Funeral Director Raegan Drew

November sees us celebrating your stories about Doing what matters most, one of our Ways of Being Co-op. Meet Funeral Director Raegan Drew who always does what matters most for her clients.

I originally studied beauty at college but when I received my qualification as a beauty specialist from Mary Reids, I didn’t feel it was what I wanted to do. I’d always been very interested in make-up but hadn’t made my mind up on which career path I’d use this in and the thought of working at a beauty counter didn’t appeal to me.

I started looking into cosmetology in the funeral industry which is when I first heard about embalming. After researching it I arranged to meet with a small family funeral directors to chat and they gave me my first insight into embalming as a work experience placement. From that point I knew this is what I wanted to do so I paid to do a private embalming course held in Dumbarton.

After an initial knock back from an interview, I decided to send Co-op Funeralcare a letter every month for a year which finally led to a second interview when a position as a funeral arranger became available.

I got the job and after achieving my qualification in this role, I became a funeral director. My initial ambition to become an embalmer shifted when I decided I wanted to be involved in the funeral process from start to finish.

Raegan in her Funeral Director uniform

So what does a Funeral Director do?

My role’s varied. I could be in the office arranging masonry products and other services available, or arranging a funeral with bereaved families, making sure that all their wishes are carried out exactly as agreed.

On the day of a funeral I’ll be there for our clients as the main person responsible. I could also be attending a death at a nursing home, family homes or even going to hospitals to bring people’s loved ones into our care.

Part of the job also involves being on call. The nature of our business means we need to provide a 24/7 service so we can be there for our clients no matter what time of day or night. From time to time I could be furnishing coffins in the workshop or preparing a limousine or hearse for a funeral. I also still get the opportunity to embalm and prepare people’s loved ones in our care.

Reactions from family and friends

My family and friends are so supportive. They’re very proud of the role I do. My friends love introducing me with ‘guess what her job is?’ – no one has got it right yet.

Unfortunately I’ve had to arrange and conduct funerals in my own circle of family and friends, and it’s at these times those closest to me get to see in a bit more depth what I do. 

My advice to young people

Don’t give up. It can be difficult to get into the industry, especially for a young person. I was 18 when I first started applying.  It took me two years to get my foot in the door but I’ve never looked back and it can be a career for life if you’re willing to work hard.

I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, I believe there’s no other job satisfaction like it.

Raegan Drew

Funeral Director – Howgate, Midlothian

Raegan’s story was in The Sun this weekend







Join the conversation! 16 Comments

  1. Well done to Raegan and the supporting team she has around her- love reading such positive articles on the intranet!!!

  2. Someone is always ‘offended’ by something these days. The fact is that if you are offended then fine, carry on, be offended. Nothing happens – it’s just a feeling you have when you don’t like how something sounds [to you].
    I’m offended by football and the obscene money that go with it – but nothing will ever change it!

  3. Why, if someone is so passionate and clearly eager to work for the co-op, in a field which I’m sure is not easy to recruit in an industry which can only benefit from such vibrancy and talent, are they left floundering and forced to write every week for a year before someone recognises their efforts and talents and considers them for recruitment? It’s embarrassing for the co-op. only through her hard work and determination has Raegan succeeded, co-op didn’t even open the door, Raegan had to kick it down.

    • Wow M! You’ve managed to surgically dissect a positive story about determination and commitment to find something that you see as a negative. You’ve got a real talent there!

      • They’re not wrong though. Credit to Raegan, she’s rightfully being lauded for her commitment and tenacity, but how is that element of the story anything but damning for Funeralcare HR / resourcing?

        • WOW!!! It’s like there isn’t a cloud in the sky and it’s still raining with some people isn’t it?

  4. Great article, what a fascinating insight.

  5. Swapping beauty for funerals: we all do it eventually.

  6. I am actually quite offended by the way this article has been headed ” Swapping Beauty for Funerals”!! Its extremely sexist and making her a headline story because she is considered beautiful?? I find this insulting and derogatory to many hard working Funeral arrangers and Directors…..So what she is saying is she feels she’s shouldn’t have gone into this industry because she looks the way she does……Not impressed!!!!!!

    • Hi Amanda. I think you’ve completely misunderstood Raegan. She’s saying she swapped her job in the Beauty profession to go into funerals as an embalmer. That’s what the headline is all about and the story goes on to explain this in more detail. Thanks ^ Rachel

      • Having come from a beauty and hairdressing background it had nothing to do with the fact of swopping beauty for Funerals . My decision came from the compassion and respect I have for all the people I am called upon to serve. I have been lucky enough to serve for 20 years as a Arranger and Embalmer. The article has been wrote well but it is not a unique case.. There are many out there who work tirelessly everyday to provide a service to families who have had to fight to get where they are today. I also cant understand the need to switch from embalmer to FD as Embalming is equally rewarding as the deceased also need a caring person to look after and speak for them .

        • Hi Sheila. Why say you cant understand the need to switch from embalmer to FD. surely this is personal choice. She also says in the article the reason for her to do this.

    • Read the article. The headline is not to do with her looks. She was a qualified Beauty Specialist

    • Amanda, that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read this morning!

      • Yep, the comments section has become a barrage of negativity unfortunately. Would definitely be good if people read the article properly and maybe just took a while to think about it before offloading so much negative sentiment in response to a positive story.

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