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Appointments Support Legacy at Yorkshire Family Business

Benjamin Buckley and Stephen Leiby of Mindful Memorials

Mindful Memorials, the fourth-generation monumental masonry business in York, has appointed Benjamin Buckley as Design Apprentice and Stephen Leiby as Monument Fitter, supporting the future legacy of the family company.

Following in the footsteps of their Great Great Grandfather, Henry Rotherham, the first Master Stonemason within the family, the men will become the fifth generation to work in the industry and to continue championing the craft.

Having completed his A Levels in Art, Photography and Biology, Benjamin will use the transferable skills he has learnt to support with fronted website design, new product development, marketing and creating 3D assets for the website, as well as new design tools.

Benjamin, comments: “As the fourth generation to work for the family business and the fifth to be involved with stone masonry, I have grown-up learning about the company and the products that we design and produce. There’s a lot more to it than people would imagine.

“Through this position as a Design Apprentice, I have a clear progression path to follow, which gives me variety and the opportunity to develop my skills. It’s important to me that I continue the family legacy and that the values we have, such as quality and the compassionate approach we take, are retained.”

Benjamin will work alongside the wider team that include Master Stonemasons, some that have more than 40 years of experience and were trained by his great-grandfather.

Previously working as a Factory Operative at Yara, the fertiliser company, Stephen joins the business as a Fitter. His role will involve travelling to each of the locations before installing memorials, plaques and monoliths.

Ensuring the memorials are correctly installed, Stephen will take on responsibility for the location, secure fixing and governance of each stone, double-checking that they have been fitted in accordance with the cemetery requirements and that all necessary coding is incorporated.

Stephen comments: “When I saw the role advertised, I thought it would be something different and would allow me to carry on the family tradition of working in this sector. It’s perhaps not what everyone would want to do, but I am grateful to be helping others in difficult times of their lives.

“There is a lot more to this job than people may realise, not least ensuring the stones are correctly installed and that they meet with all of the necessary guidelines. It’s so important we get it right, after all, it’s a big responsibility to be the final part of this journey and we take it very seriously.”

Director of Mindful Memorials, Anna Buckley, comments: “We are so pleased to announce that Benjamin and Stephen have joined the team. It means a great deal to us that they have chosen to join the family business and to retain the legacy that we have built over generations.

“There was never any pressure on either of them, however seeing their passion for what we do and the compassionate approach that we take, it’s going to be really interesting to see where their thoughts and ideas about the business take us.”

Mindful Memorials provides an holistic service to monumental masonry, providing families with the time that they need to reflect and create a meaningful memorial that will serve as a lasting reminder of their loved one.

In addition, the business offers Mindful Retreats, with two Airbnb properties available to rent on the 200-acre family farm, giving customers more space and time to reflect and process their grief.