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Kate returns after challenging year

A Derbyshire funeral director is putting a challenging year behind her as she makes a return to Castle Donington to lead a brand-new funeral booking office.

Kate Spencer, who is Funeral Director for Central England Co-op Funeralcare’s Spondon and Borrowash Funeral Homes, has also been given responsibility for the Society’s brand-new funeral booking office which has launched in Castle Donington.

For Kate it is a return to the town after making her way as a funeral director at the Borough Street home and she is looking forward to returning and to the new challenge after a personally difficult period.

She said: “It is really nice to be back in the Castle Donington community as I really like the atmosphere and it is a brilliant community.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge as I have been shielding during the pandemic and have been working from home. I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome (a rare disorder which affects the nerves) last year which left me paralysed from the neck down and with no voice box.

“Later in the year my daughter Connie May was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma and has been receiving chemotherapy, so I was shielding with her during lockdown. Thankfully she has now finished her treatment and is on her journey to recovery, although it’s not without its bumps.

“The Society has been great with me. It is a great place to work and they have been really supportive and allowed me to be flexible with home-working.”

Connie is the City of Derby’s Youth Mayor and has a growing interest in the co-operative movement, even recording a special video that was played to thousands of people who took part in Central England Co-op’s first-ever online Members’ Meeting in June.

Her mum has a long history with Central England Co-op working for the Society for 24 years, making a career change six years ago after previously working in the travel business.

Kate said: “I joined just as a funeral arranger really so strangely it wasn’t that different. People said I would miss working in travel, but I absolutely love my job now and would not want to go back.

“I love helping people to say goodbye to their loved ones. It is very rewarding, and I see it as real honour and a privilege.”

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