LIFE CHANGE NOT ALL PLAIN SAILING

Funeral Arranger Jane Swarbrick.
Funeral Arranger Jane Swarbrick.
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JANE Swarbrick has taken a rather unusual career path.

The 51-year-old, after 21 years working for Yorkshire Bank in Cleveleys and Blackpool, decided she wanted to escape to a quieter pace of life and she and her husband set up home on a canal boat.

But after six years, the couple decided they wanted to come back to the rat race and Jane re-trained and started work as ... a funeral arranger.

It might not be a run of the mill career choice, but Jane decided it was something she wanted to do after her own father’s funeral was dealt with so well by a female funeral arranger.

Jane, who lives in Cleveleys and works at The Cooperative Funeral care, on Kelso Avenue, said: “It was back in 2000 when my dad’s funeral was held and it was a lady funeral director.

“I hadn’t really thought about it before as being a job for a lady. But she did a wonderful job with the funeral.

“Then we went off and lived on the boat, so I just put it to the back of my mind.

“Then we later decided to come back to working and this was what I decided to do and I started working here in 2010.

“It had always been there really in my mind.

“I like feeling I am helping people. I am passionate about client’s needs, in terms of making sure they have the service and funeral they are wanting.

“Everyone is different, everyone is unique and special, and I think funerals should reflect that.

“It is often a time when people are distressed, upset and for many people they have never experienced organising a funeral.

“I get satisfaction from knowing I’ve helped them.

“There are a few ladies who do the job of funeral arranger on the Fylde coast now. Less common though are lady funeral directors.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Jane making the transition between the jobs.

She said: “With the boat, my husband Phil and I wanted to do it while we were still young enough to be able to enjoy it.

“But after six years, we sort of felt like we’d seen everything we wanted to see, done everything we wanted to do, so we decided to come back.

“We literally had to start from scratch with everything. We had sold practically everything which wouldn’t fit on the boat. It was a bit of a culture shock, but I’m getting back into it now.”

Jane recently completed her BTEC Advanced Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration.