For most, leaving a job in retail for funeralcare may seem like an unusual, if not completely unlikely career change, but for one funeral arranger, it has turned out to be the best decision of her life.

Having worked in retail for over sixteen years, Chantal Carr found herself craving for that sense of community and the knowledge that she was helping make a real difference to those around her.

It was this passion for activism and standing up for the causes she believed in that Chantal joined the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, starting out as a shore-based community educator where she focused on spreading awareness regarding the potential dangers of wandering out into the sea.

Chantal said: "It was then that I realised I would like to be in a role where I could support families during difficult times and really make a difference.

"Having lost my Dad, I remember how important the care we had received at the time was and knew immediately that I wanted to give back the same dedication to those who needed it the most."

Chantal decided to embark on a career change and opted to move to Co-op Funeralcare in Borehamwood.

Borehamwood Times:

Like many others, Chantal found herself struggling to negotiate between her ambition to put the needs of her community first on the one hand, and the governmental guidelines imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic on the other.

Not being able to invite entire families into the branch in order to discuss funeral arrangements, as well as restrictions on the number of people in attendance have put a damper on the various community activities Chantal has been involved with in an attempt to offer some comfort to those who had recently lost a loved one.

Chantal said: "I would say the most difficult part of working throughout the pandemic has been looking after families banned from saying their final goodbyes to their loved ones due to Covid-19 restrictions.

"We sadly had to also postpone our Annual Dove release event, which we organise in loving memory of all members of our community who are no longer with us.

"It was a difficult decision to make, especially knowing how much comfort this event provides to those still struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one."

Chantal added: "As we are slowly returning to a new normal, I am excited about finally being able to organise the send-offs our families so deserve.

"At Co-op Borehamwood, our local community means everything to us, so we cannot wait to pick up our events calendar again, as we know how much these gatherings matter to those still grappling with loss and bereavement."