A New Year Message for 2021 from Trevor Hunnaball


At the start of 2021, if we are honest, we are all very happy to see the back of 2020. However, in many ways it feels rather like we've gone back to where we were in March. But there are some important differences, which give us reason to be both hopeful and optimistic in this New Year.

First, there is a vaccine. In fact, at the time of writing, there are three vaccines being rolled out. We sincerely hope that they will be available and effective for everyone, sooner rather than later. We simply want a safer and more normal way of life, together with the rest of the world, and it now seems like that might be in sight.

Second, as we enter this New Year, even with increased restrictions, we feel more prepared for what lies ahead. We know better what to expect, and many of the practices we've developed to keep our clients and colleagues safe in the last 9 months will continue to help. We continue to focus fully on keeping everyone safe from COVID-19; clients, colleagues, and partners.

We are more aware than ever that we have a fantastic team of dedicated, hard-working, and committed people working right across the business. From first responders to branch staff, from managers to operatives, and so many others, the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group is full of remarkable people. They continue to put in a huge effort, delivering the best possible care to the bereaved families that we serve. We could not be prouder or more thankful. We genuinely believe that they are best team in the area at what they do.

In 2021, when the current pandemic recedes, we're excited about what lies ahead. For example;

  • We are looking forward to welcoming clients back into our branches, and planning refurbishment where it is needed. We want every branch to be even more accessible and comfortable for families as they walk through the many challenges associated with the loss of a loved one.
  • We will engage, even more, with the local communities we serve through our branch network. We are encouraging our branch staff, many of whom live in the communities within which they work, to help us find ways to make a genuinely positive contribution to the lives of the people nearby, whatever their circumstances.
  • We want to help our truly amazing colleagues to make the very best of every opportunity in their workplace, and to improve the already excellent service they offer to our clients. We look forward, when restrictions ease, to using our dedicated training facility where they can gain additional qualifications to help them be even better at what they do.

More than anything, we miss being able to see the people we love whenever we want. This is true of both our family and our extended work family. So, we are looking forward to a much better 2021, where we can share brighter moments for everyone. As long as we care for each other, and keep safe, we're sure that we will achieve some great things in 2021 together!

Happy New Year!

Trevor Hunnaball,

on behalf of the Hunnaball family


Wishing you a peaceful Christmas

Our best wishes for a peaceful festive season...

We wish you a peaceful Christmas. As we come to the end of 2020, we find ourselves reflecting on all of the things that have happened in the last 12 months. It's been a year when everyone has faced real adversity. A year when the difficult challenges that come with grief have been added to, by the effects of COVID and the restrictions that have followed.

Yet as we look back, we can't help but feel incredibly thankful. Not only have we come through the trials of 2020, but we've made real, positive progress; personally, as a family, within our business, and as a part of the many communities we serve through our branches.

All of our teams have worked incredibly hard, adapting to changes, dealing with clients, and continuing to deliver the best possible support in the face of some of the most difficult times in our country's recent history.

We're so thankful and full of admiration for the people we work both with and for, and we have such a lot to be grateful for. We're more aware than ever that together we are stronger.

So, as we move into 2021, we're full of anticipation for a return to some form of normality and we want to assure everyone we work with of our continued hard work, professionalism, and commitment. Whatever this new year throws at us, we will continue to help and support our clients, their families, and the many people around them who are affected by grief and loss. We will always seek to focus on the positives, while overcoming the challenges. And we remain dedicated to the work we do, because we feel privileged to do it and deeply thankful to be given the opportunity to keep doing it.

Whatever happens in 2021, we will come through it together. Contact us if you need anything.

To all of our clients, colleagues, partners, and friends; we thank you for your continued trust, support, and help.

We wish you a peaceful, restful Christmas and a much brighter 2021.

Trevor, Melanie, Saul, Chris, Polly and the entire Hunnaball family and team.


I will light Candles this Christmas,
Candles of joy despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all the year long.

From “The Mood of Christmas…” by Howard Thurman - https://youtu.be/ceMcRIfkUSQ


Name a Star 2020

Name a Star 2020

If there is any time of year when we miss our loved ones most, it's Christmas. Therefore, our traditional Name a Star commemoration is still going ahead this December, despite COVID restrictions. There are, however, a few necessary changes to the way we usually do things.  

We understand how hard it can be for families and friends during the festive period. To offer a little extra support, each year, all of our branches put up specially dedicated Christmas Trees of Remembrance for 'Name a Star'. Then they invite clients, partners and friends, to dedicate a special star in memory of the person (or people) they miss most at Christmas, and hang the star on the tree as an act of memorial. In this way, during December, the Trees of Remembrance fill up with shining memories of the people we miss the most.  

Our Name a Star Trees of Remembrance are a beautiful Christmas tribute to our loved ones, and a reminder that, in the midst of the sparkle and fun, we continue to miss and remember the people we love.  

Ordinarily, people would be invited to pop into their local branch, say hello to the friendly staff, and personally dedicate a star to their loved ones. It's a great opportunity to see a friendly person who understands a little of what we feel and, for some people, has become an important annual ritual in the run up to Christmas... But, with COVID restrictions the way they are, popping anywhere has become a major risk and undertaking. 

Therefore, this year, we've made alternative arrangements. Since it's not possible to 'pop in', we are asking everyone who wishes to 'Name a Star' to call their local branch on the phone instead. Talk to a friendly staff member who will write a dedication on a star on your behalf. Then they will hang the star on the specially dedicated Tree of Remembrance. 

We know that this year's Name a Star will be very different. But we hope it will still be special (and that we will be able to go back to normal next year). We look forward to hearing from you soon and, whatever you do this year, hope you will have a blessed Christmas and a far better New Year. 

Please, call your local branch today and Name a Star. 


A New Witham Branch

A New Witham Branch

Our team in Witham has moved to a new location in the town. We are still here to help you with all your funeral needs, now from a new address with greater facilities. The new Chapel of Rest was dedicated recently by Rev Mark Ambrose. Polly Hunnaball and Saul Hunnaball were there to mark the occasion with the Witham team.

We are now based at the Old Bank House, 95 Newland Street, Witham, Essex CM8 1YZ. You can still reach us by telephone on 01376 511592 or by email at [email protected].


Light A Candle Service, 21st November 2020 - livestream

Special Livestream for 'Light a Candle': 11am, Saturday 21st November 2020

We are pleased to announce that we are holding a very special livestream 'Light a Candle' service, on Saturday 21st November 2020, at 11am. This is to replace the eleven treasured local 'Light a Candle' services, which, unfortunately, had to be cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 crisis and the first national lockdown this summer.

Our special livestream service will be hosted live at 11am on Saturday 21st November 2020 on our Facebook page @hunnaball and YouTube Channel at Hunnaball Family Funeral Group. After that, it will be available to view on YouTube. We've also provided an order of service, which you can download to follow along with us and join in. Light a Candle 2020 order of service

The Hunnaball family will meet together at St James the Great Church, Colchester, and, with the help of Father James McClusky, will hold the service and light candles on behalf of us all. We will light one candle for each of our eleven branches, symbolising the people that we have served both this year and in previous years too.

We invite as many of you, our clients, friends and colleagues, as possible, to join us on the day, from your home, watching on whatever device you might have, and light a candle too. Then, even though we might be separated by distance, we can be united in our purpose and memories. Everyone is invited to join in and commemorate their loved ones, whether their funeral was conducted by us, or by another funeral director. Please do feel very welcome.

Please find us on Facebook (@hunnaball), like our page and join us on Saturday 21st November 2020 at 11am. Or find us on YouTube (we are 'Hunnaball Family Funeral Group'), follow our channel, and join us at 11am, Saturday 21st November. The service will be available to watch afterwards on YouTube.

Together, we can light a candle against the darkness.


Hunnaball Family Funeral Group News November 2020

Please visit our new Hunnaball Family Funeral Group YouTube channel to catch up with our Autumn news highlights. Please click here: Hunnaball Family Funeral Group.

Here are some highlights:

Seasonal News

‘Light a Candle’ Service of Remembrance

We are pleased to confirm that we will hold our postponed Light a Candle Service of Remembrance in November this year. This will be a virtual service,  streamed live on our Facebook page and YouTube at 11am, Saturday 21st November 2020.  Our Facebook page is @hunnaball and on YouTube we are Hunnaball Family Funeral Group.

Christmas ‘Name a Star’ Trees of Remembrance

As usual, all of our branches will have a Christmas Tree, lit throughout December, with the stars shining brightly to remember loved ones.  We will send out stars to all of the families we have served over the last year.  Simply phone or email with the name you would like remembered, and your message, and we will place it on the tree for you.

Other news

Our Witham branch has been successfully relocated to new premises.  With vastly improved facilities, parking, and a more prominent position in the main street, we are looking forward to delivering the best quality of service for bereaved families in Witham and the surrounding villages.

Our new website was completed and went live in July, and has been very well received.   We are constantly updating it to add more helpful information for our clients.  We have tried to make it as simple as possible so people can access the services we offer. We understand that, often, they will be contacting us at a time of distress, and when clear, concise guidance will be most helpful.

If you need any further help or information, please feel free to contact your local Hunnaball branch:

  • Hunnaball of Colchester: York House, 41 Mersea Road, Colchester, CO2 7QT. Tel: 01206 760 049 Email: [email protected]
  • Hunnaball of Stanway 8 Chapel Road, Stanway, Colchester, CO3 0PU. Tel: 01206 489 212 Email: [email protected]
  • Hunnaball of Ipswich, Norwich Road Dove House, 291 Norwich Road, Ipswich, IP1 4BP. Tel: 01473 748808 [email protected]
  • Hunnaball of Norwich, Spring Road, 420 Spring Road, Ipswich, IP4 5NE. Tel: 01473 717464 Email: [email protected]
  • Hunnaball of Chelmsford, St John’s House, 91 Wood Street, Chelmsford, CM2 8BH. Tel: 01245 290909 Email: [email protected]
  • Hunnaball of Sudbury, New House, 62a North Street, Sudbury, CO10 1RE. Tel: 01787 313303 Email: [email protected]
  • Hunnaball of Witham, Old Bank House, 95 Newland Street, Witham, CM8 1YZ. Tel: 01376 511592 Email: [email protected]
  • Geo. Paskell of Manningtree, 19a High Street, Manningtree, CO11 1AG. Tel: 01206 396709 Email: [email protected]
  • J. K. May of West Mersea, Blackwater House, 51 High Street, West Mersea, CO5 8JE. Tel: 01206 382235 Email: [email protected]
  • Janet C. Davies of Braintree, Fern House, 72 Coggeshall Road, Braintree, CM7 9BY. Tel: 01376 339300 Email: [email protected]
  • Janet C. Davies of Kelvedon, Janet C. Davies of Kelvedon, 233 High Street, Kelvedon, CO5 9JD. Tel: 01376 573691 Email: [email protected]



2020 Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

Yet one more thing affected by the outbreak of Coronavirus is this year's Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Normally, at this time of year, we would be welcoming you into our branches to collect poppies and to make a donation in memory of members of the armed forces who have made such sacrifices and given such diligent service. Sadly, because of the constraints of social distancing, we are not able to handle money, collecting boxes or poppies this year.

However, we are still determined to honour those who have served us so well, so we have set up a special page for remembrance for this year's appeal. You can make a donation online and leave a message to remember a loved one if you follow the link here.

Melanie Hunnaball, Director of the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group, spoke about our disappointment that the British Legion Poppy Appeal has been so badly hit by the advent of the Coronavirus crisis. She said, “The British Legion does so much invaluable work with veterans and their families, and a huge number of our past and present clients have great emotional attachment to this cause. They are very keen to collect their poppy from us every year. However, due to social distancing measures, this year it simply isn’t possible.

“We ourselves will still be remembering all those who suffered and gave their lives to keep us safe. This will be reflected in the displays in our branch windows, and our people will be laying wreaths at local war memorials as a sign of our remembrance. We certainly will not forget, and will be encouraging others to mark the occasion and make a donation, albeit a little differently this year.”

The Hunnaball Family Funeral Group feels a deep affinity with the armed forces, having been present in the garrison town of Colchester for nearly three decades, employing a number of ex-service personnel, and having conducted many military funerals.

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them...”

from ‘For the Fallen’, by Laurence Binyon


The Hunnaball Staff Awards

During our annual staff party, Trevor Hunnaball, Chairman was pleased to present awards to the following:

  • Michael Lee – Long Service Award
  • Janet Davies – The Hunnaball Family Award for special contribution to Funeral Service
  • Joe Garwood – The John May Award for services to the Community and Charity Work.

Trevor commented on how proud the company was of all the staff and their commitment to Funeral Services. Everyone had an enjoyable evening at the Marks Tey Hotel in Colchester.


Shoe Box Appeal

The Shoebox Appeal that we supported in November at our Janet C Davies branch in Braintree have been gratefully received.

This year our boxes went to the Middle East and were enjoyed by many children there. This is an initiative that we have supported for many years and all donations can be taken into the branch at any time of the year. Please see the Samaritans Purse website for a list of suitable items to be included in the boxes.


Louise Carter, Community Funeral Director & Tim Farman, Area Manager from Janet C Davies of Braintree


Hunnaball of Colchester – Best Floral Display

Polly Hunnaball accepted an award at Colchester Town Hall on Wednesday 23rd September for ‘best floral display’ outside York House, Hunnaball of Colchester.

This is the second year running we have been awarded this.