Dorset’s Douch Family Funeral Directors was named family business of the year for ‘health and welfare’. It was also runner-up in the overall ‘family business of the year’ category for the south and south-west region.
The company that has seven branches in the county was presented with its award at a glittering ceremony in London.
It was praised for its deep engagement with staff, its commitment to providing the utmost care for client families, as well as making impactful contributions to the local community.
The awards are run by Family Business United (FBU), which exists to promote and celebrate family-run companies.
Douch Family Funeral Directors has been family owned and run since it was founded in 1910. It places a great emphasis on the family histories of all its branches – keeping the traditional names – and treats staff as family members.
Managing Director Nick Douch and Director Jonathan Stretch were at the ceremony held at the Royal College of Physicians to receive the award from John Kettner, a sponsor from Vantage Venues.
Nick said: “We are proud to be a family business and our fifth generation is now represented. It was particularly pleasing to win the health and welfare award because we place a great deal of emphasis on this area. Our clients are often elderly, deeply upset and in mourning so we have to be conscious of that and act and behave accordingly. And we also ensure we are mindful of the health and welfare of our staff because they are all part of the family and are our most important people.”
“The judges also acknowledged our dedication to ‘driving change’ and ‘investing in the future’. We were runners-up overall in the south and south-west region and this was a great achievement because of the quality of the other businesses shortlisted.”
Paul Andrews, founder of FBU, said: “Family businesses are the engine room of the UK economy and with six million family firms employing around 14 million people in all corners of the country they make a massive impact each and every day.”
“Incomes are generated, jobs provided and wealth created, but as one of the family members said to me: ‘That is just the tip of the iceberg. Family businesses care and want to be seen as doing the right thing, doing business the right way.’”