Help us lead the way in transforming death care

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Poppy’s launched in 2012 to make great death care accessible to all. We’re now looking for a Chief Operating Officer to take our growth ambitions to the next level. Here, CEO and founder Poppy Mardall explains her vision for Poppy’s and why now is the time to bring a COO on board. Could this be the role for you?

When I founded Poppy’s in 2012, the funeral sector was crying out for change. I watched a string of television exposés revealing how normal it was to find manipulative sales techniques, poor care for the dead and a lack of client choices.

I had never worked in the funeral sector, but I knew that this wasn’t what I’d want for my friends, my family or myself. There had to be a better way. I felt there was something I could offer.

So I set about developing and perfecting a service where bereaved people felt informed, supported and at the centre of the experience of planning a funeral. A service where the dead received gentle, thoughtful, natural care.

Why now is the time for Poppy’s to grow

In our early days it made sense that we were supporting a minority of people in London — we were the new kids on the block and we were learning our craft. But it doesn’t feel that way anymore.

It isn’t right or necessary that our excellent service is accessible only to those in the know. We have a responsibility, and a tremendous opportunity, to extend our reach across Greater London — to enable everybody to choose the best possible experience for themselves and the people they love.

In addition to transforming the experiences of our clients, I’m proud to say our strategy at Poppy’s has long prioritised social and environmental impact as highly as client service. We’re on our way to becoming a B Corp to cement our commitment to doing business better — not just for our clients, but also for our people, the community and the planet.

We’re also working with the game-changing American company Recompose to see how we might bring their regenerative death care choice to the UK.

Why now is the time to transform the funeral sector

Our soaring ambitions at Poppy’s stand out in a sector that is known for dragging its heels. The recent Competition and Market Authority’s investigation into funerals brought about some stirrings, but change is not being embraced. The sector is still known for its inflexible, Dickensian approach — where clients do what funeral directors tell them to.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on the democratic nature of dying, death and grief. As a nation we have become aware, together, of the reality of death. As a society, we are ready to think differently and demand more. This is a singular moment for all of us to re-imagine what great death care can and should look like.

This is why our mission at Poppy’s is so compelling. It is crystal clear to me that we are the people who need to step up and change our sector. Nine years since I started Poppy’s, widespread and wholesale change in the funeral sector is still needed. It has become even more urgent. It is time for us to step into the light and lead the way.

Why now is the time for a new COO

We can’t do this on our own — I can’t lead this on my own. I need an experienced, confident, driven COO to lead our fantastic team internally and to support our growth.

There are big challenges ahead. The COO will be responsible for tripling our capacity over the next three to five years whilst nurturing the magic and humanity at the heart of our service. Their confidence, experience and drive for making great service mainstream and scalable is the missing piece of our puzzle.

This will allow me to step up and out into an external-facing role to reach a much, much wider audience.

Could this be the role for you?

Do you feel hungry to transform people’s experiences at one of the most critical times in their lives? Could you revolutionise a sector that has laid dormant for too long?

As our new COO you would be my wing-person, standing by my side. Whether you already work in the funeral sector, or bring skills and experience from somewhere else, you would be critical to shaping our strategy as it develops. You would come and breathe firepower and energy into our plans.

If you take up this challenge, I really believe this will be the work that defines your career. You will look back on this and think — that was the best, most exciting decision I ever made. It has been, and still is, for me.

So please do get in touch to have a call with me. I’m excited to meet you.

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