Dorset’s Douch Family Funeral Directors have signed the Fair Funeral Pledge – and published their prices.
The scheme encourages funeral directors to be completely transparent with their pricing structure for the benefit of grieving relatives who might be on low incomes.
All eight of the group’s branches across Dorset are signed up to the Fair Funeral Pledge, which is run by the anti-poverty charity Quaker Social Action.
The campaign is designed to highlight ‘funeral poverty’, which is defined as when the price of a funeral is beyond a person’s ability to pay.
Quaker Social Action says funeral poverty has increased by 50 per cent in just three years.
Many funeral directors are reluctant to talk about money in the first instance with grieving relatives from a sense of traditional politeness.
But the Fair Funeral Pledge is part of a campaign to address this issue which managing director of Douch Family Funeral Directors, Nick Douch, is a strong supporter of. He said: “Of course, speaking with grieving relatives requires a great deal of sensitivity.
“But being honest and up front with pricing is very important for many, especially those on low or fixed incomes.
“All our prices are listed on our website and our funeral directors are honest about them from the start. There are never any hidden charges.
“We are very happy to make the Fair Funerals Pledge as we understand the problems that funeral poverty causes.
“We also run the award-winning Dorset Funeral Plan which means people can pay for their funeral when they are in work and relatively young.
“It has the advantage over a savings account or life insurance policy in that it is paid at today’s prices – no matter how far ahead the funeral is required.”
The Fair Funeral website states: “The impact of funeral poverty can be financial, in the form of unmanageable debt, but it can also be emotional in the form of the distress, shame and the perceived stigma of not being able to provide a ‘decent send-off’ for someone we love.”
Douch Family Funeral Directors’ branches are Douch & Small in Wimborne, AE Jolliffe & Son in Ferndown, Lesley Shand in Corfe Mullen and Blandford, Ives and Shand in Parkstone, James Smith in Swanage, and Albert Marsh in Wareham and Upton. For more information go to www.funeraldirector.co.uk.