Isabel Walton Apprentice of the Year Winner-7a5f8c20

A.W. Lymn Trainee crowned Apprentice of the Year

Isabel Walton, trainee at Nottinghamshire’s largest independent funeral directors, A.W. Lymn The Family Funeral Service, has been announced as the winner of the Apprentice of the Year category at the 2021 Nottinghamshire Live Women in Business Awards.

Isabel was recognised for working exceptionally hard since she first started the A.W. Lymn trainee course in 2019 and has shown a real dedication to her role, remaining professional and attentive during the uncertainty and pressure of the pandemic.

The Nottinghamshire Live Women in Business Awards aim to shine a spotlight on women who have triumphed in business and recognise their inspiring work and achievements from the past 12 months. The winners were announced online, after the organisers made the decision to cancel the grand final event due to concerns around the pandemic.

Set up 20 years ago, the A.W. Lymn four-year residential trainee course offers the opportunity to work in each department of the business and gain five qualifications in total, ready to kick-start a career in the funeral industry.

On receiving the news, Isabel said: “I feel so honoured to have been given this award. Right from the age of 15 I knew I wanted to start a career in the funeral industry and feel very proud of how far I’ve come since.”

Since joining the programme, Isabel has gained experience in various areas of the A.W. Lymn business including stone masonry, floristry, coffin preparation and the mortuary. In doing so, she has already passed the BRAMM (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons) fixing exam and received the Institute of Advanced Motorists Membership (IAM).

Isabel had not long been on the trainee programme before the Covid-19 outbreak, which had a huge impact on her role, working within the mortuary throughout the pandemic and dealing with the increase in death rates.

She said: “It has been extremely hard having to deal with families unable to see their loved ones once passed, but knowing we take care of them each step of the way and offering support to the families makes the job extremely rewarding.”

“Often people are shocked to hear what I do for a job, as a young woman working with the deceased. I’m pleased to be challenging the stereotypes within what has been traditionally known as a male dominated industry and hope to lead the way for other young women who may want to consider a career in the funeral industry.”

In 2020, Jackie Lymn Rose, company director at A.W. Lymn, received the coveted lifetime achievement award at the Women in Business Awards.

Jackie said: “We are so proud of Isabel for receiving this award, she has dedicated so much time and energy to Lymns and we are very grateful for that. The past two years have been particularly challenging, but Isabel continues to remain professional and support families during their time of need. It’s great to see young women passionate about a career in the funeral industry and we look forward to supporting Isabel each step of the way in hers.”

The fifth-generation family business has been helping the bereaved for over 110 years, with quality of service and value for money at the heart of its ethos. A.W. Lymn now operates 27 funeral homes throughout Nottinghamshire and South Derbyshire.