Workshop highlights hidden cost of funerals in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Times: Author of a report into Funeral Poverty, Wiltshire CAB volunteer Alison Dewar (left) with Sheila Dicks, principal of Salisbury College of Funeral Services, Kirsty Field , CAB Social Policy co-ordiantor for Wiltshire and Teresa Perchard ,nat Author of a report into Funeral Poverty, Wiltshire CAB volunteer Alison Dewar (left) with Sheila Dicks, principal of Salisbury College of Funeral Services, Kirsty Field , CAB Social Policy co-ordiantor for Wiltshire and Teresa Perchard ,nat

A workshop investigating the problems people face paying funeral bills wants to establish more support for the bereaved.

A Wiltshire Citizens Advice social policy report found that the average cost of a funeral is £3,284 with the overall cost being £7,114.

This second figure includes extras, known as disbursements, such as transport, florist, printing and legal costs which many don’t anticipate.

Last Friday, representatives from the Citizens Advice Bureau, Wiltshire Council and funeral providers met, at St John’s Parish Centre, to discuss ways of cutting costs and making the public aware of everything that needs to be paid for when someone dies.

Author of the report, Alison Dewar, a social policy volunteer, said: “Many of the people I spoke with had no idea how much a funeral actually costs, we need the help from MPs, GPs, care agencies and other organisations to make people aware of the debt they face.

“Many people are simply overwhelmed when organising a funeral, as it is of course a very difficult time and many don’t know what is involved.”

The report recommended a clear four step code be introduced with the main points suggested that cost awareness should be raised, funeral directors should clearly clarify charges, support should be given to those struggling to pay for services and that the public support funding process should be quickened.

Currently, those who struggle to pay for funerals can apply to the government’s social fund funeral payment scheme but that only entitles applicants to up to £1,200 and the report also raises concerns about the success rate and eligibility.

Shelia Dicks, of Will Case & Partners and the Salisbury College of Funeral Sciences, said: “This is a splendid report and you know it something that the Citizens Advice Bureau will run with.

“There are a lot of costs out there but one thing I always say to my clients is that you don’t have to spend large amounts of money to show you love someone, its the quality and personal touches that count, and a good funeral can be done quite cheaply.”

Wiltshire Citizens Advice plan to work with the University of Bath to research the issue further and plan to set up a working group to take the report’s recommendations forward.

For more information visit www.cabwiltshire.org.uk.

Comments (4)

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12:50pm Mon 25 Feb 13

melkshamwizard says...

ive always thought that funerals were a big rip off.people making money from the bereaved,when someone looses a loved one the last thing they want is being ripped off,the last thing they think about is money,if you have no money what do they do then.
ive always thought that funerals were a big rip off.people making money from the bereaved,when someone looses a loved one the last thing they want is being ripped off,the last thing they think about is money,if you have no money what do they do then. melkshamwizard
  • Score: 1

6:44pm Tue 26 Feb 13

jezercalne says...

As a retired IFA I spent much of my time trying to educate people of the need to make provision for the inevitable. Some listened, some didn't.
As a retired IFA I spent much of my time trying to educate people of the need to make provision for the inevitable. Some listened, some didn't. jezercalne
  • Score: 0

10:18pm Tue 26 Feb 13

melkshamwizard says...

jezercalne wrote:
As a retired IFA I spent much of my time trying to educate people of the need to make provision for the inevitable. Some listened, some didn't.
i still make my point its a big rip off,
[quote][p][bold]jezercalne[/bold] wrote: As a retired IFA I spent much of my time trying to educate people of the need to make provision for the inevitable. Some listened, some didn't.[/p][/quote]i still make my point its a big rip off, melkshamwizard
  • Score: 0

5:37pm Thu 28 Feb 13

spinal-crap says...

does the mElksam WiZard werk for tHe Wiltshire tims!
does the mElksam WiZard werk for tHe Wiltshire tims! spinal-crap
  • Score: 0

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