What led Sam Conroy to the world of celebrancy, and to training with UKCAPSA?

Sam Conroy shares her inspirational journey to becoming a Humanist Celebrant. It all started when she enrolled on to the UKCAPSA Celebrant and Public Speaking Diploma.

“I grew up in Cumbernauld and the 80’s really killed that for me with THAT advert, “what’s it called” – literally everywhere I go, I got asked that.

So broke free in 2021 when I moved to Motherwell all in the name of love and I’ve been here ever since with my now husband, daughter, my 2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 rabbits (I’m a bit like Noah and his ark – they’ve got to come in two’s!) – I cannot tell you how much they are my life!

Family & Friends are a very big part of my world.

In my spare I’m always up to something – running, paddle boarding, travelling – I’m always going on an adventure!

(image captured by Olive Alexander Photography)

I’ve had a bit of an eclectic mix of jobs – I became a qualified jeweler and gemologist when I finished school with career aspirations to be a diamond grader with De Beers – but my daughter had other ideas about that and instead, I became a Mum to her in 2001. She is and always will be, by far, my greatest achievement.

So, as I got to grips with motherhood, I worked in the private sector as an Account Manager and laterally as a Business Development Account Manager before deciding to return to studying. After a year at college, I went to Glasgow University where I studied to Master’s level (my honours degree is in Sociology and my Masters is in Drug and Alcohol Studies).

I worked in social care for charities such as Shelter Scotland (where I became an Independent Domestic Abuse Advocate), for the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (working in A&Es to engage with patients affected by violence and essentially ‘break’ the cycle) and for Simon Community Scotland (as a service leader, managing a homeless accommodation for adult males and a community outreach team).

I am also a specialist associate trainer for SafeLives. I was invited to the Queen’s Garden Party in 2019 and to speak with Amber Rudd (the then Home Secretary) and her team at the British Parliament buildings in London. 

The COVID pandemic made me look at my career. I had become all things to all people and was heading for a burn out. I was constantly administering rescue medication to people in overdose to the point it became as normal as eating my dinner, and at the time I was also planning my own wedding.

(image captured by Karol Makula Photography)

I got really into it and the ceremony. It got me thinking about other ceremonies I had been to – some good, others bad – and thought “I could do that” and signed up for the UKCAPSA SQA diploma! Now, I am building up my experience as a full-time celebrant, part time candle maker and associate trainer – talk about good work life balance! If Carlsberg did dream jobs!

For me I will always have a passion for funerals, which I see as an honour and privilege and so humbling. To support a person at their point of unimaginable pain over someone they loved so deeply, to help create something so personal and unique in celebration of the life they led, has to be one of the most rewarding feelings, knowing someone so special will never be forgotten.

(image captured by Olive Alexander Photography)

So here I am celebrating being a celebrant – and I can’t thank everyone enough who has helped me on this journey – I really am having the most amazing time! And I’m getting to do jumping the broom – not just once, but twice!

The UKCAPSA course was simply outstanding! Informative and engaging from beginning to end.

It’s a course that gets you thinking, provides you with new and very relevant knowledge to become a celebrant whilst allowing you to enhance and build upon your own pre-existing skills.

It’s self directed study but you have full access to tutors and a fantastic online platform to navigate through while learning, completing tasks and subsequent assessments.

You also get regular feedback sessions. The tasks are all relevant to the course and future career as a celebrant.

Quite honestly I don’t see how you could become a celebrant without it as it gives you peace of mind that you can say with conviction that you are ‘qualified’ in this area and know what you are talking about – there is a lot to celebrant in life.

Highly highly highly recommend this course and it was one of my best decisions.

Feeling inspired? Want to train and become a qualified celebrant?


Sam Conroy
Sam Conroy