A former florist who swapped delivering flowers to her village funeral home to helping families say goodbye to their loved ones has spoken about how her passion for helping people led to the late career change.
Trained florist Julie Walker, who lived in Crick in Northamptonshire for much of her life, formerly delivered flowers to the Towers and Son Funeral Home in the village when she decided to apply to join the team and the profession 11 years ago.
She worked as a Funeral Administrator at Towers and Son, part of Central England Co-op Funeralcare, for much of that time, however the funeral of a local youngster inspired her to pursue her passion further and she is now Funeral Director for three local homes in the area.
The 54-year-old, who now lives in Rugby, explained: “I was working as a Funeral Administrator at Crick when an 11-year-old local boy died in a tragic incident and the funeral came to us. I knew the family so it was really important to me, and it came about that our Funeral Director at the time was to be on holiday when the ceremony was to be held so I said I would step in and conduct the funeral.
“It was the first ever funeral which I conducted, with 350 mourners, a guard of honour and just such an emotional occasion. But I was determined to do it and make sure the families wishes were completely met.
“I have been doing conducting since then and then last year the funeral director role at Crick came up and I applied. I was so happy to be offered the role and though it has had its challenges I feel I have finally found my calling.”
Julie is Funeral Director covering the Central England Co-op Funeral Homes in Crick, Broughton Astley and Burbage and is passionate about supporting families who have lost a loved one.
“I just love it,” she said. “What we do for our families, it’s not just a job it’s a vocation for me. All through my life I’ve been searching for this really – I always wanted a job to help people and to have a real purpose to what I do.
“With this role you know that you are there for a family at their worst time and you have to do all you can to ensure they can say goodbye to their loved one in the way they and their loved ones wish. That’s an honour and a privilege for me.
“It’s daunting for anyone arranging a funeral and I take great pride in being there to guide people through it. I have links to Crick obviously and know a lot of people there and I think it’s a comfort for them when they see me turn up as a friendly face.
“However, I am also proud to now be serving great communities in Broughton Astley and Burbage as well and look forward to continuing to being a part of those communities in the coming years.”
Central England Co-op Funeralcare has been providing help and guidance for local communities for over 30 years, so it understands that arranging a funeral can feel like a difficult and complicated experience.
The Society prides itself on being able to provide a comprehensive and personalised service.
Colleagues offer everything from a simple, unattended funeral, to a bespoke send off or a more elaborate service with a superior coffin and limousines. They can also talk to you about funeral plans.
They are also able to offer advice on floral tributes, monumental masonry, funeral stationery and probate.
For more information, whether you need help with a funeral plan or arrangement, call 01788 822349 for Crick, 01455 245945 for Broughton Astley and 01455 619840 for Burbage.