Southern Co-op has named Tom Parfitt as ‘Funeralcare Colleague of the Year’.
Selected out of nearly 300 colleagues working in funeralcare at Southern Co-op, Parfitt was selected for his “hard work and dedication to the community” after volunteering his time transforming lifeless items with colourful murals.
Last year, he adorned a bus at Hope Nature Centre in Southwick with animals of all shapes and sizes which is being used at the centre as part of its work to train people with learning disabilities in animal care and catering skills.
He also helped a Frome day care service with an upcycle project that was designed to make the garden area a brighter and more pleasant area for adults with learning disabilities and autism.
He said: “In a nutshell I was gobsmacked when I heard. My manager had just completed my Covid-19 secure audit and then she went super serious saying she had something to tell me. Honestly I was worried.
“When she explained why I had been put forward I was humbled. I love the job that we do and all the team that surround and support me. Plus it’s an added bonus to be able to donate my hobby in the way of art to as many people as I can. I just wanted to say thank you for the award. It was a shock and it will be cherished.”
Jennifer Walter, sector operations manager for the region, said: “Tom has been invaluable to the team and me with his unwavering positive attitude, complete flexibility and dedication to the families he is supporting in branch.
“On top of all that he has done with the branch and the funeral team, Tom has made a massive impact on his local community. It has also escalated to Tom supporting other branches with artwork community projects and requests coming in thick and fast locally for his help.”
She added: “I cannot speak highly enough about the efforts, enthusiasm and dedication Tom has shown over the last 12 months. He is an invaluable member of my team.”