Growing with you
Funerals, sports clubs and weddings in our cemeteries?
Thursday, 26 July 2018
Businesses that supply services associated with death are growing. The reason behind this is pretty simple – Australia has an ageing population, and year-by-year more people are dying. In the decades to come, Australia will see a very significant increase in the number of residents dying each year. That possibly sounds like something of a grim prediction but of course when we look at it purely as a statistic, it’s one that will drive change in the industry. In particular, an increase in the number of people dying will start to alter what cemeteries look like, as well as what they offer.
More than just numbers
At the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority we take pride in how we serve the families we deal with. We are always aware that recently bereaved people need special care and this isn’t something that can be rushed. Time taken helping people understand the choices open to them is an investment in trust and peace of mind. It is very important to us that our customers wind up happy with the decisions they have made and confident that, when all is said and done, they have ‘found their perfect place’ with our help.
Of course as the number of people we serve grows we must consider how to continue offering the same level of service that our customers currently enjoy. Providing this will demand more time, more staff…and more space.
Space for everything
So, we’ve ascertained that the amount of time we spend with each family won’t change – the time taken to provide respectful service is not something that can be reduced. This means that we will need more people to deal with more customers. In turn, we’ll also need more space so that a larger team of Memorial Consultants can work efficiently. As impressive as our current Visitor’s Centre is, we are going to need something bigger.
Far-sighted planning calls for all aspects of growth to be carefully considered and another demand that will increase in the near future will be for cremation. Our cremation facility at Enfield Memorial Park copes well with current demand but there is no doubt that the need for more cremations – and therefore more cremators – will come soon.
At the very least, what will be needed in the near future is a considerably larger service building housing offices for more Memorial Consultants as well as a larger cremation facility.
Timing, concepts and the need for versatility
How soon is soon enough? We can’t risk an interim period where service could suffer prior to the construction of a new facility at Enfield Memorial Park, so in order to be ready for the future, planning is already underway. Any significant investment in infrastructure must pay its way, as it were, and that’s where the conversation takes an interesting turn. Beyond cemetery business, just what could a new facility offer to the public?
Increasingly, part of the focus of our Memorial Parks is on providing community spaces that everyone can make use of. So perhaps the new building could feature a café or bistro? Maybe we could include a hall or function centre to host sporting clubs and events, possibly even weddings? Placed as it will be in a picturesque park setting, a new ‘multi-function centre’ at Enfield could offer a wide range of services and become a very active community hub.
It’s actually quite inspiring to consider a future where Enfield Memorial Park sees a constant stream of people arriving for reasons outside of normal cemetery needs – for coffee with friends, a sporting presentation, maybe a big birthday event, a school formal or a wedding reception. All pretty positive results for a project that was kicked off in response to more people dying!
(For further information feel free to visit the Reports, plans and policies area of this website and take a look at our Plans of Management for Enfield Memorial Park.)
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