A Funeral Director has hailed Funeral Partners as ‘the perfect partner’ after becoming the latest business to join their growing network.
Andrew Grey Funeral Directors, which has been serving families in the Sunderland area since 2011, is the newest addition to the country’s third largest funeral business.
Andrew’s first experience of funerals came when he was a child, as his parents Syd and Mary were Lay Ministers at the Easington Lane Independent Methodist Church, where they would help conduct services.
After leaving school, Andrew learned to play the piano and keyboard at the same church, and embarked on a music career which took him around the country.
He later returned full-time to the northeast and trained as a Funeral Director in 1998 with Scollen & Wright Funeral Service in Sunderland.
Eventually, with the support of long-term partner Gillian Mason, Andrew set up his own funeral company in Hetton Le Hole in a building he renovated himself.
He puts his success down to the standing his father had built in the local community: “It was because of my father, his reputation and my name that they put their trust in me initially,” Andrew said.
There are now three other branches in Houghton Le Spring, Easington Lane – which is on the road Andrew was born on – and South Hetton.
Although Andrew never had any plans to go into funerals in his formative years, he now sees it as his true calling.
“As soon as I got started properly, I took to it like a duck to water,” he said.
“To do a funeral right for the family, and for the deceased, means absolutely everything to me.
“You only get one go at it, but if you do it well then the family will remember it forever.”
Andrew, 52, said now was the right time to look as his future and the ongoing support of the business, there is not a natural succession plan from within the family so becoming part of the Funeral Partners family appealed as the best decision to secure the continued success of Andrew Grey Funeral Directors
A fresh new local experienced team has already been recruited to help Andrew provide his trademark level of quality and care to families.
“With the full support of Funeral Partners I will continue to do what I love by running the client and community side of the business exactly as I have done before, and I am confident they will take away the back office stress that comes with being an independent business,” he said.
“Funeral Partners are the perfect partner for me.”
Chief Executive Sam Kershaw said: “It’s a pleasure to have Andrew Grey and his four branches in the northeast join us at Funeral Partners.
“I’d absolutely echo Andrews sentiment that we’re the perfect partner for his business. I am looking forward to working with him and his new team for many years to come, to continue the reputation and legacy he has built at Andrew Grey Funeral Directors.”