Female Funeral Directors on the increase

Laura Martin

Rosedale Funeral Home has welcomed another female to their team. Laura Martin, 24, has joined us at our Attleborough and Wymondham branches.

Laura has already been working full-time in the industry for eight years and was once one of the youngest in the country, gaining her qualifications at the earliest possible age of 18. Rosedale’s own Company Director, Anne Beckett-Allen also started in the profession at the same age.

More women are becoming funeral directors but it remains relatively uncommon. However, Laura finds that some people relate better to a female professional.

“Traditionally a man would always be a funeral director,” she says. “Going back in history, very often the local carpenter would also carry out the role. Times are changing in the profession. There are still families that would prefer a man to handle funeral arrangements and that’s fine but many are happy for a woman to do it. I find I relate particularly well with younger families who may never have gone through the process before.”

Anne Beckett-Allen added: “When a female family member dies, it is not uncommon for her family to ask for a female funeral director to care for them and prepare them for the Chapel of Rest. That is something I consider a real privilege to be able to fulfil.”

Laura says there is a huge sense of satisfaction in her job. “There is only one chance to get it right, but to do that means a great deal to the family and also to us as the people arranging and conducting it. You treat every family as if it were somebody you were looking after that is close to you.”

“When I tell people what I do for a living you get one of two reactions. They will either ask loads of questions, like how, why and what’s involved, or they’ll say ‘I don’t know how you do that’ and it’s the end of the conversation.”

Rosedale Funeral Home is holding an Open Day at their Attleborough branch on Wednesday 16th March when there will be a chance to meet Laura and the rest of the team. She hopes it will help break down some of the fear associated with talking about death.

“If people are more willing to talk about it, such as their requests and types of music, then when a death does occur they know exactly what that person would have wanted. It just makes the arrangement a little easier for them.”