no stranger to the natural death movement and used her Design skills to make big changes to the website and branding. She introduced the NDC to social media and won the charity a Google AdWords Grant which she manages alongside Google Analytics. Lara lives by the seaside with her four year old daughter and works part time for the charity.
Contact Lara at email@example.com
The Board of Trustees
Fran Hall (Chair)
Fran has had many years of experience working with people who have been bereaved - formerly an award winning funeral director caring for people who have died and their grieving families, she also spent five years developing two of the most renowned woodland burial sites in the UK, both as group marketing manager for the parent company and as park manager of the largest site owned by them. Trained as a Cruse counsellor and as a listening Samaritan, she has also written and delivered many funeral ceremonies, including those of both her parents.
With four adult children and a baby grandson, Fran is based in Buckinghamshire.
Contact Fran at firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Morris (Company Secretary)
An experienced palliative care clinical nurse specialist. Susan believes deeply in support and advocacy for the dying, and funeral advice. Susan has been involved with the Natural Death Centre for over twenty year , and is a former trustee of both The Befriending Network and The Nicholas Albery Foundation. Susan was honoured with the Welch Allyn UK Pioneers of Care Award, June 2012 for her trailblazing voluntary work within the Natural Death movement as part of the NDC in educating the public about dying and funerals.
Contact Susan at email@example.com
At 38 years old, Rupert is the youngest of the trustee board, and one of the new generation of undertakers to emerge directly inspired by the NDC. He and his wife Claire are funeral directors in Devon, and were amongst the first to merge undertaking with holding the ceremony. Rupert considers himself 'radicalised' partly by a childhood spent running around St Columba's Hospice in Edinburgh, but also by damaging, unimaginative funerals.
Contact Rupert at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first non-family director with one of the oldest established funeral firms in London, and a Past National President of The British Institute of Funeral Directors, Richard comes from a more traditional funeral directing background but embraces the values of the Natural Death Centre and is committed to attaining maximum choice for our bereaved.
Freeman of the City of London, member of The Worshipful Company of Upholders and The Royal Society of St George, FA Referee and Coach, Richard is married to the lovely Sam, with four wonderful children and two amazing grandchildren.
Contact Richard at email@example.com