Lauren Calvert, 19, is an Apprentice Funeral Administrator with John G Hogg Funeral Directors in Sunderland. She started her apprenticeship in November 2020 and explains how it’s opened the door to a rewarding career where she can really make a difference.

When Lauren first visited John G Hogg’s Pallion funeral home it was to see her grandmother who had passed away. At the time she was really upset, so couldn’t understand how the team member who came to comfort her could handle the job on a daily basis. He explained: “When you’re older you’ll realise it’s the best job in the world.”

Lauren had left school and was training in a pharmacy when she saw the Funeral Administrator apprenticeship advertised at John G Hogg. After a thorough interview process, she was really happy to be chosen to work in the business that had taken care of all her grandparents’ funerals.

Lauren explained: “I’ve been through losing my grandparents. I don’t want people to feel as bad as I felt.”

Her business administration apprenticeship includes online learning, coursework, a final presentation and exam – Lauren’s aim is to secure a distinction. She says it is a great way for anyone to find out if the funeral industry is the right choice for them.

Although Lauren joined the business at an incredibly difficult time, just as the second wave of the pandemic took hold, she has no doubts at all that she’s chosen the right career path. She has had to learn fast, supporting families visiting the branch and the chapel of rest in addition to her administrative duties.

“I feel every day is different,” she said. “You get so many families that really appreciate what you’re doing.” Lauren hopes to work her way up in the business and to train as an embalmer.

Michelle Beveridge, Regional Support Manager for Funeral Partners, said: “From the first time I met Lauren at her interview, I knew we had found someone very special. Her passion for wanting to be in the industry and the desire to give that lasting impression to her families, as she had once received, was so amazing, especially for someone so young.

“John Hogg and I, as did the business, wanted to give someone the opportunity to join the industry and learn all aspects of it, and who better to do it with than John Hogg himself, who has three decades’ experience in the industry.

“Lauren joined at the most incredibly challenging time. She has worked incredibly hard, learning new skills, having to deal with difficult situations whilst delivering the impeccable high standards of the John Hogg brand, and all whilst studying for the apprenticeship. She is receiving incredible feedback from families too.”

John G Hogg is part of the Funeral Partners family, the third largest funeral services group in the UK with funeral homes in over 200 locations across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Visit their website to keep up-to-date with new apprenticeship opportunities as they become available.