Neville Funerals, one of the Home Counties longest-established family-owned businesses, is reporting an increase in requests for Direct Funerals in the wake of both the pandemic and as a result of the current cost of living crisis. Now the firm wants to help make clear that Direct Funerals is a service offered by local and independent funeral directors and that those restricted by budget should not discount these firms in favour of the national services, so often seen advertising on national television and social media platforms.
Based in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Neville Funerals, which has been operational for over 140 years, has reported that the number of Direct Funerals that they have delivered to their customers increased by 81% between 2019 to 2022 – and remains at a high level for the firm.
A Direct Funeral is the process by which the deceased is usually cremated in a very simple and straightforward process, without a traditional service or any gathering, religious or secular. It is, by its very nature, a low-cost option for families – although some Direct Funerals are undertaken to follow the choice of the deceased, communicated prior to their demise.
Since 2020 the UK has experienced two major societal setbacks, the Covid-19 pandemic and cost of living crisis. As a result of this, Direct Funerals, which are becoming increasingly popular have held the national spotlight after a series of fierce national advertising campaigns have been aired.
Along with national advertising campaigns, comes public perception. Where typically, Direct Funerals are 60% cheaper than a traditional funeral, a Direct Funeral can remove family and friends from the process entirely – with them having no knowledge of where their loved has been removed to or where the cremation has taken place. Neville Funerals wants families to understand that this doesn’t have to be the case.
Vicky Trumper, Director of Neville Funerals, explains: “As we all know, the cost-of-living crisis has impacted nearly all aspects of our daily lives, including how we approach end-of-life arrangements for ourselves and those around us. In recent years, especially since the start of the covid pandemic there has been a growing trend in the take up of Direct Funerals, which are becoming increasingly popular as a more affordable alternative to traditional funerals.
“But, we want the general public to know that taking the Direct Funeral route does not have to mean a complete divorce from a personalised service. That more choice is available to them that they may not be aware of – and without impact on cost. Local, independent Funeral Directors all offer this service, and the clearest benefit is that the deceased remain in their care throughout the process – genuinely a real comfort to many. So that even if a traditional funeral service is not planned or desired, there is reassurance in knowledge and understanding of the level of care and respect the deceased will receive.”
According to the FCA 34 per cent of adults in the UK either having no savings or less than £1,000 in their account. So an unplanned expense, such as that of a funeral, can be a stressful event for many in more ways than one.
Vicky continued: “We think it is our responsibility to ensure that the Direct Funerals option can viewed as viable and considered choice, that can be selected without guilt or remorse, because what may be seen as a simple, no-frills alternative does not have to be impersonal. In fact, those that opt for a direct cremation often have more flexibility to personalise their loved ones send off, and sometimes opt for more of a celebration of life event. Our message is that if this is something you want to consider, knock at the door of your local independent funeral director first, or certainly as well as, so that you have all the information available to you to compare both cost and service.”
Neville Funerals is an independent family run group of companies that has been operating successfully across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and the surrounding areas for more than 140 years.