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Pay-what-you-can funerals launched

Scottish charity-owned funeral director, Caledonia Cremation has responded to pandemic and cost of living hikes by offering pay-what-you can funerals for those who have lost someone.

2021 was a tough year for many. It also started with severe Covid restrictions which disproportionately affected low-income workers. Later in the year, it was announced that the £20 uplift in Universal Credit was to be removed, affecting over 450,000 Scottish households*. And this year, hard-up families face a rise in energy prices and inflation, leading to what has been described as “a cost-of-living crisis”. So, not surprisingly, 2022 may be looking very bleak for some Scottish families.

John Halliday, Co-Founder of Caledonia Cremation, today announces a scheme to support bereaved people experiencing hardship this January. Halliday said:

“Caledonia Cremation is not a traditional funeral director. When we launched in 2018, we became Scotland’s only social-enterprise funeral director. That means our first concern is people and not profits.

“I see all around that this pandemic has made rich people richer and poorer people poorer. I strongly feel it is up to society to do our bit now in helping those worst affected, however we can.

“People need better food, cheaper housing, catch-up education and help back into work. We can’t do all those things, but what we can do something about the cost of funerals.

“Sadly, it is a fact of life that everyone needs a funeral. But for some people their funeral is the most expensive purchase they ever make. The average cost of a basic funeral is over four thousand pounds**. So, our contribution is this – we’ve decided to remove all our fees and just let bereaved families pay-what- you-can during this pandemic recovery period.

“There is no means testing, we trust people to know what they can and cannot afford.

“No one anywhere has ever done this before, so we are learning as we go.

“No one should judge your worth based on the size of your savings. We hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2022, but if the unthinkable happens, then please know you are not alone – we are here and will do everything we can to support you throughout your loss.”

For more information about Caledonia Cremation, visit

*Universal Credit £20 weekly uplift cut affects all 32 councils in Scotland – check your area now – Daily Record.

**The Cost of Dying Report 2021 – Sunlife.

Image credit: Caledonia Cremation.