Business and Education Case Study
Our Membership and Events Manager Bethan was delighted to meet up with the team at Crescent Funeral Services recently to hear the real success story around how they have integrated apprentice James Chorley into their business and how they are doing their bit to inspire the local business leaders of the future.
After finishing Heathfield School last year, James knew that he wanted to pursue a career in funeral directing. With a family history in the business and work experience through school and in the holidays under his belt, James proactively began contacting local funeral businesses in the hope of being taken on as an apprentice, and just under 18 months ago Simon and Robert Helliar-Moore of Crescent Funeral Services welcomed him on board full time. This was by no means easy, as James was to be the youngest funeral director apprentice in the whole country, but as Simon explained, seeing James’ enthusiasm and aptitude, they were determined to make it work.
Crescent pride themselves as being at the forefront of change within their industry, and have been working with the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors(SAIF)as the industry body paves the way for new policies and procedures. Furthermore, Simon was keen to provide James with the career platform and structured support that he hadn’t benefitted from in his own professional development. But it’s not just James that Simon and Robert are supporting – their premises are used regularly for Independent Funeral Directors College (IFD) study days and through their work with James they are able to offer feedback and insight to the IFD, as the college trains the industry leaders of the future.
James has proved to be a real asset to Crescent, and is involved in all aspects of the business. He prides himself in being part of the team, and seeing how his work helps the business support families at what is a very difficult time in their lives.Through his studies with the IFD, James’ dedication has led him to already achieve his IFD Funeral Practitioners certification. His continuing studies, combined with working at Crescent will see James secure the full qualification in Funeral Practice very soon – a process which at best usually takes students 3 years to complete. Simon has recently been made a Fellow of the Independent Funeral College in recognition of his study and towards education within the profession.
To build relationships with other young professionals in the sector, James is an active member of the SAIF ‘Next Gen’ support network, and in the coming years he is looking forward to building loyalty, trust and reputation in his abilities – qualities he has learnt through Crescent to be vital.
We are sure members will feel inspired by this case study, and the Chamber of Commerce wishes James, Simon and Robert all the best for a successful future.