EVERYONE has a dream job as a child. Most boys want to follow in the footsteps of their favourite footballer or explore space as an astronaut.
But for Liam Dempsey, of Kilnhouse Lane, St Annes, the job of a funeral director always fascinated him.
He has never looked back after deciding to learn more about the profession aged 15 and has flourished in the role.
His success reached new heights recently when he passed the funeral directing examinations with flying colours and achieved the Scales Award for the highest mark in the country.
The 29-year-old said: “It’s unbelievable and there’s not a lot of words to describe passing like I did.
“I worked hard throughout the course, mainly because I was so interested in what I was doing.
“Passing the exam itself was probably the best achievement in my life, but to win the award was beyond my wildest dreams.”
Liam began the three year course when he started his current job at R Banks and Son in Wigan after learning about the trade in Blackpool.
He worked as a tank driver in the King’s Royal Hussars Tank Regiment when he left school, but he says funeral directing was always his goal.
He added: “The job found me, I didn’t search for it. It was just there when I did work experience. It’s quite strange for a young boy to think about the job like I did, but I wanted to care for people in the most tragic circumstances.
“The best thing about the job is being able to make a family’s suffering bearable.
“To be able to go into a distressing environment where someone has lost a loved one, and allow them to put their trust in you to make the funeral how they want it, is why I go into work.
“If you only pretend you care about the families in this line of work you get found out straight away.
“You need to have that empathy for people and that’s why I’m successful.”