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Guest Blog: How would your business cope with the sudden loss of an employee?
This month I have a guest article from Angela Tyler of the ELY Memorial Fund that was set up after her daughter died in a car crash.

Angela now gives talks to employers highlighting what policies and procedures should be considered for such emergencies to help employees who may find themselves in such a devastating situation of the sudden loss of a family member and the businesses who may then be without that key employee for months as they come to terms with their loss. For more information about this and the fundraising she undertakes to help the training of young drivers and families in this situation read on:

The statistics from BRAKE(a) the road safety charity states that young drivers (17-24 years old) are at a much higher risk of crashing than older drivers. Drivers aged 17-19 only make up 1.5% of UK licence holders, but are involved in 9% of fatal and serious crashes where they are a driver.

My daughter Emma Louise Young became one of these statistics at the tender age of 23 years old. On the 30th September 2010 my only beautiful child died from her fatal injuries at 10.06p.m. From that night our lives were thrown into chaos. I describe this time, as someone throwing a grenade into our home everything was destroyed in a matter of seconds when the Police knocked at our door at 11.40 pm telling us that Emma had been killed in a car crash.

The ripple effect of a road traffic crash destroys families, affects employment, affects health and well-being and can cause financial difficulties. Emma at 23, had no Will or Life Insurance to protect her. In legal terms, Emma died Intestate with no life insurance to cover an unexpected death. This left us to fund her funeral and having to go to Probate to be entitled to the little estate she had.

In our economic climate, there are many families that do not have sufficient savings for any emergency. Funding a basic funeral today is approximately £4,078(b). Our daughter’s funeral was just under £5,000. Some funeral directors seek disbursement monies when you have your first appointment to arrange your loved ones’ funeral. We didn’t have sufficient funds and without financial support from my Mum, I truly do not know how we would have paid the funeral costs.

The ELY Memorial Fund(c) was founded for this sole purpose of providing a one-off payment of up to £3,000 towards funeral costs should a family who reside in Herefordshire lose a son or daughter aged between 17 to 25 years from a road traffic crash. The Charity does not want any families in Herefordshire to financially struggle through such devastating circumstances.

Over the last 3 years, I have become involved with the H&W Fire & Rescue Services and the Hereford Police to raise the awareness of the dangers of our roads, particularly, the younger age group of Herefordshire. Every September an Initiative called “Dying2Drive”(d) is delivered to over 1700 students throughout Herefordshire. Over the two weeks, we hold 5 workshops (am & pm) highlighting the dangers of driving. After each am/pm session myself and a Family Liaison Officer, concludes with “The Journey” in other words the Impact of the knock at the door and as parents the initial 48 hours of losing Emma in her car crash.

What benefit could ELY offer your Company?
The loss of my daughter had a huge impact on my employer in terms of team management, health and wellbeing (duty of care) and financial support. One day I was in work and the next day I didn’t arrive and didn’t return for 10 months. The immediate removal of one employee? Would this cause day to day running difficult? I know it caused difficulty for my employer and after 3 years in and out of work due to mental wellbeing, stress and anxiety I was made redundant. My talks to employers highlights what policies and procedures should be considered for such emergencies.

Support from your Company Employees
To be sustainable our Charity continually organises fundraising events to keep our funds available for families. We never know when our funds are needed, but since we were founded in August 2012 we have now helped 5 families. Any amount of donation helps our objectives. We are looking to set up a scheme whereby employees donate a small sum from their wages every month to help with funding for the ELY Memorial Fund.

If you’re an employer/employee and would like more information on our scheme to help our Charity, please contact Angela Tyler, Charity Manager via email: hugs4u@ely-memorial-fund.org.uk or call the Charity Officer on 01432 359152.
Footnote:
(a)http://www.brake.org.uk/too-young-to-die/15-facts-a-resources/facts/488-young-drivers-the-hard-facts
(b) https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/how-much-does-a-funeral-cost
(c) The ELY Memorial Fund Registered Charity No 1148535
(d) http://www.hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/road-safety/dying-2-drive
Posted on 14 Feb 2018


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