Trafford Council

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Jade Gillick is an apprentice in Bereavement Services based Altrincham Crematorium. She has become a valued team member during her apprenticeship and was due to undertake her EPA just as Covid-19 hit. She took the decision to pause this, so she could ensure she was able to fully support the service and its clients during the pandemic. 

Jade has stepped up to manage the team working on the chapel front at the crematorium during Covid-19. We restructured the service to enable the chapel staff to work on a rota and concentrate on cremating and utilised the staff bank from people unable to work in their current roles to work on the front of house under Jades guidance. To do this Jade has moved into the office at the chapel where she continues to carry out her duties from a laptop whilst overseeing the day to day operations at the chapel. This includes meeting the funeral director and family on arrival, checking the music/visual tributes/webcasts are all on place and then leading the coffin into the chapel. Following each service the chapel and foyer are cleaned down before the next service takes place.

The limiting of numbers to ten mourners and restrictions such as no floral tributes or photographs in the chapel lead to some quite emotional situations. As rules, regulations and guidance changed over the months Jade ensured the staff were aware and that the service provision adapted to encompass these changes. Jade has been firm and maintained a professional and courteous approach at all times.

Jade has taken the responsibility to oversee the team which is made up of managers and senior representatives all of whom are older than her and with years of experience. She has taken ownership and stepped in when the team have struggled or had issues with the funeral directors or mourners and stood firm on the guidelines. She has organised and trained the team to work to the principles of the service and to try and give every family a dignified service for their loved ones. 

Jade has been a major lynchpin in making sure the service is able to continue to run to the high standards it sets itself during Covid-19. She is the link between the office and chapel and the funeral directors acting as a buffer for complaints. On top of this she also became an additional cleaner stepping in 3 nights a week around our usual cleaning provision to make sure the chapel and toilets were given a deeper clean each night. 

To sum up Jades commitment to work especially in the current circumstances in a few sentences is very difficult. She has stepped way above her role as an apprentice and taken command of a team of older, more experienced members of staff and lead them through some of the strangest and deeply emotional times the service has seen. She has earned their respect and that of almost everyone she has come into contact with for the way she handles herself and the situations she has been confronted with. To undertake the number of services we have with minimal complaint and is a massive achievement or the service and a lot of that credit goes to Jade. 

She was able to undertake her EPA in August and achieved a distinction. She is now commencing her level 3 Customer Service Specialist apprenticeship whilst still supporting the service with the on-going situation.   

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