The Training Course

This is an online course which you can take at your own pace.

The course will give you all the tools you need to set up and run your own business as a Funeral Celebrant/Advocate.

The four modules are celebrancy, advocacy, business planning and marketing. Each module includes training by Lara and Sam. You will complete practical assignments which mirror the work you will be doing, so every task will help you in your business. We provide additional resources which will support you to deliver your service.

We offer remote coaching and support throughout your course, so you will never need to feel like you are on your own.

Once you successfully complete your training you will be entitled to become a ‘Fellow’, a member of the Yew Fellowship, with ongoing training and support. Your services will be publicised through our directory.

Course Overview

Module One : Celebrancy

This first core module will provide trainees with everything they need to prepare and deliver unique funeral ceremonies for their clients. We will walk you through every step, from booking the first visit, to meeting your client and using creative writing skills to draft the ceremony. 

This module includes tools to help you prepare for and deliver the funeral ceremony. You will also gain an understanding about how to prepare additional elements that will add a special touch.

Module Two: Advocacy

In this module we discuss the psychological, emotional, social and practical impact of a death on those left behind. We look at the culture and history of funerals and how that impacts the grieving process.

The topics in this section of the course are tailored to English speaking families living overseas and reflect their specific needs. You will finish this module with all of the tools and skills needed to support the recently bereaved in the first day, weeks and months following a death.

Module Three: Business Support

The business module provides you with all the tools you need to prepare your business plan; understanding your Why, What and Who. We’ll help you to think about funding and finance and how to keep your business safe and legal.

In addition, we share some coaching and personal motivation techniques which can support you with your personal and business development.

Module Four: Marketing

This module has been designed to help your clients find you quickly and easily when they need you most. 

Using interviews, and up-to-date marketing methods provided by experts in the field you will complete this module with the ability to communicate effectively with your target audience. You will be able to confidently use both traditional, and contemporary marketing strategies, including relationship management, social and print media.

Is this course for you?

Great companies start because the founders want to change the world, not because they want to make a fast buck” Guy Kawasaki

This was why we started the Fellowship – it needed to be more than a business. It needed to mean and do something good in the world.

 If this sounds like you, If you want a business that thrives by helping others. If you are a great communicator, able to handle difficult things with grace. If you are kind and empathic. Then this could be for you.

If you are organised and efficient, good with people and comfortable in your adopted language.  If you have a little time to dedicate to your business every week and like to be flexible about when you work. If you are looking for a new challenge, something that will stretch you. Then this could be for you.

If anyone has ever said to you, “I feel like I can tell you anything”, or, “I have never told anyone that before”. Then this could be for you. 

So could it be for you? Why not contact us for a free assessment to see if you could turn your compassion into a thriving local business.


Is there an intake requirement?

Yes. Every candidate is assessed for their suitability. We don’t want to set anyone up to fail. But most importantly to us (and I suspect, to anyone who understands our values), we want to be able to guarantee the quality of those Advocates who have been trained by us and operate their businesses under the Yew Fellowship banner. 

This quality assurance is continued throughout your time with us and we continue to assess and celebrate your growth. Knowing that we select Fellows carefully, gives everyone confidence in the quality of our services. 

If you want to have an informal chat with us about whether you should move forward with us we would be really happy to help. 

More questions?

No problem. Head over to our FAQs page or contact us directly.

Your instructors

Lara Norris


Lara has had a varied career in both the voluntary, political and business sectors. Lara has trained thousands of people. Undergraduate Psychology students, NHS research staff, community champions, junior politicians and volunteers working with families and the environment. She is passionate about high quality training but likes to do it with a bit of humour thrown in. And for her jokes, she humbly apologises.


Subject specialist 

James specialises in marketing consultancy and creative project solutions including; audio, video and editorial content for businesses and social media strategy.


Subject specialist 

Amy has led on communications for a number of UK Members of Parliament and organisations for over ten years. 

In her various roles, she has built strong networks of journalists and has appeared on local and national television and radio.

She is currently Senior External Affairs Manager at the London Legacy Development Corporation, the regeneration agency responsible for the Olympic Park, engaging with politicians and media about the regenerative efforts the organisation brings to London.


Subject specialist 

Anglophile Valerie has 20 years experience of assisting English speakers in all aspects of French life, helping newcomers orientate to the French way of thinking, working and living.She has supported hundreds of English Speaking people set up in business abroad. 

Always professional she is never afraid to fight your corner if needed.

Sam Edmundson


Sam has over 20 years’ experience in the public and charity sectors, working in a wide range of people-focussed roles. She has managed, trained and supported large numbers of staff and volunteers and has overseen the delivery of high quality support services to vulnerable people. A fun, heart-centred and empathic professional, Sam delivers her role with warmth and compassion.


Subject specialist 

Holly is a voice actress with a background in marketing. She’s passionate about creating fun content and has her own Youtube channel for ambient soundscapes.


Subject specialist 

Jamie works in communications for a project working with farmers across England to improve the environment.  He previously worked as a campaign organiser for a political party.


Subject specialist 

Emily has worked in the funeral industry from the age of 19 and has been in the industry for over 15 years. 

Holding various positions throughout her career from Funeral Arranger to Funeral Director and Area Manager she has experienced first-hand all elements of the funeral profession. She has a wealth of experience as well as a Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration and the Diploma in Funeral Directing. She is a qualified tutor for the National Association of Funeral Directors and a member of the British Institute of Funeral Directors.