Our Team

Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service Team

Glen Speak-

Glen Speak, M.B.I.E. General Manager of Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service, is a former chairman of the British Institute of Embalmers’ Midlands division and has a wealth of experience.

Glen came into the funeral profession after leaving school. Looking for a job, he was told there was a position for someone who wanted to dress in a smart suit all day and drive around in a posh car. He wasn’t put off when he discovered the opening was for an undertaker.

Over the next 18 years he learned the tools of his trade, including training to be an embalmer, before moving into management. He joined Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service in 2015, having previously been in charge of 15 Co-operative Group funeral branches in the Nottingham area. In his spare time he looks after rescue parrots for a charity.

“People have this perception that the funeral industry is populated by old men sitting around until someone passes away and then they spring into action,” he says. “It’s not like that at all. We’re here 365 days a year for people before, during and after the funeral. We help them with everything from choosing the memorial masonry to putting them in touch with bereavement support groups and arranging the funding for the funeral. We also deal with all the complex paperwork.”

Funeral Admin Co-ordinator

Funeral arranger Janice Chetwynd was appointed in 2007, beating more than 100 applicants to the job.

Janice has a diploma in funeral arranging and administration. She guides families through all the detailed procedures required when arranging a funeral, taking their instructions on what kind of service they would like for their relative and giving advice on the options available.

She also looks after the family before and after the funeral, dealing with viewings and requests for services such as the internment of ashes.

“I became interested in the work after meeting an embalmer and love it. Sometimes people don’t know what they want when they walk through the door. When they come in afterwards and say thank you, you took the pressure off us, that’s so satisfying.”

Married with three children and four grandchildren, Janice comes from Polesworth and attended Perry Crofts School in Tamworth. She keeps fit by swimming on her day off.

OTHER TEAM MEMBERS

Our caring funeral staff have many years of experience and will help you in any way they can with funeral arrangements.

Trevor Palmer

Trevor Palmer

Group Operational Support Manager

Trevor Palmer moved to Tamworth from our sister branch, the Halliwell funeral division, where he used his management experience to ensure our branches in Coseley, Great Wyrley, Heath Hayes and Pelsall maintain their high standards. Trevor was known as the face of Halliwell, conducting virtually every funeral in the area.

He was previously a director of an engineering company before deciding to sell up the business and switch careers.
“It was my wife Susan, who works in head office for the firm, who suggested I go into this because I also do a lot of driving and it seemed a good fit. In the manufacturing business I always dealt with members of the public. So I knew I could adapt, and I wanted to be able to give something back to families at their lowest point. I love the role.” 

Funeral Conductor

Kevan Angel

Operations Manager

Kevan Angel joined in 2004 and is Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service’s workshop co-ordinator. Kevan conducts funerals, acts as a pallbearer and can also be seen walking in front of cortèges in his traditional funeral outfit. His is the first face many families often see when a relative dies at home. He deals with the delicate task of removing the deceased and goes through the official procedures they need to follow, such as registering the death.

“It’s all about offering families reassurance and making sure you do the job as efficiently as possible. There is a sense you’re doing a very valuable and important job. If you don’t produce the coffin on time the funeral won’t happen. It’s that crucial and you have to be there for families when someone dies, whatever the hour or place.

 

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Jo-Anne Walsh

Funeral Operative

Funeral operative Jo-Anne Walsh is part of the team that carries out all the preparations of the deceased, as well as providing comfort to families during the arrangements.

She holds a Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration (Dip.FAA) and hopes to take a diploma in funeral directing in future. Before working in the funeral trade she was a lifeguard and swimming teacher. She gained a BA Honours degree in Popular and World Music at Leeds University.

Jo-Anne says she wanted to help families in their time of grief.

“I did work experience initially and loved every second of it. I then joined in December 2010 as a funeral arranger before becoming a funeral operative. I really enjoy the work. I like to look after my families."

 

Michaela Charles

Michaela Charles

Funeral Administrator

Funeral administrator Michaela Charles has worked for Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service for more than 20 years and says she derives huge satisfaction from her job.

“I started off as a Saturday girl and then started doing extra hours. I really enjoy the work. I love meeting different families and helping them. I deal with the office paperwork and sometimes people will see me when they come through the door as I also cover for the reception staff when they are away.”

Michaela was brought up in Tamworth and educated at Polesworth High School. Married with two sons, she spends her spare time with her family and friends, as well as walking her Cavapoo dog Archie.

Kerry Atkinson

Kerry Atkinson

Funeral Services Operative

Funeral service operative Kerry Atkinson has the important task of dressing the deceased for the chapel of rest where families can visit their loved ones to say their final farewells.

Kerry joined Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service in 2020, fulfilling a long-held ambition to be employed in the sector.

“It was something I wanted to do from the age of 15, to help make someone who has died look beautiful for the family’s last viewing.”

Having experienced the premature loss of her husband and father from cancer, gave her the added incentive of wanting to be part of a team providing comfort to the bereaved. Kerry, who is a former pupil of Belgrave High School in Tamworth, finally found her vocation after being a barber in the town for 18 years.

Tamworth Co-op funeral operative Tony Rabin

Tony Rabin

Funeral Service Operative

Funeral operative Tony Rabin was a police constable before deciding to switch careers.

“A friend mentioned that there was a job going at another funeral firm and I thought I would give it a go. I’ve been at Tamworth Co-op Funeral Service since January 2018. It’s a rewarding job. If you can help somebody on what is one of the worst days of their life, that’s hugely satisfying.”

Tony, who lives in Tamworth, also drives our hearses and limousines to funerals. In his spare time he enjoys drawing, playing sport and looking after his three young children with his wife.

Leanne Ray

Lianne Ray

Funeral Service Operative

Lianne Ray has a wide-ranging role, from driving the vehicles and bringing the deceased into the care of the staff at Upper Gungate, to making coffins and engraving the name plates.

Lianne became part of the Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service team in December 2019. Before that she was as an emergency medical technician for a private ambulance service. It was that experience which prompted her to change career.

“I saw the effect it had on people when we were unable to save their loved ones. I wanted to help grieving families, and to let them know we would look after them.”

Married with three children, she has the unusual distinction of having once been invited to compete in the world kickboxing championships.

Leah Sandford, head of Tamworth Co-op Bereavement Advice Centre

Leah Sandford,

Head Of Bereavement Advice Centre

Leah Sandford heads up the Bereavement Advice Centre where she helps families arrange funerals for their relatives. She also offers advice to people struggling to come to terms with the loss of someone close to them.

Leah has a diploma in grief and bereavement counselling. She is also a licensed lay reader who is available on request to conduct funeral services for the Church of England. She is a member of St Francis’ Church in Leyfields, Tamworth and is married with three children and three grandchildren.

She says: “I love my job. Every day is different. It’s so rewarding to support families at a time when they need you most.”

Out of work she likes to relax by travelling, swimming and walking.

Funeral Arranger

Heidi Petricca

Funeral Arranger

Funeral arranger Heidi Petricca joined Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service in January 2010. Born and bred in Tamworth, she is a former pupil of Belgrave High School.

“I always wanted to work in the funeral profession. It was something that interested me and it has turned out to be the right decision for me.

"It’s nice being able to look after families when they’re going through a difficult time and guide them through the choices available for giving their loved one a fitting send-off.”

Heidi devotes her leisure time to her son and partner, as well as taking her dog Lola on walks.

Housekeeper

Cath Scott

Housekeeper

Housekeeper Cath Scott is responsible for The Mews catering suite where many of the families, who come to us, choose to hold the reception after the funeral. Cath prepares all the food for the menus, lays out the china plates and cutlery and looks after the guests. She also makes sure the suite is kept spotless and will add special touches on request.

“One man said his wife loved daffodils, so I brought some in. You want to make it as welcoming and homely as you can for people.”

Married with three children and four grandchildren, she attended Kingsbury High School. In her spare time she enjoys gardening and painting.

Tamworth Co-op funeral service operative Steve Shepherd

Steve Shepherd

Funeral Service Operative

Steve Shepherd is a funeral service operative with more than 17 years’ experience in the sector.

Steve, who joined Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service in January 2017, deals with all aspects of looking after the deceased, from bringing a loved one into the care of our funeral home in Upper Gungate to driving our fleet of hearses and limousines.

He said: “I went into the funeral profession after my dad died. The funeral directors dealt with him with such dignity it made me step back and think that was something I would like to do for other families.” When he is not working, Steve enjoys boxing and running.

Abigail Scattergood

Abigail Scattergood

Receptionist/Administrator

Receptionist/administrator Abigail Scattergood is the first person our customers see when they walk through the doors of the Upper Gungate funeral home. Abigail also takes incoming calls, makes appointments, deals with enquiries and shows families into the chapel of rest for viewings.

She says: “It is nice to be part of people’s final journey and to be with families, giving them some comfort when they need it. They are very appreciative and that makes my job all the more satisfying.”

Abigail is a former pupil of Landau Forte Academy in Tamworth, where she gained four A-levels. She finds relaxation in running in her leisure time and has set herself a goal of completing the ten-mile Cathedral to Castle Run from Lichfield to Tamworth. She also enjoys sewing, knitting and painting.

Mandy Holroyd, Tamworth Co-op funeral arranger

Mandy Holroyd

Funeral arranger

Funeral arranger Mandy Holroyd works alongside Leah Sandford, head of the Bereavement Advice Centre.

Mandy, who lives a walk away from the centre, previously worked as a receptionist in a GP surgery before a friend suggested she apply for a position in the Society’s funeral division.

She says: “It is a privilege to be able to help someone at the worst time of their life and to show them respect and compassion. It is very rewarding and we get all manner of unusual requests. We arranged a Land Rover for one family to take their loved one on their final journey.”

Married to Philip with three grown-up children between them, Mandy was brought up in Fazeley and is a former pupil of Wilnecote High School. In her leisure time, she enjoys gardening, spending holidays in North Wales and walking her lurchers Sidney and Ozzie.

 

Dawn Armstrong

Dawn Armstrong

Funeral Arranger

Funeral arranger Dawn Armstrong has lived in Tamworth for 40 years, after being brought up in Essex.

Dawn worked as a manager, supervising the tills at Morrisons supermarket before making the short hop across the road to be part of the Upper Gungate team.

“I thought it was the best customer service you could give somebody,” she says. “I like being able to give families that compassion. It’s the least I can do for them.”

The mother-of-two worked at the Bereavement Advice Centre for two years before moving to Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service’s headquarters in December 2021. Her spare time is taken up with her four grandchildren who she looks after with her daughter.

Mandie Lynes

Mandie Lynes

Pre-paid Funeral and Masonry Consultant

Pre-paid funeral and masonry consultant Mandie Lynes is on hand to guide families through the options available to them to give their loved ones a fitting send-off.

She provides information to help customers make an informed choice on set or bespoke funeral plans. In addition, she also assists with the memorial side of the service.

In between working as a funeral arranger and joining Tamworth Co-operative Society, Mandie was a security officer at Birmingham Airport. She found herself talking so much about her old job that she decided to go back to it.

“I like the caring side of it, helping people and being proud of what you do as a job.”

In her spare time Mandie enjoys, cooking, gardening, keeping fit and walking her two dogs.

Glen Speak-

Glen Speak M.B.I.E. General Manager of Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service

Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors which was established in 1905. All members abide by the NAFD Funeral Promise.

“By choosing us, you can be assured that the funeral is a fitting farewell to your loved one at a price you are comfortable with, that we will treat you and your loved one with respect at all times, and act with integrity. We will seek to fulfil any special wishes and requests.”

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