Not-for-profit funeral director wins UK Social Enterprise Award

The country’s only not-for-profit funeral director, Caledonia Cremation, was named ‘One to Watch’ at the UK Social Enterprise Awards in London this week on Wednesday 28 November.

This UK-wide recognition came shortly after winning same accolade at the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland, held at the Scottish Parliament at the beginning of November.

Offering simple, direct cremations for one all-inclusive price of £995, the charity-owned company, newly founded in February, sets out to provide a flexible, affordable option for bereaved families across Scotland.

The company claims to have already saved 100 families a combined total of over £80,000 in funeral expenses as well as hosting death café events and providing bereavement counselling.

Caledonia Cremation founder, Paul McColgan, recounted his personal story of experiencing a tragic loss in his family, and consequently discovering the scale of profiteering in the funeral sector, that motivated him to launch the people-before-profit initiative. “Sadness turned to anger turned to hope,” the charity CEO told the 400 invited guests.

Co-founder John Halliday said: “We have had such fantastic feedback from families we support which is reward in itself, but to get two such prestigious awards for our Scottish firm is a huge boost for everyone at Caledonia Cremation. Every five minutes another bereaved family falls into poverty due to unaffordable funerals.

“We are proud to help families arrange their own cheaper and more personalised celebration away from the crematorium, and we have also been able to invest in counselling, an advice helpline and education around bereavement, funerals and death.”

Judges of the UK Social Enterprise Awards added: “This new business already delivers one in every 300 funerals in Scotland. Whilst providing better funerals, they address widespread funeral poverty and provide bereavement support.”

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