Society for Allied Independent Funeral Directors

This month’s article in the National SAIF insight magazine.

‘We want to show people that a respectful, dignified funeral and a high level of service needn’t cost the earth.’

That’s the ethos of Nigel Groves who, along with his wife Claire, has opened his first business at Weston-super-Mare.

Both Nigel and Claire previously worked with a large corporate funeral business, and it was a sense of getting back in touch with people and the community that prompted them to set up on their own in September 2015.

‘We both felt that we had been moving further and further away from what we loved to do – dealing with families and looking after the deceased. By becoming independent we felt we had more to offer.’

They’ve certainly been quick to develop new ideas. Among other things, they are emulating the foodbanks by providing £250 discount vouchers to people in need – these are distributed through ministers and community leaders.

In what Nigel believes to be a first in the UK, Nigel Groves Funerals provides an ‘at cost’ funeral for anyone who is 30 or under when they pass away. This complements their ‘no fee’ funeral they provide for children up to the age of 18.

That energy and innovation has helped the business exceed expectations in its first months, and there are ambitions to keep growing – the plan is to have a second branch within three years.

‘It was definitely a good decision to set up the business,’ said Nigel. ‘It was a big step, but giving people an excellent service at a reasonable cost is something we feel passionate about.’