A Grantham lad is following in his father’s footsteps when it comes to learning a trade.
Patrick Clark grew up watching his father, Andy, work in the funeral care sector. So when he reached 18, finding himself at a crossroads, one path leading towards higher education and another towards joining the world of work, Patrick took the latter option.
The former Huntingtower and King’s School pupil joined his father working as a funeral operative at Robert Holland Funerals in Grantham and has never looked back.
Patrick said: “Even though I grew up listening to all the stories from my father’s job, I never thought about pursuing the same career!”
It only took a couple of months before he was offered a full-time position, the team entrusting him with becoming a first point of contact for families in need of support.
Patrick joined Central England Co-op’s Corby Care Centre, in Northamptonshire, looking to make the next step in his career.
Shortly after his arrival, Patrick was promoted to a senior position that placed several funeral homes in the area under his supervision.
Patrick Clark, became Co Op Funeralcare Manager aged just 23
As a Funeral Service Manager, Patrick’s day-to-day role involves making sure families are supported and cared for with the utmost professionalism.
He told the Coventry Telegraph: “After my first year, my work supported over 500 bereaved families a year, which led to gaining a lot of experience and receiving brilliant feedback from all the lovely clients who have requested our help.”
Patrick, whose granddad is car-breaker Terry ‘Nobby’ Clark, said: “Despite the fact I never gave much thought to working in funeral care specifically, it was always at the back of my mind. I am really grateful that I took this opportunity as I work with such a brilliant team now and I could not have succeeded in my role so far without them.”
So what is it like being a 23-year-old working in this kind of industry and how do people react?
Patrick said: “Many people I come across never expect someone of my age to be in this profession, so I’m always met with a lot of questions, but I’m always graced with admiration and appreciation.
“People often start to talk about the passing of one of their loved ones as they tend to feel comfortable in speaking about it to me once they learn of my profession, something which makes me feel very honoured.
His dad Andy, who left Robert Holland’s in January to become Operations Manager for Lincolnshire Co-operative Funeral services covering the whole county, said: “We are very proud of him.”