The frontline of funeral care

Featured Support Work

Losing a loved one is a challenging test in life. The tireless and dedicated work of funeralcare workers can make the final farewell less daunting for families and friends. Veterans are ideal candidates to support people during the hardship of death.

Caring for a family after a loved one has passed away is an emotionally testing, yet rewarding, role. Working in the funeralcare industry can seem quite macabre on the surface, in reality, it is an industry enriched with respect, tradition, and care.

Skills and ethos that are prevalent within the Armed Forces.

SERVING

Having always aspired to work in funeralcare, it was advice to “go get some life experience,” that spurre Michael McCready to join the British Army. “It turned me from boy to a man and instilled everything I needed to be good in the role I’m in just now. I still have the Military head,” enthuses Michael, who is an estate planning lead with Co-op Funeralcare. “It really did give me the basics of being successful in the Co-op.”

“I have been completely indoctrinated and the Army is a different way of life,” explains Mark McGuffog who served for 30 years in the Royal Logistics Corps, experiencing tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Bosnia.

Transitioning back to civvy street to spend more time with family, Mark found the services provided by the Armed Forces beneficial for getting into employment.

However, it was the role within Co-op Funeralcare that appealed to Mark.

“When it came to the funeralcare role, it was the job description for me. It sounded very much like everything I had been doing in the Army and on paper it looked like a really good move,” he adds. Now working as a senior care logistic manager, the organisational and management skills Mark developed in the Army put him in good stead for employment on civvy street.

EMPLOYMENT

Dedicated to delivering a caring, compassionate service, the skills you obtained and developed within the Armed Forces are well matched for working in the sector of funeralcare.

 

Mark continues: “The Army talk about it in their resettlement process: transferable skills. This is something that people don’t actually realise they have. We naturally make decisions, planning, managing situations; all of this makes veterans really employable. Plus, we are massively adaptable at getting things done, which will set people apart and make them stand out to do really, really well.”

For Michael, alongside skills obtained during his time serving, a passion for funeralcare fuelled his determination to succeed in the industry.

Having worked as a driver and in security, it was attending an awareness course with the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) that propelled Michael’s career further.

“It has been a trade and a business for a long time where it has appealed to older people, being 23 when I started, I really struggled to get in because they want life experience and people who have experienced a bereavement to understand the importance of funerals. I believe that certificate along with serving in the Military helped me: coming in like a shiny new penny and standing out,” explains Michael.

Actively hiring ex-service personnel, Co-op Funeralcare is proud of veterans and their determination, respect, drive, and attributes that make them the ideal candidates for any role in the business.

From ceremonial drivers, estate planning leads, to senior care logistic managers, there are jobs in all areas of the sector.

“The guys will be used to operating in a professional environment and it is no different in funeralcare. You can come in at  any level, too,” adds Mark. “We have people doing the driver roles, people like myself coming in as senior managers – I think, no matter where in the business you are coming into you will fit right in”

PROGRESSION

Although Michael got involved with a course from the NAFD, the training and on-the-job education and experience provided by Co-op Funeralcare will see you in a good position to progress in the company. Michael explains: “A lot of the training comes from your colleagues and the camaraderie: it is fantastic in here and it reflects what it is like in the Military. We’ve all got each other’s backs.”

Alongside career progression, employees who are serving in the Territorial Army (TA) will be supported during any time required off work. The Co-op, as an entire company, is committed to providing reservists reasonable time off work to attend training; paying the difference between your normal wages and reservist pay during Annual Camp; and much more.

ENCOURAGEMENT

Mark emphasises that working with Co-op Funeralcare is not unlike your time in the Armed Forces – meaning you are sure to strive in the environment.

“The progression of a funeral from the initial contact from a client, all the different components, it requires workers who all pull together in the same direction to deliver the best quality funeral they can,” adds Mark. “Really, that is what we do as an Army, be it in a section, a platoon: we all try to achieve the same mission.”

The welcoming nature of Co-op Funeralcare, alongside the prospect to advance in your career, utilise your skillset from the Armed Forces, and help families during one of the most challenging times: working in this sector encompasses the respect and initiative that you as a veteran can provide.

“I’ve never had so much job satisfaction in my whole life; it really touches me and it is great. And it would be great for any veteran,” concludes Michael enthusiastically.

FIND OUT MORE

To find out more about roles with Co-op Funeralcare visit, jobs.coop.co.uk

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