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A New Approach To Funerals

We were delighted to see ITV’s “Tonight” programme Funerals: A Costly Undertaking? last night with Rosie Inman-Cook from the Natural Death Centre and Heather Kennedy from Fair Funerals.  The programme raised so many of the issues that we aim to address.  The need for pricing transparency is obvious, but the programme also addressed the importance of understanding what we and our loved ones would like and how we need let others know our wishes. Hats off to Wendy Miller who tells the story of a very different funeral that she arranged for her mother, Doris.

One aspect that wasn’t mentioned (probably because it’s a minefield!) is financial planning for a funeral so that funeral costs are covered. Again, when looking for a plan, it is important to have a choice of funeral director which is why we recommend the Good Funeral Guide Prepaid Funeral Plan.  Unlike other funeral plans, the GFG Prepaid Funeral Plan enables people real flexibility in how and when they pay and to have up to five people on one plan as well as the ability to plan their ideal funeral which does not have to involve a funeral director. With the security of an average 3.5% growth per annum since 2003, what’s not to like!

So, if you missed the programme last night you can click on the link to watch.  Ironically, although we do funerals ourselves, I still haven’t put my wishes into writing – homework for the weekend!!

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November 4, 2016

Dying Matters Awareness Week 18th – 24th May

We were pleased to take part in Dying Matters Awareness Week last week, joining with many others around the UK in discussing issues around death and dying.  The publication of the harrowing Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report on 20th May continued the theme and has led to renewed calls for the Government to introduce free social care at home at the end of life to spare people from dying in hospital, often without specialist palliative care support.  We hope that the wide media coverage, such as that in The Independent, will encourage politicians and health care leaders to improve the experience of dying, reducing the inequalities currently faced by many and bringing a new, compassionate approach to dying that is fitting for our society in the 21st century.

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May 27, 2015

Funeral Poverty Becomes Political

Preparation of a graveA Labour MP, Emma Lewell-Buck, is calling for a Government review of funeral costs.  Earlier on this week in Parliament she highlighted the plight of low-income families who are unable to afford the price of a funeral.  The current DWP Funeral Payment does not cover the cost of an average funeral and a large proportion of applicants are turned down.  Emma Lewell-Buck would like a review and reform of the current national funeral payment.  In an article in the Daily Mail, she also raises the issue of some families burying their dead in the back garden and the implications of doing so.  Whilst we welcome a new approach to funerals and encourage people to be more involved, this should be because they choose to rather than have to.

 

 

 

 

 

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December 12, 2014

Funeral Poverty

funeral-poverty“Funeral poverty” is becoming a big issue in Britain with 1 in 5 families unable to afford a funeral. In an article in the Guardian, Zoe Williams explores the findings of a Government white paper published in January 2014.

Whilst the DWP Funeral Payment is available, it is only accessible to families on benefits and there is little help for people not in this category. A major stumbling block is that families need to pay for the funeral before they are notified regarding their eligibility and receive the payment. This can result in many having to borrow the money – unfortunately often from a doorstep or payday lender, and, consequently, finding themselves left in significant debt. Those unable to access the Funeral Payment or any type of loan are left with the bleak prospect of a pauper’s funeral funded by the local council which can be incredibly distressing, disempowering and hinder the grief process.

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September 7, 2014

The ‘D’ Word

billy-connollyThere is a growing public awareness with household names helping to raise issues surrounding death. Billy Connolly’s well-received documentary … explored different approaches to death in America. More recently, an article by Kirstie Allsopp “The day we buried our mother in the garden” demonstrates that a funeral does not have to be a big, formal affair but can be small, personal and very connected in your own home.

 

kirstie-allsoppWe believe that there is not enough public knowledge of death and funeral arrangements to enable people to make a fully informed decision at a time of grief, shock and pain. We hope that our website will provide you with the information that you need to plan the best possible funeral for your loved one and, ideally, encourage you to think and plan what you would like for your own funeral. We have linked up with Golden Leaves and are now able to offer you ethical bespoke funeral plans where you can rest assured that your money is only invested in green and ethical schemes.

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September 7, 2014