Felixstowe Families Offered Free Bereavement Support
24/01/2019 - David Button Independent Funeral Directors
Families in Felixstowe struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one are to be offered free bereavement support as part of a new scheme by funeral directors and qualified counsellors. The service is being made available to adult clients of David Button Independent Funeral Directors as part of a caring partnership between leading trade association, the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) and bereavement support specialist Professional Help Ltd.
The scheme, titled SAIFCare, is in response to the growing awareness of the need for many people to seek support following the death of a close friend or relative.
David Button of David Button Funeral Directors, a member of SAIF, said “As funeral directors, we often see people at the start of their journey of grief and feel we would like to do more to assist, as we know that feelings of sadness and loss don’t end with the funeral. This service enables us to go above and beyond for the families in our care to ensure they get the support and advice they need at life’s most difficult time,”
Under SAIFCare, family members will be offered up to six free counselling sessions, which can be used by one person or split between various members of a family. Delivered by a qualified bereavement counsellor, the sessions can take place at a location of the bereaved person’s choosing or by telephone and even online chat and email.
Funeral profession trade association SAIF piloted the service with 13 of its funeral director members last year and quickly identified a need to expand it across a wider area. Funeral directors who are members of the organisation must opt-in to offer the service.
Terry Tennens, Chief Executive of SAIF, said that demand for bereavement counselling was huge.
“It was clear from our trial that people really welcome and rely on the extra support from their funeral director and we are certain that this will be replicated as we roll the service out to more of our members across the UK.
“Whether it’s a growing recognition by the NHS of the benefits of counselling or the current demand placed on existing bereavement organisations, we are in no doubt that more people are seeking help following the death of someone close. It suggests that the famed British stiff upper lip has become outdated. Funeral directors are ideally placed to help,” Mr Tennens said.