“Working together in funeralcare has brought me and my mum closer together”

Whilst a job in funeralcare might not be an obvious choice for everyone, for one mother and daughter duo, not only has it provided them with a rewarding career, but also brought them closer than ever.
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Bispham-based Sharon Ellwood, aged 50 and her daughter Chloe, aged 26 have worked together as part of Co-op’s Funeral Service Crew for just under a year and continue to be described by colleagues as ‘two peas in a pod’.

Sharon first started in funeral care in 2019 having previously worked in the adult and social care sector, describing the move as “taking the next step in the stages of care giving”.

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She quickly excelled in her new role caring for families loved ones and supporting with funeral ceremonies, and soon after her daughter, Chloe, joined her, inspired by the work her mother had done and witnessing first-hand how fulfilling a job in funeralcare could be.


Chloe said: “I used to work at a vet surgery, but when the opportunity in funeralcare came up I knew I had to take it. A rewarding job is important to me - and after seeing how fulfilling it was to mum every day helping families say their last goodbye to their loved ones, I knew it was the perfect next step for me. I helped out with my Nana’s funeral when she died and experienced first-hand the level of devotion that goes into looking after the deceased.

“I wanted to show that I was serious about joining the team and that I didn’t expect to be treated any differently because I was family.”

Showing her independent drive, Chloe applied for the job without mentioning or telling her mother, and it wasn’t until she had secured the job that she let Sharon know she would be joining her at the Bispham funeral home.

Sharon said: “I was thrilled when I found out Chloe would be joining me! I knew she was the perfect addition to the team and ft seamlessly into such a sensitive job that requires you to be so compassionate and patient – that’s just Chloe all over!”

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Finding the perfect balance between their professional and personal relationship has allowed the mother/daughter duo to thrive in their work and become an impeccable team.

“We always keep it professional, and I don’t get any special treatment because she’s my mum – I even call her Sharon which was strange at first!”

Sharon added: “Although, families have given us lovely feedback when they do guess that we are related. They are often comforted knowing that their loved one is being looked after by a team with such a close relationship.

“Chloe is very similar to me, which is why we work so well together. We have the same work ethic so get everything done correctly with no waiting around. It’s actually reached the point now where we don’t need to verbally communicate, we know what each other is thinking and wanting just by a glance!”

Whilst working with a family member may not be for everyone, in Sharon and Chloe's case, working together has actually strengthened their bond.

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Sharon said: “She was a dream growing up – never answered back or disrespected me, and our relationship has only grown stronger in the time that we have worked together. Even though she no longer lives at homeworking together has allowed us to keep the close relationship we have and help each other grow as people.

“I think a lot of people would expect us to get sick of each other, but the balance of professional and personal life has made us the best of friends.”

Although working in funeralcare might not be a first choice for everyone, Sharon was delighted with Chloe's decision to join her in the industry.

“Every parent is proud to see their child succeed in a career that makes them happy, even more so when they follow in their own footsteps. I may be biased but Chloe does an amazing job and has continued to improve since joining me in funeral care.

“It’s a job that definitely isn’t for everyone, but Chloe and I find it really rewarding and are thankful that it brought us even closer together.”

To find out more about Co-op Funeralcare’s Bispham branch, visit: https://www.coop.co.uk/funeralcare/bispham

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