A FORMER police officer and primary school teacher who decided on career changes and retrained as funeral directors have now opened their second premises, this time in East Lancashire.

The children of Hannah Vaughan and Marcia Harvey, both from Summerseat, attend the same school.

After having her three children, Hannah, 40, says she began contemplating her future and knew she wanted to work for herself.

She said: "I worked as a police officer for 15 years in Greater Manchester and I was involved in organising some high-profile funerals as well as being a family liaison officer and working in child protection.

"Although I enjoyed my time in the police, sometimes I did feel like a square peg in a round hole.

"When I started studying funeral directing, I felt like I was coming home; it was what I was meant to do and it has enabled me to make a real difference to people's lives."

This month, the two friends opened their second office in Deardengate, Haslingden, having successfully run Signature Funerals in Bolton Road West, Ramsbottom, since 2018.

Hannah said: "What we noticed about the industry, was that most of the time bereaved families had to take out a package.

"At Signature, we offer people a bespoke, tailor-made funeral and that level of personalisation and planning goes into every single funeral that we arrange."

Marcia, 45, was the special needs consultant for primary schools in Bury but had a year of serious illness, which left her also pondering her future career.

She said: "Working as a funeral director enables me to help people through difficult times, which is just what I was doing in my education career."

The company has organised 175 funerals since they opened and half of those have been ‘free’ funerals where the Department of Work and Pensions has provided the funding to eligible families.

Hannah added: "This has meant that we have been able to help families who are really struggling to meet the costs of a funeral.

"We are willing to tailor the funeral they want to the amount that the DWP grant provides, so that the family is not left with a debt and they do not have to pay a deposit."

For the last three years, Signature Funerals was as listed as one of the top three funeral directors in Bury.

For more information call 01706 829482 or 260571 or, email support@signaturefunerals.co.uk