‘Evie made us feel like Everley was safe and looked after’

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A funeral director from Hampshire has won prestigious national recognition at the Mariposa Trust Awards held in London recently.

Evie Thomas-Broomfield is a funeral director with Richard Steel & Partners in Winchester, and was nominated by the family of baby Everley who Evie looked after. She won the Community Award at the event – a huge honour for the funeral profession as these awards presented by the bereavement charity are largely for the NHS.

“This was a proud moment for us all at Steels,” said a spokesperson, “as so often the work FDs do goes quietly under the radar in the public eye, so this is rare to see a funeral professional recognised alongside the NHS.”

Everley’s mum Rachel said this about Evie’s win:

“When we had to walk out of the hospital without our baby, my heart was so broken, but the worst part about it was leaving Everley at the hospital alone. Evie called me and told me as soon as she had her in their care.

“When she came to see us the next day she told me how she had put a little light near her and that she had put her near another baby so they could keep each other company. I felt so much better as I knew she was safe and being looked after.

“She helped us plan every part of Everley’s funeral. I found it really hard to think about any of it – you shouldn’t have to pick your baby’s coffin. Evie took care of it all and made all the things we wanted happen. Songs, flowers, order of service … everything.

“When Scarlett decided last minute she wanted to say goodbye to Everley, Evie dropped everything to make it happen. She set up colouring in another room so Scarlett could visit Everley’s basket to see her but also pop out and colour with Evie so it was no pressure, and Craig and I could spend some time with Everley on our own too. She ensured Scarlett could say goodbye in her own own way.

“Evie made us feel like Everley was safe and looked after. She made her funeral perfect and just how we wanted and she looked after us all, making sure my family had the chance to say goodbye in a beautiful way in really awful circumstances. Thank you Evie – I’m so pleased everyone knows how amazing you are and the impact your work can have on a family.”

More on the trust and the awards at www.sayinggoodbye.org/mariposa-awards-results-2024/