Wirral based funeral director Simple Send-offs has joined the national campaign to tackle funeral poverty and pledged to provide a fair deal for local people on low incomes. Funeral poverty exists when the cost of a funeral is beyond a person’s ability to pay. One in seven people now experience serious financial difficulty when paying for a funeral and the cost of dying has risen ten times faster than the cost of living. Over the past ten years the cost of a basic funeral has more than doubled - from an average of £1,920 to £3,897.

At the same time, the grant from the state, available to people on very low incomes has dwindled. It now only covers around 35% of the overall cost of a funeral. Often people don’t find out whether they are eligible for support for a month, by which time they have had to commit to funeral costs having no idea if they’ll get any help towards them.

Buying a funeral can be expensive and confusing. Bereaved people don’t often make savvy consumers, and our squeamishness around discussing death and money can mean we have very little awareness as consumers about whether a price is fair and reasonable. There is a lack of clear, comparable information about prices which make an already stressful, disorientating time worse for people and there are big differences in what funeral directors charge.

Simple Send-offs has signed up to the Fair Funerals pledge to help tackle this problem.

Simple Send-offs pledge:

1. To recognise that funerals can be expensive and many people struggle with the cost.
2. To help people to find funerals that are within their means.
3. To be open about their most affordable options, including third party costs:

- in initial conversations
- within their price lists
- on their website.

The Fair Funerals pledge has been launched by anti-poverty charity Quaker Social Action. QSA run Down to Earth, a project supporting people on low incomes to cover the cost of a funeral.Their Fair Funerals campaign is working with government, charities and the funeral industry to tackle the growing problem of funeral poverty.

Liz Blackmore, co-founder of Simple Send-offs states “The whole reason that Simple Send-offs came into being was to provide an affordable alternative to a traditional funeral. By signing the Fair Funerals pledge we hope to reassure our customers that our transparent and low-cost pricing is genuine. Since the company was launched a little over a year ago we’ve gone from strength to strength, helping people, many of who wouldn’t have been able to afford a more expensive cremation.

The feedback from our customers has been that they were delighted to receive the same service they would have received from a High Street Funeral Director for a fraction of the cost. Simple Send-offs hope that by taking part in the Quaker Social Action campaign and signing up to the Fair Funerals pledge they will help to reduce the growing problem of Funeral Poverty by providing an affordable alternative”.

Heather Kennedy, Funeral Poverty Campaigner at Quaker Social Action says:
“If you’re on a low income and find yourself having to pay for a funeral, it’s very likely you’ll experience funeral poverty. No one should have to go through the distress of not being able to afford a decent send-off for someone they love.

The fact is, because of the price of funerals and the lack of state support, funeral poverty is inevitable for a lot of people in our society. Partly because of our squeamishness around talking about death and money, we’ve shied away from confronting funeral poverty for too long. The Fair Funeral pledge encourages communities to start discussing funeral poverty. It challenges funeral directors to be open and upfront about their prices and provide an affordable option for those people who are struggling.

Many funeral directors are well aware of funeral poverty, and we applaud Tom and Liz at Simple Send-offs for rising to the challenge and tackling it head-on. By signing up to the pledge, Simple Send-offs are committing themselves to providing the information and choices that allow bereaved customers to make empowered decisions.”

For more information on the Simple Send-offs Cremation service please contact Tom & Lizon (0151) 630 0050 or 0800 246 5292 alternatively visit www.simplesendoffs.co.uk

Tom & Lizon
Company: Simple Send-offs
Address: Birkenhead, UK
Phone: (0151) 630 0050 / 0800 246 5292
Website: www.simplesendoffs.co.uk

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