As we move into 2018, we’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the work we did last year here at Finders International.
As ever, 2017 was a busy year for the Finders International teams in London, Edinburgh and Dublin. Finders International’s 20th anniversary took place in December, and we experienced our 20th increase in turnover. Our business has grown steadily every year since we began!
We work extensively with solicitor firms, as probate genealogy deals with the estates of those who die without wills and no immediate next of kin.
For the public sector, we launched our deputyship development days. We held two events in 2017, and they were hugely successful. They are aimed at deputyship teams in the public sector, bringing together professionals in a setting where they can find out more from eachother, and experts in different fields.
The events are free, and they feature speakers on topics relevant to anyone who manages client finances. Finders International public sector development manager David Lockwood said staff often work in isolation in this area, and the deputyship development days give them a chance to come together and discuss common issues. The third development day will take place in York on Thursday 1st March at the Hilton Hotel.
We were also able to put our Finders International Funeral Fund to good use. We set up the fund to support local authorities. In recent years, the number of public health funerals (sometimes called ‘pauper funerals’) has increased, and councils have shouldered the burden of paying for many of these funerals. We will subsidise the costs of funerals if our investigations prove there are no relatives who can pay for it, rather than people who refuse to contribute.
Our free work included locating the families of two dead Leicestershire police officers, who were then able to attend a police memorial service especially for officers who have died in the line of duty. The relatives were invited to the ceremony in July and received a commemorative wristband honouring their fallen family member. Our MD, Danny Curran, was also invited and attended.
Sometimes, reunions are about ensuring relatives receive valuable parts of their family history. We reunited Royal Geographical books dating back to 1888 with their rightful owners, and we helped ex-solider Les Smith find the families of more than 371 forgotten Scottish servicemen who died in the Cyprus emergency conflict. Those families were the rightful beneficiaries of their relatives’ Elizabeth Cross medal.
We also donated to the Dania School, a Danish school in London for families that want a bilingual, multicultural education for their children, and for those who want their kids to experience an active, creative and individualised learning experience.
Finders International likes to promote its work, not only to publicise what we do but to raise awareness of probate research and heir hunting in general. To this end, we had our busiest year ever with interviews, articles, features, reports and more in the local and national media. Highlights included a full profile in City AM, an interview in Forbes magazine and an appearance on the BBC South East lunchtime news.
No doubt about it, 2017 was a fantastic year for Finders International, but we don’t want to rest there. In 2018, we plan to build on our successes, expanding the services we offer and the areas where we work. Here’s to another busy year!