With funeral costs more than doubling in only 10 years, funeral directors are under pressure from the public to be fair and open about what they charge. With so few funeral directors putting prices online and many not wanting to talk openly about money, it can be really difficult to compare costs and find a funeral within your budget.

North east funeral directors lagging behind

Our Fair Funerals pledge tackles this problem by asking funeral directors to be fair and open about their prices. Across the UK, a third of the industry has signed up. But funeral directors in the north east of England are lagging behind. Less than 1 in 10 north east funeral directors have joined – an incredibly small total of 33 funeral branches.

We’re now calling on funeral directors in the north east to sign the pledge. This asks them to:

  • Recognise that funerals can be expensive and that many of their clients would struggle with the cost
  • Help people to find funerals that are within their means
  • Be open about their most affordable options, including 3rd-party costs in initial conversations, within their price lists and on their websites

Priced out of a decent funeral

On a national level, funeral poverty is a pressing issue that affects 1 in 7 of us. But the squeeze is felt particularly strongly in the north east, which is still home to some of the UK’s worst poverty hotspots. With the average cost of a funeral now soaring to almost £4000, a decent send-off is out of reach for many, especially those already struggling with spiraling living costs or debt.

Having dignity in death is a basic human right, and yet in one of the world’s richest countries, people are being priced out of decent funerals.

Heather Kennedy, Fair Funerals campaigns manager, says:

“When we’re grieving, we don’t make savvy customers, so we really need funeral directors to be open and honest about prices. Too many funeral directors aren’t doing this, especially in the north east. We want to see all funeral directors in the north east putting prices on their sites and talking openly about money and money concerns. By signing the Fair Funerals pledge and being open and upfront about prices, companies can really help people find a funeral they can afford."

The campaign is being supported by MP for South Shields Emma Lewell-Buck. Emma says:

Funeral directors are in a unique position as a confidante, service provider and guide to those dealing with grief. I would encourage any director who feels they can sign up to the Fair Funerals pledge to do so. Being pro-actively transparent about the costs and options available at the outset can only serve to positively enhance the reputation of the funeral director as well as making the whole experience of organising a funeral  less stressful and worrying for families, especially those who have low incomes.

Ask your funeral director to sign!

We’re encouraging people in the north east to ask their local funeral director to sign the pledge. Funeral directors are very interested in what their community think, so you could make a big difference.

Write to your local funeral directors asking them to sign the pledge. Ask other people in your community to do the same. Use our sample letter or write your own.

Download sample letter

Check our map to see if local branches have signed

Materials to help you take action

We have designed materials to help you take action. They include tips on:

  • What you can do
  • How to take action
  • What you need to know
  • Guidelines for talking to funeral directors

DOWNLOAD THE PACK OF MATERIALS

Tweet about the pledge

Use the hashtag #fairfunerals
Follow us at @endfuneralpov


Who's already signed?

The funeral directors in the North East who’ve so far signed the Fair Funerals pledge:

  • R. Kinghorn Funeral Directors, Morperth
  • John Duckworth Licensed Family Funeral Directors, Sunderland
  • Scollen and Wright funeral service, Sunderland
  • Whitehouse Funeral Service, Darlington
  • John G Hogg Funeral Directors, Sunderland
  • Saint And Forster Funeral Directors Ltd, East Darlington,
  • R J Burgess, Normanton
  • C Mcgough & Sons, Stoke on Trent
  • Daren Persson Funeral Services Ltd, North Shields
  • Gary Staker Funeral Services Limited, Whitley Bay
  • CM Walkers Funeral Services Ltd, Gateshead
  • Your Choice Funerals, Tyne & Wear
  • Hardys Funeral Service, Willington
  • Cycle of Life Environmental Funerals, Newcastle
  • Gordon Fletcher and Sons Ltd - Charles Street, Spennymoor
  • Gordon Fletcher and Sons Ltd - Cobblers Hall, Newton Aycliffe
  • Gordon Fletcher and Sons Ltd - St Martha and St Marys, Ferryhill
  • Manor House Funeral Services Ltd. - Blackwood House, Sunderland
  • Manor House Funeral Services Ltd. - Hylton House, Sunderland
  • Manor House Funeral Services Ltd. - Jubilee House, Sunderland
  • Manor House Funeral Services Ltd. - Manor House, Sunderland
  • Manor House Funeral Services Ltd. - Westholme House, Sunderland
  • Peter Dodd Funeral Directors - Chiswick Square, Sunderland
  • Peter Dodd Funeral Directors - Gladstone Street, Sunderland
  • Peter Dodd Funeral Directors - The Broadway, Sunderland
  • Peter Johnson Funerals Ltd - Hartleyburn Avenue, Hebburn
  • Peter Johnson Funerals Ltd - Imeary Street, South Shields
  • Peter Johnson Funerals Ltd - Newcastle Road, Sunderland
  • Peter Johnson Funerals Ltd - Whiteleas Way, South Shields
  • Tony Clarke Funeral Directors Ltd, Sunderland
  • Carol Finn Funeral Ltd, Sunderland
  • Liddell Funeral Services, Tyne and Wear, Kirkleatham Memorial Park & Crematorium, Cleveland

Check our map to see if local branches have signed