A day in the life of Poppy's HQ

Five minute read

Angie (above right) is one of Poppy’s Client Support Advisors. If you call us up or pop in, it’s most likely to be Angie or her colleagues Lily and Gemima who you speak to first. Angie gives us a glimpse behind the scenes as she talks us through a day in her life at Poppy’s.

See more behind-the-scenes at Poppy's in our introductory video.


The morning starts with the weekly operations meeting. This is where we talk about workload, current capacity and resolve any issues. We’re a small team, but a busy one, and these weekly catch ups give us the chance to take stock.


Time to sort through the phone and email messages. I start by calling back a family who left us a message earlier this morning. Their mum died at home overnight and they would like us to collect her today.

I’ve spoken to this family before — they called last week when they knew their mum was close to dying. Back then, I shared some simple tips to prepare them to look after her and spend time with her at home after she’d died.

I talk to the mortuary team to book in the collection and hand over information about where they need to go and what to expect, then I let the family know when the team will arrive.


A woman knocks on the door to drop off a bag of clothes for her grandpa. I make a record of the clothes — it's really important to us that we take excellent care of all property trusted to us. Sometimes people like their friends or family members to be dressed in their best clothes, others choose something comfortable and well-worn.

This time, it’s a pair of fresh pyjamas and some warm socks. I’ll drop these over to the mortuary later. It’s only a minute’s walk away through Lambeth cemetery.


I call the people who have submitted estimates for funeral costs using the online tool on our website. I ask if they need any more information and answer any questions they might have about how Poppy’s can help them.


The phone rings. It’s a man whose wife is in our care. He’s met with one of our funeral directors and, after that conversation, has decided that he’d like to come and visit his wife in our Family and Friends room.

I check the available times and book a visit for tomorrow afternoon. He asks if it’s okay to bring his children with him to visit too — which of course it is.

In response to his questions, I explain the natural changes that might have affected how his wife looks and reassure him that she will be dressed in the clothes that he has already dropped off for her.

Find out more about visiting someone at Poppy's


The phone has gone quiet! It’s a good time to follow up enquiries from previous calls or emails. This can be anything from chasing GPs for paperwork, confirming changes to an order of service, scoping venues or booking a slot at a crematorium or burial ground.

I see the Client Support Advisors’ office as the engine room of Poppy’s. We are connected to everyone — the mortuary team, the funeral directors, hospitals, hospices, coroners, suppliers, cemeteries, crematoria and, most importantly, to clients.

Today, I’m looking for a funeral venue that’s accessible by horse and carriage and available on a particular date. It takes some searching, a chat with a colleague and a few follow up phone calls to find something that fits the bill.

Although the phone isn’t ringing, I do have to pop down the stairs to answer the door a couple of times! First to a delivery of flowers, then to some lost people looking for nearby Lambeth crematorium.


I grab some lunch. As there are three Client Support Advisors, there’s always someone to cover the phones. I might nip out for some fresh air and water the planters outside the front door. The flowers provide a touch of life and colour for people who visit us.


The collection team arrives back. I call the family and let them know that their mum is safely in our care. The team will be back out again soon to collect someone who has been discharged from the coroners now that their post-mortem has been completed and the paperwork is ready for the funeral to go ahead.


More calls come in. You never know what to expect when you pick up the phone. It could be a GP, a supplier or someone whose friend or family member has just died. You have to be ready for anything.

I’m always calm and respectful when I answer the phone, but I adjust my tone depending on the person I’m talking to. Clients often tell us they appreciate the way that Poppy’s team members speak naturally without using an overly sombre tone.

I can usually sense when someone needs to take their time, when they want a lighter touch, or when they simply want quick answers to their questions.

This time it’s a question from a former client. We organised a funeral for them last month and now they are looking for advice about sending ashes overseas.


The next call I take is from someone getting in touch with us for the first time and who found us through Google.

They have lots of questions, for example asking about the clothing our bearers wear. They seem reassured to know that our uniform varies depending on what they feel would be most appropriate, and that we have less formal options.

They decide to appoint Poppy’s as their funeral director, and we cover some basic information — where the person who’s died is now, whether they want a burial or cremation (this is important to establish early on as these require different paperwork) and what date they would like the funeral to be.

If they choose a direct cremation, I will support them all the way through. Otherwise, once we’ve arranged a date for the funeral, I’ll set up a meeting with them and one of our lovely funeral directors to go through their thoughts and plans in more detail.


I can now get round to finalising paperwork, finishing off any last jobs, and making sure the database is updated with new clients or other changes.


Time to go home. Usually the phone rings just as I’m about to leave, but today it’s quiet! Every day in this job is different, so I have no idea what tomorrow will hold.

Read more blogs from behind the scenes at Poppy’s why I work at Poppy’s and what it’s really like working in a mortuary.

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