An idea that started out as a way of celebrating the lives of people who have died has evolved into a business that has clients across the world.
Hugh Hastings and myself, Jonathan Haward are long-time friends and work colleagues, we both had lost brothers early in our lives – one through a flying accident and the other through terminal illness. Keen to share our memories and photos, we developed Friends and Relations – an internet-based service that allows people to upload their recollections and donate money to a relevant charity.
Like all good ideas, the original concept has blossomed remarkably over the years. In 2012, the growing company achieved a spectacular coup when our team came up with a proposal for the Jubilee Hour – an online book of Diamond Jubilee celebration that encouraged people to give sixty minutes of their time to help good causes. It was a huge success with a record-breaking number of volunteer hours pledged.
That remarkable achievement has spawned the production of online books for a wide variety of clients including charities, hospices, organisations, education providers and funeral directors – both in the UK and abroad. Our team are also involved in commemorations for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and, following our work with a number of animal charities, have launched another commemorative website called Dearest Pets.
We believe sharing all sorts of different memories is an important part of being human and the internet is a great way of doing that on a much wider scale than was possible in the past. From weddings and funerals to national events, our books provide lasting and treasured mementoes.