Staff at Austin’s Funeral Directors are celebrating after scooping top prize at a prestigious business awards ceremony.
The 300-year-old firm which has branches throughout East and North Herts beat off stiff competition to win the Service Excellence category at the East of England Business Champions Awards.
Claire Austin, who is the tenth generation of her family to run the company, said she was thrilled the company had won. “This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of all the staff who work so hard to provide a personal, caring service to our clients. The whole Austin’s ethos is about being welcoming to all and it’s fantastic to have our efforts acknowledged,” she said.
The awards are sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the finals were held at Tewinbury Farm Hotel. Ian Cording, Regional Chair of the FSB and the head of the judging panel said: “I was extremely impressed by the high standard of entries and it is refreshing to see how many successful businesses the region has in what continues to be a very tough economic climate.” Entries were received from businesses across six counties – Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
A number of staff joined Claire at the awards ceremony where the judges praised them for “never sitting on their laurels and always striving for perfection”.
Austin’s, which also owns and operates Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Gardens in Stevenage, has eight branches and employs 43 full-time members of staff.
Photo of (L to R) Alan Coleman, Gary Ford, Claire Austin, Jackie Lawrence, Annette Bird, Brian Lawrence and Peter Hope
Austin’s has branches in Hertford, Ware, Welwyn, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage, Hitchin, Knebworth and Buntingford.