Andy is our senior Funeral Director with a varied work background before joining Beckford’s. He’s also an avid clay target shooter, which he’s been doing since he was sixteen. He’s represented Guernsey at many interinsulars, home internationals and won a silver team medal at the 2007 Natwest Islands Games in Rhodes.
‘When I left school, I learnt a trade and became a stonemason before moving on to becoming a general builder. Without realising it, you are gradually acquiring life skills which are totally transferable to the role of Funeral Director. In this case, dealing with all manner of people in all manner of situations.
However, as the years went by, I was starting to look for something more meaningful that was not as physically manual and where I could use my people skills. Then the job at Beckford’s came up and it was the first job I actually had a proper formal interview for!
Fast forward nine years and I think I’ve become a better person because of my time at Beckford’s. It’s definitely made me more empathetic, given value to what I have and the people I am surrounded by. Plus, as all my other colleagues have already mentioned, you just cannot help to be moved by each person’s individual loss. It also makes you realise life is unfair: the person who works hard all their life and then dies just short of retirement or the parents forced to bury their child.
Also like my colleagues, I have seen the same changes over the years: families wanting to be more involved in the funeral of a loved one, less preference for traditional hymns and a move towards personal song choices. I’ve also seen an increase in non‐religious funerals and more people wanting to pre‐plan their own funerals.
The job I am involved in now gives you a greater sense of job satisfaction. Receiving the most heartfelt thank you cards after a funeral means so much to me and a family has even gone to the trouble of making the staff a cake.’