By Hayley Pugh
Meet the teenage girl who spends everyday surrounded by DEAD people – but couldn’t be happier.
While other teens are busy making themselves look nice, Beth Hand can be found painting the nails and perfecting the hair and make up of the deceased.
The 19-year-old is not only training to become an undertaker but also lives above the funeral directors she works at.
The teenager, from Nottingham, first got into the funeral trade during a work experience placement at the tender age of 17 and is now completing a four-year training programme to become a fully qualified undertaker and embalmer.
Beth, who works full time at A.W Lymn The Family Funeral Service, took the unusual career path following the death of a family member.
She is currently completing the stone masonry section of her course but in the past, her day-to-day tasks have included washing and dressing bodies, collecting bodies in a private ambulance, polishing hearses and speaking to bereaved families.
She said: “I was in sixth form and my plan was to get my A levels and then go to university and then circumstances changed when a close family member passed away.
“At school we had to do some sort of work experience and that’s when I decided to try the funeral directors.
“Literally after the first day I said to my mum, this is what I want to do, this is my career.
“I had recently been through the death of a loved one and I just liked the fact that I was able to look after someone when they couldn’t themselves.
“They’re not just a body, they’re a person to me and it’s nice to be able to help a family when they need it most.”
Beth was studying health and social care and sociology at A level and originally had dreams of becoming a primary school teacher or a midwife.
Later she considered a career in counselling or hair and make up but now utilises both of those things in her role at the funeral parlour.
Ambitious Beth also hopes get a licence to drive a hearse when she reaches the legal age of 21.
She added: “When I was younger I thought about all sorts of career options and now I’ve ended up working with dead people.
“I have very mixed reactions when I tell people what I do. It’s either a conversation starter or stopper.
“They’re either intrigued and start asking lots of questions or they just have no idea what to say.
“My mum wasn’t too impressed at first but she’s my mum and she’s hugely supportive. She sees how happy it makes me.
“I love the fact that I am able to look after people when they can no longer do that themselves.”