GOING from plasterer to funeral director isn’t the most obvious career transition but it’s one that Robert Tindall hasn’t regretted.

The father of two works as a Funeral Director for Co-op Funeralcare’s Otley and Ilkley funeral homes. Despite always thinking the industry might have been a good fit for him, Rob didn’t find his way into the funeral sector until 2014.

Rob said: “When I was younger, I remember realising that no-one ever talked about death. It was a taboo subject, swept under the carpet and never discussed. Even as a kid I thought that death felt important in the same way that births are, and always thought it should be out in the open.

“As a teenager, I considered getting a job at a funeral home, but my life took a different turn and I ended up studying languages and business in Leeds. I then found a job in marketing, which I absolutely hated. Being tied to a desk wasn’t for me at all.”

In 2001, Rob and his partner moved to France where he set up as a plaster and tiler. After 12 there the Tindalls moved back to Yorkshire and Rob thought this might be the time to finally look at entering the funeral industry.

He said: “I live just down the road from Co-op Funeralcare in Otley and I would drive past it all the time, and think what a great place it would be to work. I kept looking for opportunities and as soon as something came up, I applied for a job, ultimately ending up at that funeral home.

“I consider my job to be an absolute privilege. My mum is a nurse, so perhaps I have those caring genes in me, but I do feel an urge to look after people and ensure they are treated with respect and dignity when they need it the most.

“For some reason I just feel comfortable speaking to people about their bereavement and about what they want from a funeral, or what their loved one’s wishes were. That’s not something everyone finds easy but to me it feels important and the right thing to do. I can sense what people need to hear from me and the empathy I need to show. For me, the most enjoyable and worthwhile part of the job is helping people who have lost loved ones and need support. That is what gives me job satisfaction and gets me out of bed in the morning.”

On top of the day to day work of supporting the bereaved, Rob works to support the local community via the funeral homes. This year, he has led on the creation of a wild garden at the Otley home, with a wildlife pond and wildflowers. The area provides a peaceful space for families to remember their loved ones. After six years of helping bereaved families, Rob concludes: “I still can’t get my head round the concept of death and I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand it. But I can definitely help and support loved ones as they deal with its immediate effects.”