Spotlight on our Rising Stars Competition Winners 2020

Amy JollyAmy Jolly – Winner of the North category

Doncaster Municipal Funerals

“Amy was open, warm and articulate. Her complete career change was so refreshing to hear despite being tinged with sadness due to losing her mum. Despite some obstacles that Amy has faced, such as childcare during the pandemic, she is clearly positive and determined to continue in her role. It is always refreshing too that young ladies wish to join the profession – often thought of as a very male-orientated environment. Amy is clearly a keen, genuine and enthusiastic person too and for all of these reasons, this is why she gets my vote.” 

Irene Jessop, Irene Jessop Funeral Directors, The North Category Judge

What first made you get into the Funeral Director profession?

In June 2019, my mum passed away with cancer. At the time I was working for a high street jewellers but was on maternity leave after giving birth to my son, Oliver.

When my family first met Symeon Waller at Doncaster Municipal Funerals (DMF), he had a lovely way of speaking and managed to put us all at ease. The décor of the arranging room was modern, not dreary, as I would have expected. The whole experience was quite opposite to what I had expected. We arranged the funeral and I brought into the conversation that I would love to work for a funeral director. By pure chance, the current member of staff had put her notice in and Symeon asked me to call in to see him about a job as soon as I felt ready, after Mum’s funeral.

What do you currently do for Doncaster Municipal Funerals?

I remember my first week, it was all so new and I was so shy. I thought I would never be able to get my head around all the paperwork and what it meant. But I persevered and in no time at all, without me realising it, I became really good at speaking with empathy to families, to the point that people were calling and asking to speak to me specifically. I’m an extremely organised person and spend the quieter days cleaning the funeral home and sorting and filing paperwork. Symeon and Darren, the two directors, will openly admit that if I wasn’t there to organise them they would be lost.

Now, after over 18 months, I could never imagine myself doing anything else. It is definitely my calling and I hope to be with DMF for my whole career. I want to learn more; I want to be a funeral director and I feel a real sense of belonging, gratitude and loyalty to DMF.

How did you feel when you were told about the competition and then when you found out you won?

I was completely unaware that I had been entered into this competition, I’m not really into putting my name forward for anything. That said, now I am here, I am immensely proud of the achievement and I am really looking forward to the training and learning more about the profession. Hopefully, when the restrictions are lifted, there might be an opportunity to meet with the other winners.

We would like to thank Amy for giving us her feedback on the competition and wish her good luck with her training. We will keep you updated on her progress.

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