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Bereavement inspires two sisters to set up grave tending service

18 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Before and after, image by Evergreen Services

Two grieving sisters have embarked on a heart-warming way to improve cemeteries in their area, one grave at a time.

Recently bereaved Jan and Emma from Merthyr Tydfil were taking flowers to their mother’s grave earlier this year when they were struck by the sorry state of some of the surrounding plots.

Saddened by the fact that some families may not be able to tend to the graves of their loved ones, they decided to reach out a helping hand and establish a grave tending service.

After making some enquiries with their local authority and gaining the appropriate permissions, they sent out some flyers locally and as requests started coming in, Evergreen Services was born.

While they can’t deal with any structural issues, the team carry out the cleaning of the gravestones and grave surrounds, and can clean or replace decorative stones, cut grass around the grave, and provide flowers either as a one off or on a regular basis.

Additionally, they offer a family member with no transport the option to accompany them to the grave side so that they may can spend some time there while the tending takes place.

Deeply satisfying

Speaking about the encouraging start since their launch in May, Jan explained what the process involves.

“We start by removing any moss and debris, and it depends on the grave how long it will take. A typical black granite stone doesn’t take too long but some of the ones we have done have taken several visits.

“We use a gentle garden washer with the stones as a pressure washer would be too harsh. Where there are decorative glass stones, we soak them for a couple of hours and rinse them through before replacing them.”

The sisters have been fitting the commissions in between other work so far, but Jan says that the demand is increasing.

While they cover the Merthyr area at present, they are in contact with other local authorities with a view to expanding their service to more areas.

Jan said: “I think it will get busier – it’s picking up as we speak. We both do other jobs alongside at the moment but would like it to become a full-time thing.

“A lot of people can’t get to a cemetery so that’s one reason we wanted to do it – to help – and we’ve had some lovely feedback, which is great.

“Some of the stones are unreadable when we start, but then are nice and bright when we finish.

“It can be quite time consuming, but it is deeply satisfying, and so worth it.”

To find out more about the services Jan and Emma provide you can contact them via their Facebook page.

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