A WESTON funeral director is emulating Foodbanks to help cash-strapped locals with their funeral costs.
Nigel Groves has become the first in the UK to give out vouchers to help with funeral costs to combat crippling funeral poverty which is growing seven times faster than the cost of living
Nigel Groves said death and the fast growing gigantic costs around funerals is now bigger crisis even then the cost of food – which has seen Foodbanks use grow by 1000% in five years.
He is now issuing food bank vouchers at his Worle High Street base, but is also giving out funeral vouchers to local vicars and community leaders who can assess if a family is in serious need of help with a funeral.
Nigel said: "Funeral poverty is a growing national problem which has been felt particularly hard in Weston-super-Mare as a local seaside town.
"Help with food costs is obviously a great thing and hugely popular, but having someone in your family to die is a sudden and huge cost, which you generally don't prepare for and actually you are suffering grief at the same time. This new Funeralbank will help families in need."
Nigel said: "The vouchers work on a similar basis to the Foodbank vouchers.
"We’ll be looking to provide these to ministers, doctors, health visitors, housing associations and other organisations who are dealing with vulnerable people and may be privy to their financial circumstances.
"As with the Foodbank vouchers, if one of these providers is aware that a person or family have suffered a death and are struggling to make ends meet, they can issue them with a FuneralBank voucher which will give the recipient £250 off the cost of our Simple Funeral. This can make the total funeral cost as little as £1631.00.
"This total will provide all our services as well as cover the cremation, doctors and ministers fee. In order to validate the voucher the recipient must also apply for the government funeral grant from the DWP.
"If they are successful in obtaining the grant, the whole funeral costs will be met with nothing for them to pay.
"For those who are unsuccessful in obtaining the government DWP funeral grant we are looking to begin a FuneralBank charity to help with the cost."
Nigel's local firm is 100% lower priced than some other local funeral directors and are the only local firm with their £999 simple funeral fee being less than the compulsory external or 'disbursement’ costs for loved ones which total over £1200 for the crematorium, doctors' and minister costs.