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My career in funeralcare began when I decided that being a self-employed legal representative wasn’t for me. As an ex-Police Officer, I had experience with the deceased and I knew what to expect, so I applied for a Funeral Director position in the Newcastle area.  

If at first you don’t succeed… 

When I first applied for a position at Co-op, I was unsuccessful, and although I was told I gave a good interview, I was advised to consider some part-time roles to get my foot in the door. I was confident this was a business I wanted to get into, so that’s exactly what I did. I applied for a part-time Funeral Service Operative position and got the jobFrom my very first day, I knew this was the place I wanted to be.  

Giving back feels great 

The job satisfaction I get from helping families through some of the most difficult of times in the lives is second to none. I truly enjoyed my first role with Co-op, and I worked hard to show my dedication and commitment. I love to be challenged and I’m always striving to improve myself, so I knew I wanted to continue progressing. Eventually, a Funeral Director role came up and I decided to apply. I was successful, and that’s when my journey really began. I gained lots of new skills and experience, and the amazing team around me was always supportive. But I still wanted to keep climbing, and I told all the right people that I was here to stay.  

Reaching new heights 

After spending some time as a Funeral Director, I volunteered to fill in for a Senior Funeral Director role when another colleague was off sick, all so I could gain more experience and insight. I took every opportunity I could to learn, and when I felt ready for my next challenge, I applied for a more senior position. I kept this up until I climbed the ranks, and eventually, I reached where I am today. Now I’m working as a Regional Operations Manager in East Anglia, and I’m still in love with my job as much as when I first started.  

The secret to success 

I firmly believe that every day is a school day, and we all need to be willing to evolve and improveMy advice to anyone looking to progress, in this industry or another, is to put yourself out there, keep putting yourself out there, and keep expressing your desire to achieve and progress. Good things come to those who go out and work for it. 

Christine Heslop 

Regional Operations Manager 

Co-op Funeralcare