Chris Parker (Chairman of IFD College)
I was born on a date to be published in my obituary.
I began Nurse training in the mid 60's at the Royal East Sussex Hospital in Hastings , and although interrupted to produce children, eventually qualified as a nurse.
I think it was then that I became interested in the world of Health and Safety. My work brought me into contact with, nearly always preventable, industrial accidents.
In the early 70's, after the birth of my youngest child, I took a break from medicine, and entered the world of Personnel Management. I worked as an assistant Personnel Manager for a large manufacturing company with special responsibility for the occupational health unit. I took, and passed, the diploma in Personnel Management. I had a keen interest in Health & Safety at work and my final dissertation being on the association between women's menstrual cycles and increased industrial accidents.
Despite enjoying the work, nursing pulled me back (adrenalin junky that I am) and I returned to work in an A & E department. Sadly the hours were not suitable for a family with all the children in school and I was forced to re-think my career options again. This time I didn't stray so far, and became, after training, a clinical tutor for pre-nursing students.
In the early 80's my husband, Jim, became disenchanted with the Funeral firm he was working for and we decided to start our own Business, Abbey Funeral Services Ltd in Tonbridge . I have managed our family firm for more than 30 years. I am still learning
I became involved as a co founder of the IFD College in 1995 and Governor & Director of Education in 2002. I believe passionately in the need for training, particularly in Health and Safety at Work. No job remains the same over time; we all need to keep on learning as things change, improving our knowledge and learning new skills. If we don't, we stagnate and we become an impediment to our profession, our staff, our clients and ourselves.
Contact me on 07887553467
David Peasgood (Director of Education)
My name is David Peasgood. I joined my father and uncle in the family firm of H Peasgood & Son , as the sixth generation, on leaving school in 1979. I had already experienced the funeral profession as I had assisted as a bearer and had fitted out coffins during the school holidays.
At that time we traded from an old joinery shop built by my great-grandfather in the early twenties from second hand materials. This premises was more geared up for carpentry and building which we had at one time been heavily involved in rather than funeral work.
My uncle retired from the business in 1988 and from that time I became more involved with making the funeral arrangements, conducting and the administration side. I knew that the business could not continue to operate as it had in the past and that our present location was far from ideal, so with that in mind, we started looking for more suitable premises. It took us until 1993 to locate and modify a suitable building into the funeral home that we now operate from, which was opened in the spring of 1993 by Clive Leverton the then President of SAIF.
The following year my father retired and we decided that the best option for us was to join up with another local family firm and so in 1994 we sold to Daniel Robinson & Sons.
I continued as a senior manager with Daniel Robinson & Sons having responsibility for the Saffron Walden office, but also helping to look after the Dunmow office, and once Daniel Robinson's had acquired W. C. Brown in Braintree that office as well. During this time I trained, studied and ultimately passed my BIE. exams. I also started to become more involved with the training needs within our company and put into place manuals and procedures for our staff.
In 2002 I decided that I wanted to change direction slightly, and allow myself some flexibility with work and Daniel Robinson & Sons allowed me to act as a consultant for them primarily to look after our staff training, health and safety and our vehicle fleet. I am also still available to 'arrange and conduct funerals for the Saffron Walden families that request my presence. This new arrangement gave me more time to devote to my family and to assist my wife with administration of her successful private physiotherapy practice.
At this time SAIF were looking to start the quality control visits on a part-time trial basis and I was happy to be able to assist in the start of this programme, which has now become a full-time post. I was also available to spend more time with the IFD College as a trainer and assessor and I was pleased to be asked to be a governor of the college this year.
After what could be termed a chequered career history, the arrival of my three children and the first of my five grandchildren, I fulfilled my ambition to work in the funeral industry and I have never looked back. From day one I knew I wanted to remain in the independent sector and become a funeral director. I was fortunate in being encouraged to start working towards my diploma quite early on. In 2008 I first became involved with the IFD College and now enjoy offering training, assessing students' work and working as an internal verifier. Being asked to join the board of governors in 2018 meant I could become even more involved in education in the funeral sector. This all works very well alongside the quality assurance work I do inspecting funeral premises for SAIF.