Midlands funeral team stronger

MIDLANDS Co-op has strengthened its funeral team in Derby following the promotion of three members of staff and the appointment of a Funeral Services Manager. Four members of...

MIDLANDS Co-op has strengthened its funeral team in Derby following the promotion of three members of staff and the appointment of a Funeral Services Manager.

Four members of staff at Midlands Co-op Funeral Service on Normanton Road have been given the opportunity to progress their careers within the funeral profession.

Midlands Co-op is committed to staff training and has been awarded the Investors in People (IIP) standard, which highlights good practice in respect of staff training and development and is aimed at continually helping to improve the overall service.

Janet Wright joined the funeral service in 2004 and at the time she had no idea that she would become a trainee embalmer. Janet said: "I had moved from Lancashire to Derbyshire having studied media at college and was undecided about my future career. I decided to apply for the Funeral Services position and on the induction course we had to learn about all areas of the funeral service. Embalming was covered and I was mesmerised. I knew from that day on that embalming was the career for me.

"I&#039d always had an interest in pathology and anatomy but this confirmed that I definitely wanted to take my interests further. I&#039m now a student member of the British Institute of Embalmers and find the role extremely rewarding. I&#039m six months into a three-year course that, under the continual supervision of my tutor combines theory and practical assessments. I&#039m thoroughly enjoying the role and look forward to becoming a fully qualified embalmer."

Marc Davidson, Martin Tipping and Martin Woodwood have been promoted to Trainee Funeral Directors and are now studying for their Diploma in Funeral Directing.

Marc comes from a family of funeral directors and spent some time on work placement at the Normanton Road funeral home. He joined the funeral home full time in 2004 and is enjoying having more face-to-face contact with the families.

Martin Tipping is adamant that at the age of seven he knew he wanted to be a funeral director. He said: "As soon as I was old enough to get involved in the profession I started looking for a position and I began by helping with general duties at a Birmingham funeral home such as bearing. I later joined a Midlands Co-op funeral home in Birmingham 2001 before relocating with my family to Derby to join the Normanton Road home. I&#039m passionate about my role and get a great deal of satisfaction from supporting families at this difficult time. The training course is hard work but once complete I will have achieved my dream of being a fully qualified funeral director."

Martin Woodwood joined the team at Normanton Road in 2005 and it was his first position within the profession. Martin said: "I love the profession and have learnt a great deal over the last couple of years. The funeral services role focuses on the practical side of funeral arranging but now I&#039m looking forward to liaising with the families and supporting them through their grief."

Midlands Co-op Funeral Services&#039 Normanton Road funeral home is also a base for Brian Hill, who has been appointed as Funeral Services Manager. Supporting Jeff Foy, at Midlands Co-op&#039s 25 funeral homes across Staffordshire and Derbyshire, Brian provides support for all the funeral directors, ensures that the homes are maintaining excellent service standards and is constantly looking for ways to improve and develop the service further.

Brian said: "I&#039ve been a part of Midlands Co-op since 1995 when I joined as a Trainee Funeral Director. I still get asked to assist with funeral arranging but now my position is all about supporting our funeral directors and their teams, making sure that they have the resources they need to provide the very highest levels of service."

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