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Making a change

During the pandemic, I left my job as a Maintenance Manager at a mobile home park and decided to volunteer as a family mentor, providing guidance and support to vulnerable families in the area. As a Dad of 9, the idea of helping other families get back on their feet was something that really appealed to me and volunteering made me realise that I wanted to change careers and do something more care focused.

Initially I got a job as a Funeral Service Operative with an independent home. After 20 years of working around building sites, I was unsure how a move into Funeralcare would go, but I really enjoy it, and it’s nice that my body isn’t aching at the end of every day!

I realised pretty quickly that I wanted to progress my career in Funeralcare so after around 17 months in the industry, I started to look for progression opportunities. I applied for a Funeral Director job at Co-op and although I didn’t have loads of experience, I had the qualities Co-op were looking for, so I was offered the role.

Being part of something meaningful 

I feel so lucky to have found a career that I love, and I feel well looked after and supported at Co-op.

Being part of the team that do their absolute best to provide the most special send offs means the world. I feel incredibly proud to be a part of my community and to be playing a role in helping families navigate some of the most difficult moments of their life.

Most people don’t realise that we hear a lot of laughter in these types of roles as families share their favourite stories of their loved one. It’s not a distressing or sad place to be – quite the opposite, it’s one of care and support.

If anyone has an inkling that they might like to work in the funeral sector, they should forget any preconceived notions and come and have a chat.


Steve Barbrooke

Funeral Director