We welcome Sharon to our team
Updated: May 8
We are delighted to welcome Sharon Middleton to our team as a funeral arranger. She has worked within the bereavement sector for five years and joins us from a role in bereavement services at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium and Cemetery in Tunbridge Wells.
“My role there was very varied and gave me the opportunity to experience all aspects of the funeral sector, including giving information and advice to families, communication with funeral directors and memorial masons, and collating the statutory forms required for cremations and burials,” she explains.
While working there, Sharon studied for certificates in cemetery and crematorium management and also attended the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) education seminars and annual convention.
Sharon was drawn to working in the bereavement sector, after training to become a celebrant.
“During this time, my eyes were opened to the choices people have when arranging their loved one’s funerals,” she explains. “I became aware that we don’t tend to talk about death a great deal in our society and there is a misconception that funerals have to be carried out in a specific way. I feel passionately about families being able to have the funeral they and their loved one wants, one that is representative of the person that has died, so that it feels personal and not prescribed."
Sharon’s role with Tester & Jones involves guiding and supporting families organising a loved one’s funeral.
“I meet families to discuss the type of service they would like to create for their loved one and assist them in whatever way they require,” she explains. “Each family, and their loved one, is unique and with every service I am involved in, I have this in mind.”
Sharon continues: “Essentially what I enjoy about my role is being able to help others. Having gained a certain amount of knowledge about the funeral sector, I am grateful to be working in a role where I can pass that knowledge on to others and use it to be of service in some way.
Having worked at the Crematorium in Tunbridge Wells, Sharon got to know the local funeral directors.
“I always admired Tester & Jones and the service they provided - which was always professional, respectful and efficient,” she explains. “Part of my cemetery role was to oversee the burials taking place on behalf of the burial authority. Whenever a burial was being conducted by Tester & Jones, I always felt confident that things would go smoothly. I had great respect for how Stephen and his team conducted themselves on the day, and the respect and dignity they gave to the family and deceased.”
She continues: “I would be confident in recommending Tester & Jones, as they are very much about serving families. Nothing is too much trouble, if the family want something specific, they will do whatever they can to make it happen. They do not insist that things are done in any set way and are flexible in every aspect of what they do; they set themselves very high standards to adhere to.”
Outside of work, Sharon is passionate about horticulture and enjoys growing vegetables, herbs and flowers.
“I love being out in nature and like to spend time walking and visiting gardens, and am a member of the National Trust,” she adds. “I also like to read, practice Qigong and yoga to relax.”