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All-female funeral team a first for Funeral Partners

As International Women’s Day on 8 March celebrates women’s achievements, Funeral Partners is proud to present its first all-female funeral team.

Funeral Partners is committed to providing families with choices about the funeral they want for their loved one and, in the South-West of England, it can now offer an all-female funeral team.

For families in Devon, this is something unique which few funeral businesses can provide and is certainly testament to Funeral Partners’ long-standing commitment to inclusivity and modernisation. The funeral profession has significantly changed over the years with many females seeking a career and qualifications in the industry.

Sandra Murphy, Area Development Manager for the South-West, said: “In a traditionally male-dominated industry, I am proud to be able to promote my Devon area team and the service we can provide.

“Our investment in training ensures all our team members are flexible within their roles and multi-skilled as they learn many elements of their colleagues’ specific job responsibilities. This enables us to provide a bespoke support network and team from first point of contact with a family, through bringing a loved one into our care, arranging and carrying out the funeral and beyond.”

Sandra stresses that Funeral Partners seeks to recruit the right person for any role, regardless of gender, race, background and age. She is delighted to see so many women now attracted to and thriving within Funeral Partners and believes it is representative of the way the industry is changing.

Sandra has four children, one working as part of her team, and six grandchildren. She loves working with and supporting the community, including completing daring fundraising feats including sky diving, abseiling and, most recently, wing walking.

Sarah Lockton, Funeral Director for Torbay & District enjoys the opportunity to work within an all-female team. “It is exciting and an extremely valuable asset to Funeral Partners,” she said. “To be able to offer families, should they wish, for an all-women team to look after their loved ones, is a great option.  

“We all get on famously and recognise the importance of offering exceptional service and standards to all clients. We offer flair and style to any type of service our families request and will go above and beyond to ensure their requirements are undertaken with passion and the greatest respect.”

Kathryn Ross, Funeral Arranger/Embalmer for the South-West has worked hard to gain qualifications since her teenage years and, as well as an Honours degree, is proud to be a Member of the British Institute of Embalmers (MBIE) and Affiliate Member of the Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology.

She added: “Being able to offer an exclusively female team is a gift, particularly in those sensitive cases where women may be seen to have a gentler disposition or if the family would prefer a female presence.”

Steph Womersley, Funeral Service Operative for the South-West moved from the care industry and is passionate about her role: “Caring for people through funerals is so important to me. The deceased person deserves the same dignity and respect as they had when they were alive. I love working with Funeral Partners because I get to give people that care and attention before we send them off on their last journey.”

Jenny Brennand, Funeral Director for Maunders of Paignton, has been in the profession for 37 years. When she undertook the NAFD Diploma in Funeral Directing, she achieved the highest mark in the Yorkshire area and was the first female in Sheffield to gain the qualification.

Amanda James, Office Manager for the South-West, has worked for Funeral Partners for nearly six years and is currently close to completing a Diploma in Leadership and Management.

Jade Cross, Funeral Arranger for Maunders of Paignton, was a full-time mum to her three children and felt the funeral industry would allow her to transfer her skills and care to others.

Funeral Partners celebrates the achievements of these women within the South-West team and others in the funeral profession. They are grateful for the support from all their colleagues and are proud to be part of the Funeral Partners family and the communities they serve.

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