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FUNERAL VENUE INVESTS IN LIVE STREAMING TO HELP GRIEVING FAMILIES

A South West funeral venue has engaged the services of a professional cameraman to provide live streaming services to grieving families during the national lockdown.


With current coronavirus restrictions meaning that only 30 people can attend a funeral in the UK, Bristol Memorial Woodlands in Alveston has introduced the live streaming service as part of their packages.

Having seen the devastating effect of people missing out on loved ones’ funerals during lockdown, owner of the woodlands Chris Baker enlisted the help of local specialist Steve Haines to provide professional streaming services.

Steve, from Bristol Projector Hire, now films, streams and provides DVDs and You Tube videos to anyone unable to attend an event at the venue.

Steve said: “When Chris approached me to help at the woodlands, live streaming wasn’t really anything I had ever done before. Since then I have streamed over 60 funerals and helped people be a part of what is often a very important and meaningful moment in their lives.

“I set up a camera on the balcony of the chapel at Memorial Woodlands meaning I capture the celebrant, the coffin and any speakers. I also set up another camera at the front of the chapel to capture the coffin coming in, guests arriving and people lighting candles.

“I use broadcast quality cameras and can switch between the front and rear cameras seamlessly. I can also create slide shows to celebrate the person’s life and broadcast it to those watching remotely and the guests in the chapel. It has become a very slick service and something both myself and everyone at the woodlands are very proud of.

“All music during the service is also transmitted, we even had a funeral last week where some family members played the viola and violin and others sang so that was lovely to capture.

“What is even better is that I also provide families with a DVD of the event so they can watch it back later or pass to anyone who wasn’t able to watch the live stream. I also upload it to a private video streaming site so people from all around the world can watch at any time, providing they have the link and password.

“This is without a doubt the most rewarding job I have ever done. To be able to help people in their time of need is just wonderful and the feedback we are receiving from grateful families is lovely. I’m moved by every funeral I attend and I truly hope it makes a difference to people in a very difficult time.”

Bristol Memorial Woodlands is a nature reserve which hosts funeral services and burials within 100-acres of woodland and meadows where trees and wild flowers are planted around the plots where loved ones are laid to rest. The area is managed by a charitable trust and will be open forever for future generations to visit.

Founder of the woodlands, Chris Baker, said: “We are delighted to be providing families with this service as part of our bespoke packages at Memorial Woodlands, and we’re pleased with the reception it is getting from our families

“In these difficult times, it is very important to us to do anything we can do to help people who have lost a loved one. The restrictions on funerals have been very hard on families but we are lucky in that we have the space to fulfil the 30-person limit, other venues are restricted even further because of social distancing rules.

“Steve has done an excellent job with the service he has put together for us. The quality of the streaming is extremely high and sound is crisp and clear meaning someone watching in New Zealand, feels like they are right there.”

The filming has an unlimited time period and families can choose an unlimited number of images to be played on a screen during the service.

For more information about events at Bristol Memorial Woodlands visit www.memorialwoodlands.com, call 01454 414999 or email admin@memorialwoodlands.com

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