Newly appointed SAIF president Paul Bowley has outlined his vision for the next 12 months – pledging to work with independent funeral directors up and down the country to tackle key challenges facing the industry.
He was speaking during the trade association’s recent AGM weekend in Harrogate, which was attended by over 100 SAIF members from across the UK.
As president of SAIF, Paul will be the national voice for independent funeral directors, raising awareness and improving Government and public understanding of funeral costs and other important issues affecting the industry. He will also be travelling the UK to meet and support individual SAIF members throughout the year.
On becoming president of SAIF, Paul commented: “I have been a member of SAIF for many years and I am proud to be taking on this new role to represent and champion the fantastic work of independent funeral directors who support their local communities.
“The industry is currently facing some big challenges, from concerns over the cost of funerals to increased regulation. I am committed to ensuring the views of SAIF members are given a clear voice.”
He added: “Two years ago, I suffered a heart attack and ended up in hospital where I received incredible support every step of the way. I will be organising events throughout the year as part of our fundraising activities so the British Heart Foundation can continue its valuable work.”
Terry Tennens, Chief Executive of SAIF, added: “It is an exciting time for SAIF as we have seen our membership increase, with more independent funeral directors coming together to support the values we all share. With his extensive experience of working in the industry, Paul will be an excellent representative.”
Paul has been working in the funeral business for over 37 years, having started by making coffins for a local firm in Brighton. In 1999, he established his own funeral directors, Bowley Funeral Service in Hasscocks, in partnership with P & S Gallagher.
In 2010, Paul and his fellow directors launched an additional branch in Burgess Hill followed by new premises, Bowley and Gallagher, which opened in Brighton last year. Today, the company is run by Paul, Pat & Sandy Gallagher and their son Matthew and a team of ten staff.