Celebrating heritage and compassion: meet Central Co-op’s Peterborough funeral directors

Posted by lauryn mellor | Published: 18/04/2024

Central Co-op's funeral homes in Peterborough boast a rich heritage deeply rooted in the community, spanning generations of compassionate service to families during their most challenging times. With multiple locations spread across the city, these homes stand as pillars of support and care. On this World Heritage Day, let's shine a light on the dedicated funeral directors who manage these teams, serving Peterborough locals for generations.

Leigh-Ann Wiseman

With seven years of experience as a Funeral Director at Central Co-op, Leigh-Ann oversees the branch at Stanground and Yaxley. A Stanground resident since childhood, Leigh-Ann's roots run deep within the local community. When not assisting families, she finds joy in participating in a darts league at the Boulevard Club, nurturing both her passion for the game and her connection to her community.

Joanne Mease

Joanne, Funeral Director at Fitzwilliam Street, is a true Peterborough native with eight years of dedicated service to Central Co-op. When she's not guiding families through funeral arrangements, Joanne enjoys unwinding with a glass of prosecco and indulging in holidays to Kefalonia.

Fiona Barker

Fiona serves as a Funeral Director at RJ Scholes in Bourne and Stamford, part of the Central Co-op family. Originally from Cardiff, Fiona has made Bourne her home for the majority of her life. She finds joy in caring for her two dogs, indulging in gardening and cherishing moments with her grandchildren.

Nadine Hanlon

A Funeral Director for almost two years and with Central Co-op for six years, Nadine's transition from a military-police veteran to providing compassionate support to families at the Stamford funeral home embodies resilience and empathy. A lover of outdoor activities, Nadine finds real fulfilment in her role within the funeral business.

Manisha Odedra

Manisha, a Funeral Director at Deeping and Crowland, has been with Central Co-op for two and a half years. Originally from South Leicestershire, she moved to Peterborough to be closer to her husband. Outside of work, Manisha enjoys exploring historical buildings, watching documentaries, and going for walks with her family.

Central Co-op's funeral homes offer a comprehensive range of services, including funeral planning, memorialisation and pre-arrangement options. From traditional and cultural ceremonies to unique personalised tributes, the team ensures every aspect of the service reflects the wishes and beliefs of the families they serve.

With the subject of death and funerals still deemed taboo, there are many unanswered questions that can make the process of planning a funeral feel daunting for anyone. Which is why Central Co-op’s funeral directors from Peterborough got together to take away some of the mystery behind funeral homes.

Can you walk us through the process families can expect when they choose your funeral home for arrangements?

Leigh-Ann: Certainly. The process of arranging a funeral with us begins with initial contact, either by phone or in person. We then meet with the family to discuss their wishes and tailor the service accordingly. Continuous communication is key, from the initial meeting to the day of the funeral and beyond. We ensure families feel supported every step of the way.

How do you assist families in making decisions about burial options, cremation and other memorial services?

Manisha: We take the time to understand each family's preferences and provide them with all available options. Whether it's burial, cremation or alternative memorial services, we offer guidance and support to help families make informed decisions that best honour their loved ones.

What support services do you provide for grieving families before, during and after the funeral service?

Joanne: Our support extends beyond the funeral service itself. We conduct aftercare calls to check in with families, offer grief chats and host events like coffee mornings. We strive to be a source of comfort and assistance during the grieving process, ensuring families know that they're not alone.

How do you ensure transparency and clarity regarding pricing and financial matters for families during such a difficult time?

Nadine: Transparency is so important in our homes. We listen to the families and seek to understand their limitations or concerns. From the moment of initial contact, we provide detailed pricing breakdowns and discuss all available options. Our funeral homes prominently display price lists and informative brochures. During consultations, we approach financial discussions with sensitivity, ensuring families feel empowered to make decisions that align with their budget. We're committed to being a trusted resource for families during this challenging time, offering guidance and support every step of the way.

Are there any community outreach programs or initiatives your funeral home is involved in to support the local community beyond traditional funeral services?

Fiona: Absolutely. Each of the Central Co-op funeral homes will be hosting monthly coffee mornings, whether you’ve used our services before or not, everyone is welcome to a hot cuppa and a chat. In the 2-3 years that I've been a funeral director, I've made it a priority to engage with our community through various initiatives. Our team in Bourne and Stamford actively participates in events with organisations such as the Salvation Army and the Willoughby School for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. We're proud supporters of local mental health charities like Don't Lose Hope, and we're committed to promoting career opportunities in our field through participation in career fairs and educational events.

For more information on Central Co-op’s funeral care, visit centralcoop.co.uk/funeralcare/ or find out more on socials. Details on becoming a Member can be found on membership.centralengland.coop/.


For press information

Press Office

Lauryn Mellor, PR and Media Specialist at Central Co-op
07385 048004