We are so pleased to be the first funeral directors in the UK to have the recently-launched ‘GriefChat’ online bereavement support service available directly from our website.
With access to real-time online chat provided by qualified, experienced bereavement counsellors, GriefChat is available free of charge from Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm.
It offers advice and support for grieving people, giving information about grief and how bereavement affects both individuals and families. The service will also be able to signpost users to other helpful bereavement care resources including online and in-print information as well as to local bereavement care services.
Emotions after a bereavement can become overwhelming, especially at this time of year with the festive season fast-approaching. That’s why we’ve chosen to offer GriefChat; to give easy, on-demand access to reputable counsellors who can provide reassurance and understanding about grief and the impact of losing someone you love.
Why use GriefChat?
In April 2017 the UK Government updated its criteria concerning the two main benefits that are available to help with paying for a funeral if you are on a low income. The two schemes are:
Clicking either of the headings above will link directly to the relevant Gov.uk website pages for both payment schemes with an overview of each, an explanation of eligibility, what you might receive, and how to claim.
We will also be pleased to speak to you personally if you're worried about paying for a funeral. Do feel free to get in touch.
We are delighted that our application to become a member of the National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) has been approved.
More than just giving clients confirmation that we adhere to a professional Code of Practice, we hope this also gives reassurance that we have robust policies in place to deal with critically important areas of our work, including the way that we handle charity donations, cremated remains, jewellery, complaints, and the Health & Safety of our staff & visitors.
Updated versions of these policies will be available in the footer of our website in the next few days. We think that ALL funeral directors should offer this level of transparency with regard to policies, procedures and prices.
The latest edition of the official magazine of The Natural Death Centre, featuring analysis of the concept of Direct Funerals (see page 88), as offered via our associated website ClearFunerals.com
The Somerset Registration Service is pleased to announce that there is now an online booking service for appointments to register a death at any registration office in Somerset.
The function is simple to use and gives you all the information you need before attending the appointment. You will receive a confirmation email detailing the appointment and what documents you need to bring, along with the address of the office you are attending.
The online service is available by clicking the link below:
The Fair Funerals campaign is run by the anti-poverty charity Quaker Social Action (QSA), aiming to tackle the growing problem of funeral poverty, which has increased by 50% in the past five years. By signing the Fair Funerals pledge, Countryside Funerals hopes to help people on low incomes to arrange meaningful, affordable funerals.
Here are QSA's 10 ways to avoid financial problems when paying for a funeral:
When the person who has died has been seen by a doctor within 14 days prior to their death, this is the usual procedure for registering their death.
The death will need to be registered within 5 days, and should be done at a registration office in the area (usually the county) where the death occurred. It is possible for deaths to be registered at offices in other parts of the country (a process known as registration by declaration), but experience has shown us that this can be a long and protracted procedure and is really only viable when travel is impossible.
It will be essential to make an appointment to register, so here are some links to the county registration services for Devon, Somerset and Dorset:
Central booking phone number for Devon Registration Service: 0345 155 1002
Central booking phone number for Somerset Registration Service: 01823 282251
Who can register a death?
What you will need to take with you:
The following documents are also helpful but not essential:
Information that the registrar will need to know:
The deceased's full name (and maiden name if applicable)
Date and place of birth
Date and place of death
Their usual address
Details of Husband,Wife or Civil Partner (full name, date of birth and occupation)
If they were in receipt of a pension
Details of the person registering the death (name and relationship)
The Registrar will issue you with the following documents:
Through the ‘Tell Us Once’ scheme, the registrar can also deal with notifying the following agencies:
Personal Taxation (HMRC)
IF THE CORONER IS INVOLVED
If the death is referred to a Coroner , different procedures will often apply. We will help to liaise with the coroner's office and let you know what you will need to do in each individual case.
We hope that the posts in our brand new blog will provide clear, straightforward advice and guidance on topics that are directly related to arranging funerals, and which often seem to prompt the most questions from families that we work with, as well as from the public at large.
These subjects are included as blog-posts because this platform gives us the opportunity to elaborate, and to cover a little more detail than basic website pages, which tend to favour a more 'bullet-point' approach. There are lots of websites that do currently provide excellent information, and we will try to include links to some of these where appropriate.
Please feel free to leave comments and feedback. I would be interested to read your responses, to answer any questions you may have or take on any suggestions for subjects that you may like to see covered in future.
Posts by Damon
For advice, guidance, and practical support.