Florist Dream Team is Blooming at   Neville Funerals


Who says
that a following a new career direction is just for those starting out? The
talented florist team at Neville Funerals have nearly all taken rather
different routes to their roles, challenging the standard view of an
apprentice, and proving a point that it really is not too late to follow your
dream job. This unique and talented group of florists now design very personal
and often complex floral tributes for clients from all over the region.

The team of six now has an amazing 83
years of experience between them and although an astounding number, that really
doesn’t tell the whole story.

Three of the five retrained to become
these specialist florists after pursuing very different careers initially,
determined to follow a dream and change the course of their working lives. Now,
at Neville Funerals they have succeeded in finding their wanted profession and
can now develop their career with a supportive programme of mentoring and

Sue Evans, Floristry Manager at Neville
Funerals, has been with the firm for 27 years: “Creative talent, combined with
life experience, is a successful mix for us. It’s a privilege to be able to
design and deliver very personal, bespoke tributes for our clients – to listen
closely to what they want and need and make just what they had in their mind’s
eye. To do that, we need to be able to put ourselves in their shoes and walk
that path with them. A team with all levels of experience is invaluable and of
course it helps that we can all help each other with creative ideas.”

“The firm may be long established, but
we have a very forward-thinking attitude to personal and career development.
Our employees are local and part of the communities we serve, so we feel that
it’s investing back into our neighbourhoods.”

Jo Johnson joined the firm in March
2020, just as the first lockdown was announced: “I originally worked in
advertising in London for ITV but felt that I needed to change my work life
balance when I wanted to settle down and have children. My job was just not
flexible enough to work around that, so, we moved, and I put myself through
college in Milton Keynes for a floristry qualification, effectively retraining
at 30, and was then able to work as florist around my children’s needs. Now
they are older I feel that it’s my time and when the opportunity came up to
apply for a full-time role at Neville Funerals I jumped at the chance and
haven’t looked back. No two days are the same and we get to work on some
amazing and unique tributes and with some lovely families.”

Susan Brazier was taken on as a
Floristry Apprentice in January of this year: “I worked in the aviation
industry in and around Luton airport for many years, first in Customer Services
and then in the Engineering Quality Assurance department.” Then in her mid-50s,
her daughter bought her an evening class course in floristry which changed her
life. “I knew then that this was something I had to do, and when my son told me
how proud he was of me to have taken this leap, it was an amazing feeling. Funeral
floristry interested me most, far more than wedding floristry -it’s that extra
connection with the family which is so important and so fulfilling, and
watching the brilliant team here do what they do with such thought and
creativity – the job satisfaction is immense – these are not your average

Clara Osbourne has also now taken up
the Floristry Apprentice role after spending five years at the business as a
Floristry Assistant. Clara gained a degree in fashion design, then went on to
be a manager at Boots, before joining Neville Funerals. “I wanted to return to
a more creative role, and this offered me just that. Sue persuaded me to move
on to the apprenticeship programme and in 18 months’ time I’ll achieve a City
and Guilds Level 2 qualification in Floristry. We have a tutor from Keits, our
training provider, visit us on site and overall it’s a very flexible learning
environment. I know that some florists are only interested in wedding flowers,
bouquets, and buttonholes, but for me, what we do here is so much more
personal. Just the other day we were designing a floral tribute in the shape of
an apron for a loved one who had been a great baker. That’s a special thing to
do for that family.”

Sue continues “I feel very lucky to
have this incredibly talented and committed team around me. We inspire each
other every day and are equally motivated to do the very best for the families
we serve. We have a team with years of life experience that they bring to the
job daily, which allows us to relate to the families that we meet and deliver
for them exactly the tribute that they feel their loved one deserves.”

Neville Funerals Director, Charmian
Alexander says: “We are in a unique position to offer our clients an in-house
floristry team, led by Sue, who deliver fantastic funeral floral tributes, all
day, every day. Offering apprenticeships demonstrates our long-term
commitment to not only the individual, but to the team and our business ethos
of life-long learning.”

The team is completed by experienced
florist Jennie Attewell, who has been with Neville Funerals for 18 years, and
delivery driver, Trisha Brown, who is on the road by 7.30a.m. every morning to
carefully transport all the tributes to each of the branches.

Neville Funerals floristry team is
based at its Luton head office and for more information visit