A bigger team with new faces
As a service that works closely with many people, from doctors to nurses to families and friends, there’s always a lot going on behind the scenes at Neo.
This past year has propelled us to grow and expand our Care Team. There are a few new people working at Neo, and we would like to introduce them and to share their profound experiences working with us so far.
We have decided to catch up with one of our newest team members, Claire, our grieving consultant. She is in charge of delivering ashes back to families, which is an integral part of our service. She is also responsible for meeting with families in person, and guiding them through the end of our service. We wanted to share more about who she is as a person and what “a day in the life” looks like for her when she brings ashes back to families across England and Scotland.
Meet Claire, our new grieving consultant
A quick catch-up with Claire, our Grieving Consultant
1. What is your job role at Neo?
Claire: I am a grieving consultant at Neo. As most of the service is done online, I am the first point of in-person contact for grieving families in England and Scotland. I do a lot with my role. I deliver ashes back to families, which is such a rewarding experience. I also spend time with the families, really lending an ear and being a person they can talk to. I help guide them through the end of the service and get feedback from them on how the team and service can better help families in the future.
2. Before working at Neo, what was the most interesting job you’ve ever had?
Claire: Right well, the most interesting role was the deputy manager for residential children’s homes. It was really fulfilling and meaningful work, lots of different events happened to me whilst working there. Looking after the kids was really rewarding. No two days really looked the same for any of us. I loved working with the kids, and making sure they remained on a track that would lead them to a bright future.
3. How did you first learn about Neo?
Claire: It was really random. Applying for a part time job because I have decided to give up full time working in the residential home, to spend more time at home with my family. The job popped up and was quite interesting. After that I did a little bit of research on Neo and then decided to apply! I thought the fact that Neo was a sustainable and socially driven company was impressive.
4. How do you balance your career at Neo and family?
Claire: Everything just suddenly slotted into place. I didn’t have much balance before in my previous role as deputy manager of the children’s home. Neo gives me time to arrange my days, and make it easy for me to balance work and my family.
Claire with her son
5. What parts of your role do you find most rewarding and why?
Claire: Meeting the families is most rewarding, being able to have that face to face contact means so much to them – I can tell. I love to have that with people, and I love being part of a team. I am valued as a staff member and it has been just amazing. It allows me to do my job well.
When I meet with families, I enjoy it when they tell me what they have planned to do with the ashes. I feel privileged that the families want to share something so personal and meaningful with me. I get to be there for people during a really tough times and bring their loved one’s home.
6. Can you give us an example where you have had to be empathetic towards someone?
Claire: I would like to think I was empathetic every single day in my previous role. There was a big moment where a young person lost his father. I went on that journey with him and it was very difficult. I had to really be there for him and help him throughout the grieving process. I helped with the funeral arrangements, and even got in contact with social services to ensure he got the funding he needed. He wanted to do the funeral for his dad, and I was there right beside him.
He was only 20. It was a learning curve for both of us. I met up with him recently and we met other friends. He thanked me for being there for him.
7. What is the difference, to you, between sympathy and empathy?
Claire: Sympathy is when you share a feeling with someone else and you can feel bad for someone if something has happened to them. Empathy is when you can understand the feelings that they are having and feeling an emotion, maybe even a fraction of what that other person is feeling. To me, I think when you’re sympathetic, you can feel pity and sorrow. When you are empathetic, you are really seeing someone and feeling what they are going through.
8. What do you want families you visit to know?
Claire: I want families to know that their loved one has been cared for and treated with the utmost respect. From collection to transporting, they will always be treated in the best way possible. Neo exemplifies a very caring service until the loved one is brought back to the families. Neo also plants a remembrance tree in honour of the person who has passed away, so I would like for families to know that they are choosing a service that has a positive impact on the community and the environment. I am so grateful to experience all of that.
9. What do you feel is missing in funeral care today?
Claire: I think there are a lot of different ways people treat the bereaved. All hospitals, care homes, nursing homes, and councils are different in their approach to how they guide families through losing a loved one. I think this can be very confusing to families. I also think that funeral care has a long way to go to become a sustainable industry. We try to do our part at Neo with our sustainability partners and with B Corp, but we are aware this is just the tip of the iceberg!
10. How do you think families can be better accompanied during the grieving process?
Claire: That is such a great question. I think making the entire bereavement ecosystem easier for families to navigate would be a good start. Funeral costs are continuing to rise and there is still a lot of exploitation occurring. I think funeral directors need to be clear and upfront with families while also not sacrificing on compassionate care.
Claire is our first addition to our grieving consultant team and she looks after all last-mile deliveries and family visits in England and Scotland. We are thrilled to work with her. We are deeply proud of how Claire, and other important linchpins at Neo, bring value, compassion, and practical advice to the families we help.
Claire with her new pup, Sadie
Continuing to grow with Neo
As we grow, we want to ensure we never lose touch with our team as individuals and the important work they do. Our team is composed of people who have a deep understanding of the role they are doing, along with a myriad of skills and specialties that allow them to really connect with families.
We will be publishing more “A Day with…” blogs, so watch this space.
If you need to speak to a team member today
If you want to talk to Neo about our service, or have any questions regarding working at Neo, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 0808 1962140. A team member is on call 24/7 to help you with anything you need.