SPOTLIGHT ON...Bassetlaw celebrant Gillian Hinton
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Gillian worked in the NHS for 29 years before retiring in 2016, after which she set up a training business teaching practical clinical skills to individuals and groups of junior professionals and care staff.
She also did some freelance work as an examiner in practical skills for Sheffield University’s medical school via its clinical skills department, and undertook the annual teaching of the ‘Teach the Teacher’ course to junior doctors in Sheffield.
During a series of life changes and lockdowns, Gillian began to think about her life and some of the events that had taken place.
She wanted to be able to use her skill sets moving forward and knew she wanted to work at something meaningful.
Gillian said: “I have over time known family bereavements, two of which were particularly close to me. On both of those occasions, the funeral was not planned the way I would have liked it to be. I gave way to others and have regretted this ever since.
“I started to investigate ways I could become involved with the funeral industry and realised celebrants were one of the key components in a funeral service.
“I sourced training and spent 10 months working through an online course, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also realised I had many of the qualities that might make an empathetic celebrant. I passed the course, which is City and Guilds-accredited, with distinction and then became the newest Retford celebrant.”
Celebrants work with a family to plan and deliver personalised services for the event they are having. They cannot legally marry a couple, but can deliver a personalised service after they have been to a registrar. They can plan and deliver a naming ceremony for a child who is born or adopted into a family as an alternative to a christening.
Gillian said: “Funerals are where my heart lies, they are so special and emotive, I try to ensure a family is able to say goodbye in the way that is unique to them.
“A few days after the service I give a special presentation copy of the service to the bereaved family as a lasting memory.”
What are your top three tips for running a successful business in Bassetlaw?
Know your target customer base, Network, apply constructive feedback.
Who has inspired you the most and what is the best advice you have been given?
My daughter, plan ahead and sell yourself.
What makes Bassetlaw a good place to live and have a business in?
Born and bred in Bassetlaw, people are helpful and friendly, there is lots of advice around to make a small business successful. Council-run workshops are a big help.
What skill would you like to perfect?
I would like to be more disciplined with business administration.
What place, business or event in Bassetlaw would you bring back if you could?
I would like to see a more bustling market place in Worksop and Retford. Worksop needs a designated market place rather than spread like it is now. A good market encourages visitors to the town.
What three words best describe you?
Honest. Caring. Approachable.