FUNERAL home staff have been praised for their dedication to the profession.
Hartlepool firm Mason and Gerald Martin is celebrating after one member of staff clocked up 15 years service while another is set to embark on a new chapter in his career.
The firm has also recently taken on a new funeral operative.
Long-serving funeral service arranger Julia Masshedar has been with the firm for 15 years.
The 41-year-old was presented with a cheque from Gerald Martin, senior director of the Park Road-based firm, to recognise her work in helping families through the grieving process.
The married mum-of-three, who lives off Grange Road, said: “I love my job.”
Mrs Masshedar who used to work as a wages clerk and in a photography shop, added: “I enjoy my work trying to be sympathetic and lending an ear to families to help them through the grieving process.”
Mr Martin has praised his staff for their dedication and commitment. That includes Damon Steadman, 25, who has eight years service as a qualified funeral director.
Damon, who is a member of the British Institute of Funeral Directors, is now training to be a qualified member of the British Institute of Embalmers.
The firm, which has been going for more than 160 years, has also recently taken on new recruit Terrance McCormack, 18, as a funeral service operative.
Damon and Terrance both live in Hartlepool and most of the training for the embalmer course will be held at the site in Park Road.
Mr Martin said: “We welcome and encourage new, exciting and further advancement within the profession of funeral service staff.
“Mason and Gerald Martin continues to provide a traditional funeral service within a modern day funeral home, providing a funeral service that families are now expecting in today’s society.”