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Stephen Nimmo FdSc, MSBP
I joined the funeral service in September 1997 and worked at a funeral home in Poole, Dorset. As a casual driver bearer I spent most of my time washing and driving funeral cars, and carrying coffins at various funerals.
I was blessed with a manager who took the trouble to train me properly (Something which is still lacking in the industry today), and I was eventually appointed as a full time driver, and also found myself performing duties for HM Coroner. This provided an excellent grounding in the very sharp end of our work. Collecting deceased people from extremes of home or care home at one end, to railway lines, and road traffic accidents at the other.
Over time, I was promoted, and attained the role of funeral director, overseeing around 150 funerals a year. My training continued, and to this day, some of the ways I perform my duties stem from that training.
In 2000, I was headhunted by a family firm of funeral directors. This company was overseeing in the region of 1500 funerals a year, so was a considerably larger operation. I was appointed funeral director with a responsibility for some 250 funerals per year. By the beginning of 2010, I was in a senior management role, and was taking on the responsibility for all military funerals being carried out by the company. Running alongside my work, was my secondment to two other organisations which offered me a much broader insight into working with the dead and their families.
I was appointed to the Kenyon International Team member list in 2002, a mass fatality planning organisation. I was first deployed in March 2003 to RAF Brize Norton where I took charge of sixteen ceremonial repatriations of British Soldiers killed in Iraq. It was this work which began a long standing, and continuing relationship with the Military authorities, and in particular, the Royal Marines. I deployed several other times with Kenyon, for example, to Cyprus and Greece (Helios plane crash 2005), and I also carried out training for airlines on behalf of Kenyon, which took me to Houston, Texas, Cairo, Egypt, Palma, Spain, to name but a few.
In the summer of 2010, I decided that I could take my considerable experience and benefit people beyond just arranging funerals. I wanted to offer a much more comprehensive and flexible service than was currently available, and so Chester Pearce Associates was born.
July 2011 saw me graduate from the University of Bath with a degree in Funeral Services, followed by being awarded Professional Membership of the Society for Bereavement Practitioners. Without doubt, my commitment to helping the bereaved remains as strong today as it did fifteen years ago.
Paul R Cuttle FdSc, MSBP
I have been a funeral director for over ten years, and a CRUSE bereavement counsellor for four years. In the event of a bereavement, sudden or not, grief and mourning may make it hard to deal with practical matters. I am here to help and guide you through this difficult time.
Hazel Pittwood Dip FD
At the age of 15 I took part in a work experience placement at a family owned independent funeral home in my home village of Corfe Mullen in Dorset. Following this short insight I knew I wanted to work in this profession, providing a respectful, dignified service to the deceased and a caring, supportive service to their families, friends and anyone else affected by their death.
After finishing school at 18 I was given a job at the very same funeral home as a funeral operative, assisting with many different aspects of funeral services. After moving to another of the family firm’s offices, I quickly progressed to the role of funeral assistant providing support in the arrangement of services and beginning to interact with families who called upon us at their time of need. Thanks to a manager who had confidence in my abilities and my sincere, caring attitude, I was entrusted to the role of funeral director.
After being in this role for some time I wanted to gain a qualification in recognition of the knowledge I had gained and my dedication to providing the highest standards of service. I obtained this qualification in 2012 in the form of the National Association of Funeral Director’s Diploma in Funeral Directing.
Following my qualification I felt I wanted to give more time to volunteering and charity fundraising which led me to become involved with MOSAIC; a Dorset based charity which supports bereaved children and their families. This in turn inspired me to apply for training with CRUSE, the national bereavement support charity, which will begin very soon. I am delighted to be involved with both of these charitable organisations and the invaluable work that they do for people who have been bereaved.
The opportunity to join Chester Pearce Associates came in 2013 when I was approached by Managing Director, Stephen Nimmo and I joined the company in September 2013. I have always worked in accordance with my belief that families and their loved ones must be given the same high standard I would wish for my own family; this attitude is very much at the heart of Chester Pearce Associates. I feel proud to be part of a team that provides funeral and bereavement services with such care, compassion and integrity.