A beautiful send off for a Born Asleep little girl

Shirley from Chorley Old Road made a unique coffin

Some people believe that only smaller, independent funeral directors can create a personalised day, when the time comes to say goodbye to their loved one – but how wrong they are.

We know that we have only one chance to make each and every funeral as seamless as it can be, and do whatever we can to create a day that’s unique and special to each individual.

We recently learnt about a funeral that was arranged by Shirley Bannister – Funeral Arranger from our Chorley Old Road funeral home in Bolton, which conveys our personalisation promise down to a tee.

Sadly, Shirley found herself arranging the funeral for a little girl who was born asleep.

Understandably the young parents were completely devastated and were finding it really difficult to make the arrangements.

During a conversation, Shirley was told how they’d already chosen the theme for the bedroom - pink and grey with lots of cartoon elephants.

They showed her a picture and asked whether there was anything she could do to personalise the funeral in the same way. Shirley suggested memorial cards with the elephant design incorporated, which they were over the moon about…but she didn’t stop there.

She straight away took herself off to Hobbycraft and began designing, cutting and attaching her crafts, to create a gorgeous bespoke coffin for their little angel.

Once it was complete and the family came to visit, they couldn’t believe their eyes. They were completely overcome with emotion and gratitude, all because of Shirley’s modest efforts to make their daughter’s day special.

The day after the funeral the couple visited Shirley armed with a big bunch of flowers and a beautiful card, with the news that one of their relatives was having a tattoo of Shirley’s elephant design on his arm, in her memory.

This isn’t the only time Shirley’s made a difference.

A few months ago she created a 'Butterfly Coffin' for a lady, with over 80 hand painted, glittery butterflies that she did herself. She invited the daughter along to help her attach each one to the coffin, and it glittered beautifully on its way to the crematorium in the summer sunshine – turning many heads.

Shirley Bannister, you are a very special and caring lady and it’s an honour to have you working for us, caring for the families that need you.

The lovely creation by Shirley

For further information contact

Emily Penkett

PR Manager

Lauren Pogson

Senior PR Manager

Catherine Turner

Head of PR