As branch manager at Gainsborough and Retford Lincolnshire Co-op Funeral Service, Peter Riley, helps families during some of their most difficult times.
Peter, 53, took over the role of manager of the branch in North Street, Gainsborough, in July 2014.
He said: “I had started as a driver/bearer at a different branch in March 2013 and found the role very rewarding helping people when they were in a time of need.
“This took me back to my early days as a police officer when the job was more about supporting victims of crime and others in need.
“I was given the chance to work as a Funeral Arranger in January 2014 and this again gave me a greater opportunity to help people at such a difficult time.”
When the previous manager left Peter believed he could provide the branch with a stable and safe pair of hands to look after the residents of Gainsborough and Retford and provide their loved ones with the dignified and respectful care they deserved.
Peter said: “The challenges I face are making sure we fulfil the individual requirements of each family.
“Obviously we are the people who bring everything together so that when the day of the funeral arrives everything is in place and runs smoothly.
“The rewards are when the families come in and see you after the funeral has taken place and are so pleased with the service you have provided for them that they want to pre-plan their own funeral arrangements, knowing that Lincolnshire Co-op will provide them with first class care and professionalism.”
This is something Peter never dreamt he would end up doing as a career.
After retiring from Lincolnshire Police it was his wife he encouraged him to work for Lincolnshire Co-op Funeral Services.
Peter said: “My wife told me she didn’t want me spending all summer at Trent Bridge watching the cricket.
“So I started as a casual worker but I found the job very rewarding and wanted to do more to help the families who came to us.”
Peter is 53-years-old and lives with his wife in Retford.
He said: “My wife is an early years teacher in Doncaster, and I have two grown up children, two grandchildren and a third on the way.
“I left school when I was 17 and worked for the National Coal Board (NCB) which later became British Coal as the assistant unit accountant at one of the collieries and studied at college for the Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Business and Finance.
“Due to what happened to the coal industry I became a police officer and finished as a detective constable as a drugs expert and financial investigator.
“When I left the police it was a very different role to when I had started and so I wanted something totally different which working in the funeral service certainly is and far more rewarding.”
Peter’s ambitions for his career are to get better at his job role and do the best for the families who walk in through the door.
He added: “And perhaps to manage more funeral homes in the future and bring on other staff who I believe can develop into Funeral Directors/Arrangers of the future.
“As for ambitions in my personal life, I would like to go to Australia and watch the Boxing Day Ashes test and see England win it in the afternoon of the 5th day.”
Peter loves cricket and is a member at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.
He said: “ I was a very poor player of the sport but I love to go to test matches and one day internationals.
“I also enjoy family life and now my daughter is expecting my third grandchild.
“I’m planning to take them to Disney Florida when he or she is five.”
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