A FUNERAL director has been honoured for his continuing commitment to helping families in their time of need.
Mark Evans has been presented with a long-service award after a career spanning more than 20 years with the Co-operative Funeralcare at Strathmore House, in Hartlepool’s Stockton Road.
The 43-year-old is thought to have helped hundreds of families over the years.
Mark, from the West View area of town, began his career with the company as a trainee stonemason aged 18 in 1983.
He learned his trade with the company and left in 1989.
Following a two-year break, he returned in 1991 and carried on in his previous role.
But in 1993, he became a funeral service operative.
In 1996, Mark, who is married to Karen, a 38-year-old post office worker, then had the chance to train as a funeral director.
He gained qualifications in funeral directing, as well as awards from the British Institute of Embalmers.
He went on to be promoted to principal funeral director in 2008.
Mark, who was presented with his award by Co-operative Funeralcare regional manager Phil Hoggarth, said: “The company decided not to have a stonemason workshop any more as the work was contracted out to a larger company.
“It was quite an artistic thing to do. But in my current role, I love serving the people of Hartlepool and being there for them.
“I have got a pride in the job that I do and I’m proud to work for the biggest funeral service provider in the UK.
“It’s a great place to work.
“It can be rewarding but challenging as well.”