Recognition of a Lifetime's contribution
We are delighted Clive Leverton has won the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Good Funeral Awards 2017. Levertons also won Most Eco-friendly Funeral Director Award this year. This award is primarly the result of commisioning the first all electric Eco-hearse in the UK, pioneered by Clive in 2013. Aged 73, having officially retired from Levertons nearly three years’ ago, he is still very much involved in supporting the firm but also the profession itself.
Starting at Levertons when he was just 16, Clive has dedicated his life to growing and innovating the family business with genuine care and passion. His wealth of experience and knowledge has proved invaluable to all that work with him. Working up to becoming a Director alongside brother Keith and father Ivor and uncle Chris, he has carried out many funerals throughout his career. In 1989, Ivor and Chris retired completely leaving Keith and Clive to modernise the business. In the same year SAIF was formed and Clive played a leading role as a founder member and Honorary Secretary. He even remembers carrying out 12 cremations in one day at Golders Green Crematorium when they used to be 3 chapels booked at half hour intervals with rota clergy available. In 1969 he left the firm and gained valuable experience in other fields which helped him and Levertons when he returned in 1975.
He has helped to provide support and stewardship to many of the Levertons staff that work with us today. His commitment and drive to be ethical and client focused in all that we do has given staff and colleagues someone to be inspired by. The longevity of staff staying at Levertons is in part testament to the leadership provided by Clive and now by his daughter Pippa and Keith’s son Andrew.
Perhaps most notably, although he would never draw attention to this, in 1997 Clive was instrumental in the funeral of Diana Princess of Wales and the responsibility that this brought with it. He and Keith were appointed to the Royal household in 1991, and have also carried out the funerals of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. Most importantly for Clive was that they could commit to their other clients and funerals on those significant days because of the support of colleagues in SAIF. The respect from those around him comes from knowing he treats everyone the same, whoever they are – with dignity.
Clive has represented all that is traditional and modern in the profession. His ability to go above and beyond his duty is very much reflected in his achievements. He is never afraid to something new and pioneered the very first all-electric hearse in the UK in 2013, taking two years to invest, design and develop a much needed Eco-friendly alternative to the traditional hearse. This contribution the profession has been recognised by the Awards given but most importantly by the bereaved who have come to use it. It has proved very popular with our clients and has gained much praise from those who use it. So much so, there is now a second hearse in use in the UK.
Clive has been instrumental in professionalising independent funeral directors. He is still Secretary to this day and volunteers his time to support other members and growth of this now over 800 member strong organisation. Not only did he help to establish and grow SAIF, he was also part of the creation of Golden Charter, now the biggest Independent Plan Provider in the UK. Clive won Planner of the Year in 2000.
He always manages to make time to volunteer for other organisations and charities. Most notably, he has been Chairman of the St Pancras Welfare Trust for 20 years, a local charity which provides grants to local residents in Camden with real need. He also is a member of the Worshipful Company of Upholders in London.
He is a man that gives. And he gives selflessly. To receive this Award provides the recognition he so deserves for his lifetime of contributions to the profession. In all the above he has been loyally encouraged by his wife Jean who was also a funeral director for 25 years running one of Levertons branches.
Find out about all of the winners this year: