In two and a half very short years, Delanoy Funeral Services has cemented its place in the heart of East Durham’s community, changing the way funerals are conducted and giving people the send-off they want and deserve.
Their passion and commitment to families across the area was backed up when they won a prestigious regional enterprise award and were nominated for a community award run by one of the region’s biggest newspapers. Here owners John Delanoy and Julie Stout tell us more about the recognition and their plans for 2023…
You’d be hard pushed to have missed John Delanoy and Julie Stout, the business partners who, in August 2020, launched Delanoy Funeral Services. In a relatively short space of time, the duo have transformed the funeral industry and changed the way funerals are conducted. They’ve put individuals at the heart of everything they do, ensuring that people are given the send-off they want and deserve and families are able to say goodbye in a truly memorable and unique way. Their passion and desire to make the funeral process as easy and painless as possible has rightly earned them praise from families across the area. And they have also been nominated for two prestigious regional awards, one of which they went on to win, which is certainly testament to everything they’ve achieved since launching their partnership.
Julie said: “We genuinely love what we do and share a mutual commitment to giving people the send off they would want, whatever that may look like. “For us, it’s not about the money or the profile, it’s about giving people what they want and making what is a very upsetting process that bit easier for people. “But, being nominated for awards I suppose let’s us know we’re doing something right, and when those nominations come courtesy of the community, it really does mean a lot to us. It tells John and I that we really are making a difference and people appreciate what we’re doing.” 2022 saw John and Julie nominated for the Northern Echo’s ‘Public Service Award’ at the County Durham Together Awards. It’s the second year in a row Delanoy Funeral Services have been nominated – once again being the only funeral company to make the final three. Although they didn’t win, just being shortlisted in a category that is voted for by the public was a huge feather in their cap, backing up that everything they’ve achieved in the past two and a half years has made a real difference to families across East Durham.
That nomination was followed by a win, when Delanoy Funeral Services was named ‘Best Family Run Funeral Director Services’ at the Northern Enterprise Awards.
John added: “It means so much to us that people have taken the time to nominate us for these awards. Whether we win or not doesn’t matter, it’s enough that we’ve made such a positive impact that they’ve put our name forward. “The feedback we’ve had from the families we’ve supported has been fantastic and makes our job worthwhile. “Julie definitely takes a lot of the credit for this, she has been a real breath of fresh air to work with. “With her fresh ideas and my experience within my family’s business, we’ve been able to create a partnership which really does change our industry for the better.” It’s nearly three years since John Delanoy was introduced to marketing professional Julie Stout by a mutual friend who thought they’d work well together. While from very different backgrounds, John having been in his family’s funeral business since leaving school and Julie a respected entrepreneur running her own company, Just Out Marketing, the pair quickly realised they shared a lot of the same thoughts and ideas. And so, Delanoy Funeral Services was born. It’s fair to say they’ve never looked back. Now, approaching the three-year mark, what is the plan? Julie said: “It’s hard to believe it’s not even three years since we launched Delanoy Funeral Services. So much has happened in that time, including the move to new premises, investment in an expanded fleet of vehicles and the expansion of our team to five members of staff. “This year, it’s really about continuing to do what we do best – ensuring people and families get to say their final goodbyes in the best way possible, and doing whatever we can to make the grieving process easier for those left behind.”