Vicky Walmsley - Funeralcare Colleague of the Year

Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing the amazing stories of our 12 winners of the first ever Co-op-wide Thank you for Being Co-op awards. Vicky is a funeral arranger in Allerton Rd Funeralcare in Liverpool. Here’s her story.

“The fact I was even nominated is amazing. No way did I ever think I’d win. I couldn’t do this without my team. I’m so glad this award has come back to Liverpool. It’s like we’re all getting recognised.”

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Vicky is a warm, generous and kind-hearted lady. You can tell this within seconds of meeting her.

Clients constantly say the same, and much more. Her dedication to her role is obvious. And it’s not just guiding families through the difficult time of arranging a funeral where she shows her passion and care, it’s looking out for them afterwards, long after the day is over.

The flowers, thank you cards and chocolates that fill Allerton Rd Funeralcare are clear evidence of that.

Vicky hasn’t always worked in the funeral industry but in 2011, after arranging five family funerals through Co-op Funeralcare in Garston, she realised she’d found her vocation.

“I can honestly say I genuinely love my job. I love meeting people every day. I love helping people through, for some, what is the worst time of their life.

“I can relate to what people are going through because I’ve been through it myself. I always treat our families as if they’re an extension of my own. Clients pick up on that.

“I like to think that we do the same job every day but it’s different for every client. We tailor everything to their needs as well as advising and guiding them.

“It’s hard to explain when you look at yourself or analyse it because it’s just natural to me – it’s who I am,” she says.

When arranging community activity, she shows just as much care and professionalism as she always does in a funeral arrangement. She’s helped people from all walks of life over the past seven years.

One of her proudest achievements is her involvement in a project which helped teachers in local schools understand how to support bereaved children.

“For me it’s about connecting the community, it’s about getting out there. It’s about bringing communities together to support one another. That way you can make a real difference, and be more successful.”

What colleagues said about Vicky

“This colleague is amazing. She’s always so level-headed, and despite being constantly busy (in one of the areas busiest branches) she always tries to make time to help her colleagues and advise them if they need help with anything. She’s also a fantastic and caring friend to many outside of work, which is always appreciated.

“To her clients, she’s not only extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of arranging a funeral, but she’s also fantastic at guiding them through what is always a turbulent time for them, and getting them through the funeral and the days leading up to it with great care and passion for what she does, leaving clients feeling as though everything is in very safe hands.

“I once heard someone say that if she was cut in half, she’d have ‘Co-op Funeralcare’ all the way through her like a bar of rock. She’s certainly someone very special.”