About our Principle Funeral Director Gemma O’Driscoll CertFP
Gemma is proud to be a 3rd generation Funeral Director. She was born into the profession and worked for her grandfather for a number of years. As a young child she carefully watched and learnt all the different aspects of the job and eventually as she got older she took a more active role, undertaking all the jobs within the funeral profession from washing cars through to arranging and conducting funerals.
While working for her grandfather, Gemma decided that she wanted more; to understand the profession, and so she joined SAIF (The trade association for Independent Funeral Directors) as an inspector of other Funeral Directors and she also became a tutor and assessor for the Funeral Directing college, IFDC. This was followed by being elected to become a member of the Executive of SAIF in 2012.
Being at the forefront of how funerals were developing and the changes that were taking place within society, with choice and transparency becoming so important, Gemma felt that there was a gap in Llanelli for a funeral director that was completely family focussed. For a funeral director who sees her role as a facilitator of the funeral that you want, not directed by his or her own views or how things ‘should’ be done. It was with this in mind that Gemma established
G. E. O’Driscoll & Daughters, Independent Funeral Directors in 2013.
Her strong Funeral Directing background saw Gemma achieve one of the highest accolades of the profession when she was asked to become President of SAIF in 2015-2016. This was always one of Gemma’s personal goals and to achieve it at only 34 years of age was a huge honour for her. She was, and remains, only the 3rd woman to hold this post, and the first funeral director in Wales.
During the year she represented the profession across the UK, visited 10 Downing Street, and raised almost £18,000 for two charities very close to her heart, Child Bereavement UK, and Epilepsy Action. She remains on the SAIF Executive, having been re-elected by her peers (Funeral directors from across the UK) for a 3 year term in March 2018.
Gemma recently starred in BBC documentary ‘A Very Welsh Undertaking’ which was a four part series dedicated to following Welsh Funeral Directors as they went about their daily tasks. Gemma has received many kind messages since the series aired and every time it gets re-aired on the BBC network.
Gemma has been interviewed on radio a number of times but achieved another personal highlight when she was interviewed (along with her children) for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour when they broadcast a programme dedicated to having a good death.
About G. E. O’Driscoll and Daughters
Having started the business in 2013 in Hendy, the village she has lived in for over 20 years, early 2018 saw a move to 67-69 Stepney Street, Llanelli, providing warm, comfortable and modern premises and a town centre location, conveniently opposite the Registrar’s office and easily accessible by public transport. The new premises are ideal for us to serve families requiring our services in Llanelli, Swansea and Surrounding Villages, but we are frequently called upon much further afield by families wishing to have a sensitive, open and modern approach to the funeral of their loved one, or simply those who wish to have a female funeral director.
As members of SAIF we operate under a strict Code of Practice and to the highest standards. We believe in openness and transparency and see our role as to facilitate the funeral that you would like, to enable you to say farewell in the most appropriate way for you.
As a small independent family-run business, we can completely tailor-make funerals to suit the wishes of the families we serve. We offer personal attention and support. From the first contact, through to the funeral and afterwards, our clients have the peace of mind of speaking to and seeing the same Funeral Director and staff.
We are able to offer the simplest of funerals to the most intricate; from traditional funerals to something a bit different; from horse-drawn and motorcycle & sidecar to Dove release and Bamboo coffin, the list is endless…
We consider ourselves to be modern funeral directors. We believe in the traditional values of care and personal service, but believe that modern families appreciate transparency, honesty and for each and every funeral to be personal.
We consider our role to be facilitators of the funeral that you and your loved ones want. It is not our policy to impose pressure or urgency on you or your family at the most difficult of times. We believe that it is important that a funeral reflects the personality of the deceased, and for a funeral to give the family a chance to say goodbye in the way that is right for them. Doing that can take a lot of time and thought, we are here to help you to achieve that, not to rush through the arrangements.
However when someone dies it can come as a great shock, even if the death was expected. And so we are here to help and advise 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Most importantly we believe in our mission statement “Because Family is Everything” and while your loved one is in our care, they will be treated as we would like our family members to be treated, and you personally, will be given the time, care and compassion that we would like to receive on the passing of our own family.