Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors staff member Ian Smith had reason to celebrate this week after receiving his results for his embalming exams. Ian who has been with the family business since 2011 started as a funeral operative and it fast became apparent he had both the right skills mentally and practically to further himself within the company. Ian along with Nicholas visited some of the embalming schools around the South of England and he was accepted into his first choice in London, where he started his weekly training in the autumn of 2013.

Nicholas said “we are so very proud of Ian, he went back to school to learn a whole new topic and this I regard as one of the most difficult but important in the funeral industry as an embalmer’s work is to be able to let families visit their loved ones and let them have their own personal and positive experience of saying goodbye. The care of the deceased is what we are foremost employed to do and the embalmer’s role is very much this. The role is very much behind the scenes and the feedback we have from families is why it means so much to be able to let them have this final opportunity. For Ian to score 90% and 97% in his practical exams after already passing his theory is a huge result for him and he should be proud of himself too”

Ian himself cannot thank both his tutors, his family and his colleagues for the support they have given him. “Nicholas has supported me in every way and when my tutor visited our new mortuary and theatre he was blown away by it, as have both our recent inspectors from funeral trade bodies, that they rated these facilities second to none anywhere in the UK. I feel privileged to work in them and because we are proud of them we invite local care homes to visit them and learn all about what our roles are.”

Ian has received his European licence to practice embalming and has now applied to be a full member of the British Institute of Embalmers, joining Nicholas and colleague Simon as diploma holders in this field, the company also boasts seven diploma holding funeral directors too.