Operating over 60 branches across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, the East of England Co-op Funeral Services have supported their local communities for over 95 years.
Proud of its heritage, the new management team, led by Julian Snowling, are focussed on moving the business forward whilst retaining its strong values and principles.
Julian joined the management team in 2019, having successfully led teams in fast changing and evolving industries for the past 30 years.
Speaking about his latest role as Operations Manager for the East of England Co-op Funeral Services, Julian said: “The funeral industry is often seen as traditional, and whilst those values of care and professionalism are still very much an intrinsic part of the service we provide, the way people are accessing our services and what they expect from us is changing.
“We’ve seen growth in simple funeral services with no ceremony and people looking to access information online. People also seem more open to talking about funerals and planning ahead, both to ensure that they have the service they wish and to protect their families from future financial burden.
“Only a year into my journey here, the team and I have navigated our way through a global pandemic – something none of us could of have predicted. The passion and enthusiasm of our colleagues to deliver a fitting farewell, despite the many restrictions and regulations we faced, shone through and I’m confident in the knowledge that we have the ability to navigate any challenges which may lie ahead.
“The team and I are firmly focussed on being at the forefront of this evolving industry, delivering a market leading service that is valued in our communities and that meets changing customer needs, whilst celebrating our proud heritage and values.”
Julian will be supported by newly appointed Area Managers Sarah Steels and Sam Carvell.
Sarah Steels brings over 18 years’ experience of working in customer facing environments, including hospitality and retail.
Currently studying psychology part-time, Sarah hopes to explore how a psychological approach may help families that are grieving for a loved one. She said: “Moving into the funeral industry has been an exciting transition and one that I am keen to get to understand inside and out.”
Completing the management team is Sam Carvell. Sam has worked in retail management for over 25 years, 20 of which for a national pharmacy chain. Bringing a wealth of leadership, team building and project management skills to the role, Sam said: “I am very much enjoying bringing my knowledge into the East of England Co-op Funeral Services and I look forward to seeing the results that my team and I will achieve for the families and communities that we serve when they need us most.”
Julian finished: “The recent addition of Sam and Sarah has strengthened our team and I believe their blend of skills and experience gives us a great platform to lead, support and deliver on the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Funeral Management team – photographed by Ashley Pickering Photography
Image caption: From left to right:, Sarah Steels (Area Manager) Julian Snowling (Head of Funeral Operations), Sam Carvell (Area Manager)