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New bereavement support service launches in Edinburgh

Times are extremely hard for many now, especially those who have lost someone during the last two years.

The mental health of the bereaved has particularly suffered during these uncertain times, so a not-for-profit funeral director has launched Caledonia Funeral Aid which aims to provide an extra support system for recently bereaved people in Edinburgh.

Caledonia Funeral Aid is an extension of the work of Caledonia Cremation – a social enterprise funeral directors set up to fight funeral poverty by offering not-for-profit cremations. Since their inception in 2018, they have been supporting Scots facing the additional stress of not being able to afford a funeral. During that time, the social enterprise found the support required wasn’t just financial, but practical and emotional too. So, they have extended their offer by launching Caledonia Funeral Aid.

Co-founder John Halliday explains more: 

“We have learnt that just providing a not-for-profit funeral wasn’t enough – people needed more. By setting up Caledonia Funeral Aid we will provide full emotional and practical support to the recently bereaved. 

We will provide a trained coach and funeral support worker to help Edinburgh residents who have experienced a bereavement in the past 6 months This support will focus on their emotional needs.

We are delighted to launch this initially in Edinburgh, thanks to funding from Edinburgh Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund.” 

With the average cost of a basic funeral sitting at £4,000, the organisation receives calls from many people, especially those experiencing in-work poverty or students, who just can’t afford that amount. They don’t qualify for financial help and have nowhere to turn. Through the fundraising efforts of Caledonia Funeral Aid they hope to extend their help to even more bereaved Scots nationwide. 

Photo: Caledonia Cremation