Tuesday, June 13, 2017 : A Golden Chance with Butterfields
Shawn’s work for the Royal British Legion has been recognised once more in the April 2017 issue of The Royal British Legion.
The National Chairman, Terry Whittles began with a paragraph in his foreword as follows;
WHAT INCREDIBLE MEMBERS WE HAVE
Members of the Royal British Legion command my respect, but my admiration for those featured in this special ‘Brilliant Branches’ edition is boundless. Here are stories of members who have gone the extra mile. Some of them have simply asked a question of their employer that resulted in substantial donations, others asked a similar question of an influential member of their community.
And how can we begin to express our thanks to Shawn Peel from a small branch in West Yorkshire, whose brainwave last year could literally result in six-figure donations to the Legion every single year?
There is then a complete article on page 40 of the magazine;
One member’s bright idea could generate astonishing annual six-figure donations for the Legion
Golden Charter is the UK’s largest funeral plan provider, working in tandem with local, often family-run funeral businesses. One of these is David Butterfield Independent Funeral Directors in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire. It’s run by Shawn Peel, a member of the nearby Spenborough Branch, who works closely with Golden Charter-and whose brainwave last year has already generated significant donations for the Legion, not just in the county but across the UK; and not just at Rememberancetide but throughout the year.
“My father-in-law set our business up in 1987” explains Shawn. “I’d always enjoyed helping him in my spare time, so when he asked me to join the business, I jumped at the chance. I’m ex-RAF-I worked in air photographic intelligence, which included tours in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, and had been involved in imagery production for the first Gulf War- but because of the nature of the business, I hesitated to join my local branch of the Legion, even though I wanted to get involved. But then ~~I carried out a funeral of a local lady whose husband is a member of the Spenborough Branch, he invited me to attend a meeting and I’ve been going ever since.”
“When we got together, the other members did pull my leg a bit about my line of work, but then, they also pulled it about coming from the ‘junior service’! I help with the poppy collections, taking the tins out and bringing them in.”
“I was aware that many years ago, Golden Charter had an arrangement with an age charity- if anyone took one of their plans, they made a contribution to the charity. So I started to think it would be a really good idea for Golden Charter, as a business, to get involved with the legion.”
“I’m very positive about pre-paid funeral plans; I think they are a sensible choice. Funeral costs are rising, so guaranteeing the cost of the funeral director’s services included in the plan at 2017 prices makes a lot of finabcial sense-especially if there’s a good chance you’ll be living to 2027, 2037 or whatever. I felt that if Legion supporters could save money and make a donation to a cause close to their heart, then it would be a win-win situation.”
“My first step was to approach Malcom Flanders, Director of Sales at Golden Charter, and tell him my idea. Luckily, he had the the vision to see how beneficial to all parties this could be; he deserves a lot of credit for that. He wanted me to run with it, since it had been my idea, and we both ended up at Haigh House in London, presenting the idea to the Head of Corporate Partnerships”
“After that, I had to take a step back, because I’m a business man and had too many commitments of my own to worry about. But from day one, the Legion commercial team were clearly interested and after due-diligence and much to-ing and fro-ing, the scheme launched in September last year. And less than three months later, I was told it had already raised about £80,000 for the Legion-incredible!”
“It’s been a wonderful start. I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve with this; it means an awful lot to me. And I hope it reflects well on Spenborough Branch that one of its members came up with what looks like being a very beneficial idea. Certainly if there’s a member reading this, thinking about their business and what they could do, I’d say to go ahead and explore their idea, and not be frightened of it.”