Patchway business has one of the country’s youngest funeral arrangers

Photo of a young woman sitting behind a desk that has a pink computer keyboard on it.
Funeral arranger Lulu Stagg sitting behind her desk at Co-op Funeralcare, Patchway, Bristol.

Whilst previously funeralcare has traditionally been perceived as more of a male-dominated industry, in recent years there has been a considerable shift towards the increasing number of women working in the industry. And for 18-year-old funeral arranger Lulu Stagg, being a young female working in the industry has opened her eyes to a rewarding and fulfilling career.

After completing her GCSEs and with no idea what to do next, Patchway-based Lulu had a keen interest to explore something new, and so when a job opening came up at her local funeral home, she decided to seize the opportunity.

Lulu commented:

“I had no clue what to expect – other than thinking perhaps it might be an emotional job and predominantly a male-orientated job. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth, and I soon learned the joy of being able to arrange a funeral and helping to honour a family’s loved one.”

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At the age of 16, Lulu became Co-op Funeralcare’s youngest funeral arranger – with mixed reactions from family and friends to begin with.

“When I first told my parents they were surprised but agreed that it felt like the perfect role for me. Admittedly, it was a very random career direction to take, and one that I don’t think I would have even considered a month before. Confusion was the initial reaction but now my dad is really proud and tells everybody that his daughter is a funeral arranger!”

“Joining the team at such a young age, I didn’t expect to have a very hands-on role, but I was able to get stuck in with everything. On my very first day, I experienced every aspect of the role as it was important for me to understand that I not only had to care for the families but also their loved one.”

“I really wanted to get comfortable with all parts of the job. It was certainly strange at first but now has become quite normal.”

Photo of a young woman standing out a Co-op Funeralcare branch.
Funeral arranger Lulu Stagg outside the Co-op Funeralcare office in Rodway Road, Patchway.

Diving headfirst into work, Lulu progressed quickly on the job, helping families say goodbye to their loved ones – from planning funeral arrangements to providing bereavement support. But despite her confident approach to the job, stereotypes still prevailed.

Lulu continued:

“I think people question why I work in funeral care because I’m such a young woman. There is this perception that it’s a man’s job, or maybe one for older women, and not the sort of ‘glamorous’ job I’m expected to have at my age. People always comment on how energetic and lively I am – it’s always a surprise to people when they find out what I do!”

“Maybe they worry it will dull my glow, but it’s quite the opposite – the enthusiasm I have grows every day.”

Lulu also noted how many other women now worked in the funeralcare industry. On her first day, Lulu was greeted by a female funeral arranger, a female hearse driver and female pall bearers, which was quite inspiring for a young girl herself!

“When arranging something as sensitive, personal and important as a funeral, the relationship between an arranger and the family organising the funeral is vital. My age or gender has no bearing on my ability – I will always go out of my way to be professional and offer exceptional support and advice.”

“I’ve brought a lot of my personality into my job; I’m known by a lot of clients for my love of the colour pink – my pink-decorated keyboard is a bit hit! Sometimes in an industry such as funeralcare, even the smallest details can have the biggest impact on comforting families, down to making the perfect cup of tea.”


With a supportive environment in which to grow, Lulu found a real passion in her role, which has seen her flourish as one of the company’s youngest funeral arrangers.

Lulu added:

“Each time I get a positive review from a client following a funeral, it reminds me why I do this – they really do appreciate every small thing we do. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and found a career that not only am I passionate about, but one that I’m good at and matches my personality perfectly.”

“If I could give any advice to anyone looking to get into funeral care, I would say don’t let misconceptions hold you back. The industry is so much more than I expected, and I’ve met so many lovely people through it. It’s certainly not what people would assume and is so rewarding.”

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Fran Richards, Funeral Service Manager at Co-op Funeralcare Patchway, said:

“Lulu has truly been an asset to our team – her bubbly personality has lifted the spirits of both colleagues and clients since the day she joined the branch.”

“We’re passionate about creating opportunities for learning and growth for everyone on our team and recruit the very best people to help support families every step of the way is something we strive for – and Lulu has made the perfect addition to our Patchway branch family.”

To find out more about the Rodway Road, Patchway, branch of Co-op Funeralcare, visit Co-op Funeralcare, Patchway

ℹ Article published in connection with International Women’s Day 2024.