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Phone: 01480 276088 or Email: [email protected]

About Us

Child Funeral Charity is a result of like-minded people, linked to the funeral industry, talking about their experiences of trying to support families arranging a funeral for a baby or child. Discussions revolved around the financial pressures, emotional stress, and difficulties families in such situations encounter. They realised there was a gap for an organisation who could help provide that support and decided to do something about it.

There are four Charity Trustees – Anne Barber, Mary Tomes, Kevin Tomes and Jill Maguire. The charity is administered by Charity Manager, Stacey Denton.

Anne Barber, Trustee

Anne is Managing Director of Civil Ceremonies Ltd and founder and Honorary President of the Institute of Civil Funerals. Anne established Civil Funerals in the UK in 2002 and founded the Institute of Civil Funerals in 2004. She wrote and published ‘The Complete Guide to Naming Ceremonies’ in 2008 and has established the websites Funeral Map, an online resource for those arranging a funeral and Celebrant Supplies, providing resources for celebrants. Her qualifications include a BA (Hons) Degree in Business Studies and an MBA. Anne established the National Qualification Level 3 Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy and tutors the Level 4 national qualification in Child and Baby Funerals.

Mary Tomes, Trustee

Mary is Managing Director of Colourful Coffins, the first company in the UK to produce personalised coffins and caskets. Mary founded the business in 2004 and since then has worked closely with many bereaved families, helping them to provide a very special and personal final farewell for their loved ones. She is well-known throughout the funeral trade and has been recognised both locally and nationally for her community and public service. In 2010, Mary was the inaugural winner of the Gaia Award at the prestigious NatWest Everywoman Awards, given to the most inspirational and successful female entrepreneur who runs a business with a clearly defined social and/or ethical purpose at its heart. Mary is also a Fellow of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners and in 2009 Colourful Coffins became the first organisation to gain Corporate Membership of the Society.

Kevin Tomes, Trustee

Kevin is Technical Director of Colourful Coffins, working alongside his wife Mary and the team to keep the business at the forefront of product design and innovation. Prior to joining the family business he was in the Air Force, and his experience in electronics and factory management has been essential in underpinning the company’s growth and success. Like Mary, Kevin is a Fellow of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners and as a designer he works closely with bereaved families and the funeral trade. Kevin says it is the company’s personal touch and what he calls a “soft and honest approach to design” that enables families to create a very personal celebration of remembrance for their loved one. Mary and Kevin’s son and daughter both work for Colourful Coffins and they are also proud grandparents.

Jill Maguire, Trustee

Jill has 13 years’ experience as a Civil Funeral Celebrant in the Surrey area and was a Founder Member of the Institute of Civil Funerals. She spends much time supporting new local celebrants. Jill’s career has included adult tutoring with Surrey County Council and a lengthy career in Surrey County Council’s registration service, where she fulfilled a variety of different roles including deputy registrar and registrar of births and deaths. Jill has worked with Civil Ceremonies for many years training registrars and celebrants in a wide range of subjects including technical registration procedures. She has conducted hundreds of funerals, marriages and other ceremonies and course delegates always benefit hugely from her experience. F.I.C.F

Steph Pywell

Stephanie is Professor Emerita of Law and Social Justice at The Open University Law School, from which she retired in April 2024. Her research interests include the law governing weddings and related ceremonies in England and Wales, and her publications on this topic were cited 19 times in the Law Commission’s July 2022 report, Celebrating Marriage. Stephanie is also an expert on delegated legislation, and is co-author of Delegated Legislation: What types are there, and how are they made? which is published on the website of the Hansard Society.  Stephanie became a Trustee of the Child Funeral Charity on 1 July 2024, and hopes to be able to raise its profile so that it is able to offer even greater help to bereaved families.

Bel Mooney, Patron

Bel is a journalist and broadcaster born in Liverpool. She became a journalist in 1969 then went on to write for the New Statesman, the Daily Telegraph Magazine, Cosmopolitan and many others. She was a columnist on the Daily Mirror, The Times and The Sunday Times. For the last nine years she has written a much-followed advice column, first for The Times and now each Saturday in The Daily Mail.

She has honorary degrees from the University of Bath and Liverpool John Moores University, and is a Fellow of University College London. ‘Devout Sceptics’ (BBC Radio 4) won a Sandford St Martin Trust award for religious broadcasting, and the children’s novel The Voices of Silence won a New York Public Library citation and was shortlisted for a Gold Medal in the State of California. She has won special awards for journalism from charities including CRUSE. Mooney is also Patron of Teenage Cancer Trust (South West) and National Family Mediation.

Bel is extremely interested in the work of the charity and will support it as much as possible.

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