Our charity is hoping to set up in 2017 a fantastic new social enterprise offering affordable cremations. Funeral poverty is a huge and growing issue in the deprived Scottish communities in which we work. Our new compassionate cremations will available for anyone living anywhere in Scotland who wants a low key, low cost or low carbon funeral. Please use the form below if you want to donate to setting up this new project. More detail on our plans is found below the form.

Citizens Advice Scotland recently concluded that an average cremation costs over £3100 and this cost rises above inflation every year. This puts dignified and compassionate funerals further out of reach for ordinary families and those with no savings every year. Coffins alone are sometimes sold for £7000. Our new not-for-profit Scotland-wide social enterprise will offer a dignified and compassionately conducted direct cremation service with impartial advice and support plus wider free wrap-around bereavement support.

To us, direct cremation means flexibility so friends and relatives can separate the cremation from the celebration and ritual aspects of the funeral – allowing people to spend more of their limited resources on their own culturally appropriate and personally significant send-off (whether flowers, a wake, a church service, a memorial or something unexpected). In the future, when someone gets a Scottish Funeral Payment we intend for people to have some left over to spend on these personal touches rather than the funeral director taking the whole amount.

Our social enterprise is a way to allow everyone, rich or poor, the same offer of a dignified funeral.

People who use the service but are not in poverty are able to “pay one forward” so someone who has nothing and cannot get any grants don’t fall back on National Assistance (“paupers”) funerals or go into debt with payday lenders.

In addition, we will also be making a social difference through reinvestment in education around bereavement, death and funerals for people of all ages as well as measures to tackle poverty at a community level.

For more information contact john.halliday@communityrenewal.org.uk