Cemetery makes awards shortlist

STAINFORTH Cemetery hopes to bury the competition after being shortlisted for a national award.

This is the 12th year running that the Cemetery of the Year Awards (CYA) has taken place and the village burial ground hopes to be chosen as top of the plots.

Stainforth Cemetery has been shortlisted in Category B for cemeteries between five and 15 acres and is up against another ten from as far afield as North Devon and County Durham.

Organised by the Memorial Awareness Board (MAB), the Cemetery of the Year Awards aims to reward high standards in the nation's burial grounds and encourage choice for the bereaved.

A spokesman said: "Playing an integral role within local communities, burial sites act as areas of tranquillity and reflection, and are a vital social, historical and environmental resource."

Site visits to each entry, in categories including crematoria, churchyards, green burial sites and pet cemeteries, will take place between now and August.

Judges will be looking at a whole range of criteria, from customer care and environmental enhancements to signage and community involvement.

The awards take into account the varying degree of funding received by cemeteries, and acknowledge innovative ideas and areas of improvement.

Awards administrator Elisabeth Edvardsen said: "We are pleased to report an unprecedented number of new entries this year; with competition remaining strong across all categories.

"In 2009 we will be giving particular praise to the dedicated men and women who work hard to maintain our burial sites throughout the UK with the new Cemetery Operatives Team of the Year Award.

"It is important to reward the work and devotion of these essential members of society, who make our burial grounds community cornerstones as well as a place of serenity and remembrance."

Finalists will be announced early September with the winning sites being unveiled on Tuesday September 29 during an awards ceremony hosted at the annual Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium (ICCM) Conference and Exhibition in Warwickshire.

The spokesman added: "The awards were established to encourage and reward high standards amongst the nation's cemeteries and to raise public awareness of the importance of cemeteries, which can house a wealth of historical, ecological and sociological information."


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