A huge thank you to funeral directors

04/08/2020   //   No Comments

SAIF thanks Paul Allcock for his thoughts on his experiences of the profession in recent months. Paul is SAIF’s government liaison representative, Past President and a dedicated Executive Committee member.

The Office for National Statistics figures for deaths from January 1st up to 17th July this year showed that there have been just over 53,000 deaths more than the average over the same period in the previous 5 years. This is a huge number, and indeed equates to approximately 5 weeks worth of added workload for those involved in the funeral services.

This is emphasised even more by the fact that during the 8 week period from 3rd April to 22nd May the difference was over 55,000 excess deaths.
When you spread this between the approximate 4000 funeral directors across the UK this would only equate to an additional 14 funerals for each firm. The reality of course is that there were areas effected far worse by COVID-19 than others. And subsequently whilst some funeral directors only experienced a small increase in demand, for those in the worst hit areas, such as London, the Midlands and the North West in particular, the last few months have proved to be difficult beyond compare.

I wrote here last month about how funeral directors have well and truly proved their worth to society over this period. Not only this, but how much expense and embarrassment the government has been saved by the immense effort and commitment by funeral directors to still provide a caring and dignified service in the most challenging of circumstances.

There are still many hurdles for us to get over in the coming months. Be that the re-introduction of staff who may have been furloughed or had to self isolate for health reasons. Or simply forward planning and ensuring that everything is in place to cope with any future spikes there may be. We
have already seen this occur in Leicester and need to be mindful that even with all the precautions that are in place, that any area could easily have a dramatic increase of infection at any time.

For the sake of staff and clients alike it is important that funeral directors remain vigilant and continue to take all necessary precautions to aid our communities in avoiding or at least being able to cope appropriately with any future outbreaks.

So a massive thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to support those bereaved over the last few months, and who have proved just how important the role of the funeral director is to society. As much, if not more so now than it has ever been.

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