Hartlepool worker recognised for 20 years of supporting grieving families

A woman who has supported grieving families in Hartlepool for two decades has had her years of service recognised.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 6:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 6:23 pm

Julia Masshedar, a funeral service arranger and administrator at the town’s Mason’s Funeral Directors, has received a commemorative award for 20 years service from her employer, Dignity Funerals.

Julia joined Mason’s in 2001 and, in addition to advising about the different options available for a funeral and making all the practical arrangements, she has helped pioneer educational seminars for local NHS and nursing home staff to help them understand the role of the funeral director so that they can reassure and advise grieving families.

Julia says her job is a vocation, adding: “I always wanted a job where I could make a difference to others and it’s very rewarding when a family tells me that I’ve helped them or provided comfort.

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Julia Masshedar, second from right, is congratulated by colleague Iyesha Best.

“I’ve seen many changes in the way people mourn but probably the biggest is that families now have a very personal service and are at the centre of any decisions which are made.

“The internet and other advances in technology have also made a huge difference. We can now web-cast a funeral service to mourners in other parts of the world.”

She added: “The past 15 months have definitely been the most challenging time of my career. We have had to quickly adapt to both the restrictions on funerals and constantly changing circumstances to ensure that our clients and colleagues remain safe.

"We have worked tirelessly to help families organise a respectful and meaningful funeral for their loved ones.”