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We are campaigners fighting for more support for bereaved families, fairer funerals and ending poverty. In our blog we discuss issues and themes related to dignity, emotional support and affordablity in funerals.


Everyone has felt the negative effects of the recent Covid restrictions. Plus everyday household bills are rising at an alarming rate. So – for those who experience a bereavement, life must seem especially difficult– especially for those from low-income households.

So, we are responding to the Covid and cost-of-living crisis by offering pay-what-you can funerals* for the remainder of January.

John Halliday, Director of Caledonia Cremation explains why we decided to extend our offer to bereaved Scots:

“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. Caledonia Cremation 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.

If someone wants to know the usual price, we can tell them. If generous people want to add more towards our fundraising to tackle the root causes of poverty, that is fantastic. But if all they can find to cover the funeral is a few hundred pounds, that’s absolutely fine too.

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.”

The pay-what-you-can scheme will run during January and anyone who needs support can call Caledonia Cremation on 03000 11 33 11 or visit their website

*Terms & Conditions

Please note Caledonia Cremation offer direct cremation only funerals. To find out more about direct cremation and to view our usual prices – click here.

Due to the specifics of the benefits system – those in receipt of Funeral Support Payment are asked to pay our normal price.
Anyone eligible for that funeral support benefit must apply. But we acknowledge that many people in poverty are not eligible such as orphaned students and the working poor.
We are a charity-owned and operated funeral directors who support people facing funeral poverty. Therefore, we gently remind people that the scheme is “pay what you can” – rather than pay what you want.
Caledonia Cremation reserves the right to halt the scheme at any time

** The Cost of Dying Report 2022 – Sunlife

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