The UK’s first certified funeral social enterprise has been set up in Worcestershire and the West Midlands to help families avoid getting into debt while coping with the death of a loved one.
Powell & Family Direct Community Interest Company (CIC) has been launched by funeral director Bryan Powell and his wife Catherine, to offer simple and low-cost funerals. The service was created online three months ago as a separate social enterprise within their mainstream funeral business.
Since then the family-run funeral firm has already attracted interest and now been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark.
Bryan said: “Over the years I’ve seen families request funerals they can’t really afford, and I’ve even heard of some approaching loan sharks to give mum a ‘proper’ send-off.
“I was convinced that we could, and should, create a high-quality service that reduced the risk of funeral-related debt, and that’s how Powell & Family Direct was born.”
Catherine said: “Trust is a vital part of our relationship with any bereaved family and we wanted to be able to prove that we are 100 per cent committed to putting their needs first. We are so thrilled to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark.”
The Social Enterprise Mark guarantees that holders have met defined criteria, proving that they trade for people and planet rather than being profit driven.
Lucy Findlay, from the Social Enterprise Mark Co, said: “We heartily congratulate Powell & Family Direct CIC on having the vision to become the first funeral director to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark. Not only have they spotted the perfect opportunity for the social enterprise model in the funeral sector, they are also helping people access decent funeral services which they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.”