Dramatic career move for Northants martial arts academy boss


A Northamptonshire woman who ran a martial arts academy has now started a new career as a funeral director.

Emma Webster started working for Central England Co-op covering Desborough and Market Harborough last year.

Before that, she helped run a martial arts academy for 15 years on the Norfolk coast.

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After moving back to Northamptonshire following a divorce, she decided to embark on a whole new career in the funeral industry.

Emma “hasn’t looked back since” and now supports families through the most difficult times in their lives with genuine compassion and understanding.

However, she did not leave behind her enthusiasm for martial arts.

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Emma uses her skills to volunteer in an anti-bullying program for a National Lottery funded project in her home community of Priors Hall Park, near Corby, sharing her expertise.

The 40-year-old opened up about her rewarding new role as a funeral director.

She said: “After moving back to my family in Corby from Great Yarmouth after my divorce, I thought about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and wanted to build a new career.

“I worked for 12 months with another cooperative as a funeral care logistics manager, working at the back of the house, so not in contact with customers.

“I really enjoyed and love the community side of the business, so when I saw the opportunity to work more with customers and help them directly, that really ticked the boxes for me.

“It’s been going really well so far. You have to own your own journey and you get out of it what you put into it. I believe you have to have that mentality and it works for me.

“Arranging a funeral was great. It’s so rewarding to hold families’ hands through the process and be there on the day to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

“It’s about them trusting you to give them what they want and making sure it’s about them and their loved one.

“I also loved the opportunity to continue practicing my martial arts and using them in such a rewarding way.

“Living in Priors Hall Park, there’s a great community spirit, and we have a community center there where the opportunity arose to do my martial arts and it was great to be involved.”

For Emma, ​​she sees her role as funeral director as more than someone who is there day by day for families.

She is determined to continue this support in the weeks and months to come.

Emma added: “A lot of times in my role, you’re there for the family on the day of the funeral and that’s it.

Emma in her new role as funeral director at Central England Co-op Funeralcare
Emma in her new role as funeral director at Central England Co-op Funeralcare

“I really want to change that approach and have more of a post-burial relationship with the families, maintaining whatever support we can offer.

“We are launching Grief Chat sessions locally, more like a Grief Café, where we seek to invite families to come back to see us and talk about their loved ones and get more support.

“Grieving doesn’t just end after a funeral and we want to be there for our communities long term.”

The next Emma and her Grief Café team will be held at Revive Coffee Shop, 43A Station Rd, Desborough between 10am and 12pm on Wednesday March 23.

There is also a session at the Enigma Café, 18 Coventry Rd, Market Harborough between 10am and 12pm on Thursday March 24.

Central England Co-op Funeralcare has been providing help and advice to local communities for over 30 years.

The Company is proud to be able to provide a complete and personalized service.

Colleagues offer everything from a simple unattended burial to a bespoke shipment or a more elaborate service with top quality casket and limos.

They can also talk to families about funeral plans, offer advice on floral tributes, monumental masonry, funeral stationery and probate.

For more information, whether with a plan or funeral arrangement, call 01858 431012 for Market Harborough or 01536 765662 for Desborough.

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