12/02/2015 11:32 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Girl, 19, Gets Dead End Job...As An Undertaker (And She Loves It!)


It might be a dead-end job to most teenagers, but 19-year-old Lydia Proudley loves her new one of Britain's youngest undertakers.

Lydia, from Poole, Dorset, left school last summer with A-levels in psychology, biology and German.

But, unlike most of her friends, she wasn't interested in going to university and instead did work experience at Tapper Funeral Service based in Dorset and Hampshire.

She's now fulfilled her career dream of becoming a funeral director and spends her days lining coffins, embalming bodies and comforting grieving families.

She told her local paper: "I picked that work experience because I was interested in forensics and that was the closest thing I could do.

"I spent a week at the business, being shown around, watching some funerals, observing a body being embalmed.

"That was the first time I had seen a dead body and I was more okay with it than I thought I would be. It really didn't bother me, it was just like they were asleep.

"After my week there the company offered to take me on in school holidays.

"I was the first person they had ever taken on from work experience and I started in the next school holidays doing things like washing the cars and engraving name plates and making up the coffins - lining them and putting on the handles.

"I was given more responsibilities at the funeral directors and decided that was what I wanted to do.

"Throughout my A-levels I didn't want to be at school, I just wanted to start working as a funeral director.

"When I finished school I applied to lots of different funeral directors but none had any vacancies. People don't really leave the job once they're in the industry so it's quite rare for a job to come up.

"I think some of them dismissed me a bit because I'm so young. But I just kept pestering funeral directors and it paid off last October when I got a job.

"I love my job. I like that there are a lot of different aspects to the job, like making sure that the family are okay. It's quite satisfying to know that you're helping people.

"I have always found things like the embalming quite interesting. It makes you appreciate life more.

"My family has always been really supportive and say they are proud of me. But my friends think it's really weird. They try and embarrass me a lot but I don't care.

"At school there was always pressure to go to university but my friends have all got debts now and live on a tight budget. I have a positive figure in my bank account, have my own car and a career."