Young Selston funeral arranger proves age is just a number as she celebrates five years in charge
A funeral arranger who was just 21 when she was put in charge of her own newly-opened branch says she is proud of the way she has been made to feel a part of the community.
Danni Allen is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the day she was put in charge of Nottinghamshire funeral directors Gillotts’ office in Nottingham Road, Selston which opened its doors back in 2016.
Danni, 26, was the youngest person ever to have been appointed as a funeral arranger at Gillotts and spends her days meeting families to discuss their wishes for their loved one’s funeral and also preparing them for when their relatives visit them in the chapel of rest to say goodbye.
She also carries out all of the liaison with families leading up to the day of the funeral itself and ensures that the flowers, cars, crematorium and all the other arrangements are in place.
She is now set to take another step forward in her career by studying for her Funeral Directing Diploma alongside fellow Gillotts funeral arranger Paul Musson and, all being well, they will both gain their qualifications next year.
Danni, whose sister Amanda also works for Gillotts, says the part of her work she enjoys the most is talking to the families and learning about their loved ones, but says that people are still surprised to see her when they turn up for their appointments.
She said: “People don’t expect someone of my age to be doing this job, they expect me to be a receptionist, so they can be a little taken aback when I sit down and do the arrangements.
“I think a lot of families expect the experience to be sombre, but I get families talking about the person and their memories and that puts them at ease.
“The last five years have flown by and it does take a while to get established and for local people to get to know us, but we persevered and we have conducted funerals for families who now recognised me in the shop and come and say hello.
“That’s nice, because it shows they appreciate what we did for their loved one, and it’s nice when they pop into the office a few months after the event to say hello and have a chat.”
Gillotts runs four other offices, in Eastwood, Kimberley, Stapleford and Heanor in Derbyshire, and invested £300,000 in opening Selston, which was the first of its premises to have a coffin showroom.
Joanne Hutsby, a partner in Gillotts Funeral Directors, said: “While Danni was remarkably young at 21 to run our Selston branch on her own, we had every confidence that she would thrive and she has proven her worth many times over during the past five years.
“We’re very proud of her and delighted that she has embarked on her funeral director’s diploma alongside Paul and we wish them both the very best for their studies.”