Neville Funerals, has introduced new professional standards for its Driver Bearer team, investing over £17,000 for every staff member to undertake a new Frontline Funeral Service Operations Training programme, launched by professional funeral association the NAFD, and is designed and delivered in conjunction with the North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
Charmian Alexander, Director at Neville Funerals, explains: “The majority of our funeral teams have very distinct qualifications to aim for, that naturally provide a clear career path of promotion to Funeral Director, Branch Manager and beyond.
“Driver Bearers are an integral part of the team, often our frontline operatives are the first point of contact with families, working incredibly hard, and often behind the scenes, so wider industry recognition of all that they do is very welcome. Access to accredited training and ongoing professional development is a real focus for us and formal programmes and qualifications offer a major contribution.
“The course will be fully funded by us and we will appoint work-based mentors to assist each team member, alongside support for written assignments and work-based evidence pieces. Training can be completed over 6 months and at either work or home for the greatest flexibility.
“With the introduction of this new training programme, we hope to add appreciation and recognition of their role and then to open up new routes to further progression and promotion. These are valued and valuable team members and we were delighted to introduce the programme as soon as it became available.”
Driver Bearers, amongst other duties, bring the deceased from the family home, hospice or hospital into our care at the funeral home and respectfully dress and rest people in their coffins and then on the day of the funeral service drive the ceremonial vehicles and bear the coffins at places of worship, cemeteries or crematoriums.
Neville Funerals has gone a step further in opening up opportunities for the Driver Bearer team – with the appointment of more female operatives and offering flexible part-time roles.
Shantelle Racca is a part-time Driver Bearer: “Having the opportunity to take part in an accredited course shows the trust and faith Neville Funerals have in us. By putting in time and investment we will be able to provide the best services to the community and continue our development in the profession.
“Our job is very people facing, looking after people’s loved ones and preparing them for their next journey. We help people come to terms with their loss and reassure them everything will be taken care of with the utmost respect, it’s very rewarding.”