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Helping others recover from grief: Xina Gooding-Broderick

A FRIENDLY FACE: Xina Gooding-Broderick

RESPECTED ENTREPRENEUR, PUBLIC speaker and certified grief recovery specialist Xina Gooding-Broderick speaks to The Voice about a national initiative that aims to ease the pain of bereavement.

Promoting a culture of open dialogue and a focus on healing, Gooding-Broderick meets grieving families from Leeds and West Yorkshire each day in her role as funeral director / owner of Hugh Gooding Funerals; which was started by her father.

Q: What is Dying Matters?

A: Dying Matters is a coalition of 32,000 members across England and Wales which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life.

Q: Who benefits from the work that you and your team do?

A: The more people know how to deal with end of life matters, the better. It removes the myth surrounding death and enables people to have a better end of life experience in terms of the health care they choose and how their families are able to celebrate them knowing it's what their loved one wanted.

In terms of what we do at the funeral parlour specifically, people from all over Leeds and the Yorkshire area (sometimes beyond) benefit from the work we do. We are warm, friendly professionals - experts in our field and we are here to help those in need. We're well known for tailoring funerals precisely to the needs of our clients.

Q: With your father being a prominent businessman providing the community with funeral services, how would you say he influenced or inspired you or your current projects, if at all?

A: The biggest influence has to be how my father was able to balance being friendly without being over-friendly and being professional without being frosty and detached. We can say from our customer feedback and our Google rating (higher than any other local funeral director) that we have that balance just right. We learned from the best, our father.

My father was a great advocate for becoming qualified in your chosen area of occupation. I was already a business graduate before I joined Hugh Gooding Funeral Services (as was my father before me) but I also have the National Association of Funeral Directors Diploma in Funeral Arranging & Administration. Again, this is a qualification my father had too.

My father was a great believer in becoming immersed in a vocation and I feel I've gained a lot from following his example.

Q: Xina, where can we look out for you in the near future?

A: When I'm not arranging or directing funerals, you can see me speaking at events.

I'm a passionate public speaker and my topics include end of life matters, death and grief recovery; as well as motivating people to live a fulfilling life - a life with no regrets. I speak at ‘Death Cafés’, churches and other faith groups, and local bereavement support groups.

For Dying Matters Week, I spoke at the big Leeds event at Leeds City Museum, on BBC Radio Leeds and then for a women's group in Sowerby Bridge a couple of days later.

I'll be chairing the Leeds Bereavement Forum Annual Conference, on 21 June this year – the theme will be ‘Living With Dying: Past, Present & Future’. All are welcome.

For more information on Dying Matters, click here.

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