A funeral services company which launched in Peterlee during the coronavirus pandemic has marked two years in business with the expansion of their team.

Delanoy Funeral Services was formed by John Delanoy and Julie Stout after they were introduced by a mutual friend who thought they’d work well together.

Since then, the partnership has conducted dozens of funerals in Peterlee, Easington, Horden, and the surrounding areas, bringing their own unique stamp to each one to ensure the individual is given the send-off they want and deserve.

Now, as they head into year three of business, John and Julie have confirmed the recruitment of three new members of staff.

Julie said: “What a remarkable two years it has been.

“When we launched, we were determined to change the way funerals are conducted and I am proud to say we have achieved that.

“Such has been the demand for our services that we have recently recruited three new pall bearers, which is freeing up the time John and I have available to spend with the families.

“That’s so important to us because, as we’ve grown, we wanted to ensure that the personal touch we pride ourselves on could be maintained.”

Although John and Julie are from very different backgrounds, John being the fifth generation of Delanoys to work for his family funeral business and Julie running her own successful company, Just Out Marketing, they felt there was potential to go into partnership together.

After several meetings to discuss their ideas, the pair decided that together they could revolutionise the way funerals were conducted, making a real difference to the experience families have as they prepare to lay their loved ones to rest.

They included many different ways of saying goodbye to people’s loved ones which were unique and personalised to themselves, thanks in part to Julie’s background. Many included video tributes amongst many other things with the individual touch being a big part of everything, making it more a celebration of a person’s life.

A lot of Julie’s initial ideas for the business came about during the peak of the pandemic, when so many people were unable to attend family members’ funerals. Since then, they have introduced more creative ways of saying farewell with Julie and John working directly with the families to create something special.

At the time they met, John was reviewing his own family business, which was launched in 1897, and was keen to freshen things up.

John, who has worked in the funeral business since the age of 16, said: “The past couple of years have been a real whirlwind but in a good way.

“Since launching the partnership with Julie, our way of conducting funerals has changed significantly for the better and we know from the feedback we’ve had from families that our touches will stay with them forever.

“Going into business with Julie has been a real breath of fresh air. My family’s business was fully established in the Easington area, however I felt it needed a new injection and ideas, especially given the challenges that Covid-19 was presenting. So, meeting Julie came at the perfect time.

“Since launching in 2020, we’ve not looked back, we have now recruited three new funeral operatives so we’re able to offer families as even better service as they prepare to say goodbye to their loved ones.”