Funeral director swaps ‘rolls’ for Strathcarron

Kevin Mitchell working in the van in aid of Strathcarron Hospice with Lorrelle Skinner. Picture: Michael Gillen
Kevin Mitchell working in the van in aid of Strathcarron Hospice with Lorrelle Skinner. Picture: Michael Gillen
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A funeral director has donated a week of his time to work in a snack van to raise funds for Strathcarron Hospice.

Kevin Mitchell (49) lives in Airth and has been grafting hard during the past week while owner Shona Fullerton is on holiday.

A keen visitor to the snack bar himself over the years, it was now time for Kevin to experience what it was like to be on the other side of the counter, while his colleague Gordon Brotherston manned the fort at Central Funeral Services.

And Kevin concedes it wasn’t easy.

“It’s more stressful than arranging funerals that’s for sure,” he said. “People came to the van all the time, so it got really busy especially around lunch time so you barely had time to think.

“I knew the customers quite well as a lot of them are regulars so you got quite good banter.

“Occasionally I got their order wrong. They’d ask for linx sausage and I gave them square, so I just said to them take it or leave it that’s what you’re getting.”

The early starts, food preparation and serving hungry customers is a world away from working at the funeral directors.

However, he says it’s been worthwhile after raising £500 for the hospice over the week at the van, which is based at the Bankside Industrial Estate in Bainsford.

“Shona was going on holiday so rather than the snack van closing we wanted to keep it open, so I said I would work there for the week and donate some of the proceeds to Strathcarron Hospice,” he said.

“I’ve known Shona for a long time as we are both from Stenhousemuir.

“I had get up at 4:40am every morning to prepare the specials and get them organised. Lorrelle Skinner who worked beside me in the van was a great help. I finished at 3pm and then after that I concentrated on the funeral business until around 6pm. I was in my bed by 8pm it was so tiring.”

Kevin started working at the van on Thursday, November 11 and finished working yesterday (Wednesday).

“I slipped on my backside when I came in on Friday morning, it was icy and there was water dripping from somewhere so it wasn’t a great start. It was the only time I wasn’t on my feet the whole week!

“My wife Vivien wanted me on a diet so this has been the perfect place because I’ve not had a chance to eat, just an opportunity to get a quick drink of water.“

Kevin did catering for a couple of years before becoming involved in the funeral service industry where he has been for most of his career.

But he concedes he won’t be swapping roles in the near future.

“I don’t think I’ll be working in the snack van anytime soon but I’m sure if the customers are happy then they will get me in again.

“I really enjoy being in the funeral service industry. It is really rewarding. It gives you a feel good factor to be able to support people when they are going through a really hard time.

“We are down to earth and just want to give them a proper send off that their loved ones deserve.”