In 2021, Amanda German, Tracey Norris and Pippa Adams launched whiteballoon, a free website providing information and inspiration for planning a funeral or celebration of life. We are very proud that whiteballoon is one of Royal Trinity Hospice’s 25 Local Business Heroes, and has pledged to support us through fundraising.

We took ten minutes out with the founders to learn more about the business and how it could help patients and families connected to Trinity.

Tell us a bit about whiteballoon and what the site offers

"whiteballoon is a free online resource for life’s end, providing information and resources to support and empower people at a very difficult and vulnerable time. It’s a gentle, uplifting space that brings everything you may need or hadn’t yet thought of together in one place.

Often after people have lost a loved one it’s very overwhelming and they don’t know where to start or who to turn to. It is hard even to think, let alone make important decisions and choices."

"We wanted to create a place where people could sit quietly, gather their thoughts, and find practical information and guidance; somewhere to discover ideas and inspiration for how to honour and celebrate their loved one’s life. It can really help to understand the options and think about what they would like before they go to the funeral director or speak to family and friends."

"whiteballoon also has links to bereavement support as well as a ‘Planning Ahead’ section which is a great framework for anyone that wants to think about how they’d like their own life to be celebrated."

Why did you set it up and where did the need come from?

"The idea for whiteballoon came from our own experiences and those of family and friends. After someone dies, there is so much to be done often in such a short amount of time. We wanted to make things a little easier and help people to feel more in control.

There are now far more choices around burial, cremation and how we celebrate a life. Many people aren’t aware of what is possible. A lot of people we were speaking to said, “I wish I’d done things differently. I didn’t even know there were other options.”

We hope that whiteballoon helps make talking about death, dying and funeral planning feel less uncomfortable and overwhelming. whiteballoon can be a gentle way to introduce these conversations to family and friends."

What areas of the website do people frequently visit?

"Finding the right readings, poems or music for a funeral can be hard and often causes a lot of worry. Our Inspiration section, with a carefully curated selection of poems, readings and music enables people to find and gather ideas. There are short audio clips, so you can even listen to the music to help you to choose.

We also have beautiful Inspiration pages for things like flowers, funeral stationery, or coffins and urns. We’re always adding to this section and it’s such a lovely place for people to look through and to discover something a little unusual or that feels just right for them.

People find our Checklists very useful too – having a tick list of what to do when someone dies or what to do when you’re planning a funeral helps to keep people on track at a time when they may be overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions."

What are some of the novel parts of the website unique to whiteballoon that are really useful?

"We have a free Planning Tools section, which includes a personalised Ideas Folder where people can add information and ‘heart’ images from our Inspiration pages. This can be printed out and shared with others involved in making arrangements.

There is also a Budget Planner which enables people to keep track of costs, and an Attendees List on which to record the names, emails addresses and other important information. Knowing how many mourners may be attending can help with things like catering, seating and logistics for live streaming."

What new information have you recently added?

"The information is always evolving and we’re constantly updating and improving it. Recent additions include providing more extensive content around eco-friendly funeral choices. We also have a new section about Health & Wellbeing, with ideas for taking care of yourself if you are grieving or looking after a loved one.

We are always striving to make whiteballoon the best resource it can possibly be and are constantly reviewing and updating the information."

Why did you become a Local Business Hero for Trinity?

"Trinity used to be my local hospice, a real hub of the community, and so it’s very close to my heart. It is such a beautiful and peaceful place and provides an amazing and much-needed service. When we were thinking about charities we wanted to support, Trinity was an obvious choice."

What would you say to a business not already involved in end of life care which is thinking about supporting Trinity?

"People often think hospices are fully funded by the government, but this isn’t the case. They need to supplement public funding through private and charitable sources. Hospices are such an essential part of any community. By supporting Trinity, you are helping them to keep the truly excellent palliative and end of life care they provide completely free. If you can support them in any way, then please do!"


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