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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.


Is Caledonia Cremation available near me?

Our not-for-profit direct cremations are available across mainland Scotland


As Scotland’s only social enterprise funeral directors, it is essential that we are available to as many people as possible. So, our support is available nationwide.

We offer not-for-profit direct cremations across mainland Scotland. So from Aviemore to Aberdeen, Dundee to Dumfries, Glasgow to Galashiels, Greenock to Glenrothes, Edinburgh to Elgin, Perth to Peebles – we will be there to support you.

Additional support for those facing funeral poverty

Caledonia Cremation was set up by Scottish anti-poverty charity Community Renewal to help bereaved Scots who can’t afford a funeral and need help.

With the average cost of a basic funeral sitting at £4,000 – many people faced with organising a funeral where no financial plans were in place don’t know where to turn.

We are here to support every bereaved Scot – regardless of their financial circumstances, so please do get in touch:

Call 03000 113 311

Launching our new bereavement support service

Launching our new bereavement support service

Due to these unprecedented times – we are extending our support for bereaved Scots by launching Caledonia Funeral Aid

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 we are launching 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 Caledonia Cremation does nationwide – fighting funeral poverty by offering not for profit cremations.

Now we are offering practical and emotional support to recently bereaved people in Edinburgh, even if they haven’t used us for a funeral.

What kind of support is available?

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

The support will focus on your emotional and practical needs. We will listen and provide a safe and trusted place in which to discuss your loss and its impact on your life.

Where is the support available?

We are delighted to offer this service initially in Edinburgh, thanks to funding from the Edinburgh Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund.

However, our aim is to launch this nationwide very shortly.

How do I get in touch?

Those wishing to access the support can call 03000 11 33 01.

Help us to support those facing funeral poverty

With the average cost of a basic funeral sitting at £4,000, we receive 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. We never turn anyone away and through the fundraising efforts of Caledonia Funeral Aid, we hope to extend our help to even more bereaved Scots nationwide.

We accept donations through our website and our team are also doing all the Kiltwalk this year so anyone wo wants to help us support more bereaved Scots can do so here

Kiltwalk 2022

Kiltwalk 2022

Funeral poverty isn’t going away.

We need to do more.

So Caledonia Cremation is launching Caledonia Funeral Aid which aims to raise funds so we can support even more bereaved Scots facing hardship. 

For our first major campaign, staff, friends and volunteers are doing all 5 Kiltwalks this year!

Kiltwalk 2022 Dates

  • Glasgow Kiltwalk – 24 April
  • Aberdeen Kiltwalk – 29 May
  • Dundee Kiltwalk – 21 August
  • Edinburgh Kiltwalk – 18 September
  • Scotland’s Virtual Kiltwalk 7 – 9 October


With the average cost of a basic funeral costing over £4,000 – some understandably don’t know if they can afford to say goodbye to their friend or loved one. With the funds raised by Caledonia Funeral Aid, we can support these people.

If you would like to join our Kiltwalk team we can give you free registration codes. All you have to do is email and we will do the rest!


Together we can #endfuneralpoverty and be sure everyone gets their loving goodbye 


Caledonia Cremation has launched the first ever Pay-What-You-Can funerals to support those facing funeral poverty this January

Caledonia Cremation has launched the first ever Pay-What-You-Can funerals to support those facing funeral poverty this January

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

It’s time to ban the P word

It’s time to ban the P word

The loss of a friend or relative is something that triggers so many emotions. However, shame should never be one of them.

Cruelly there are two words used freely when talking about one type of funeral that can cause shame and distress for everyone involved.

Those words are Pauper’s funeral.

These are words that are insensitively used to describe a funeral which is organised and paid for by the  local authority. There are several reasons why this may happen, but one may be that their friends or family can not afford to pay for a funeral of someone who had no financial plans in place.

It is unacceptable that these people and the deceased are described this way. Especially considering the average cost of a basic funeral is £4,184 and £9,263 if you include all the extra costs*.

Even more distressing are the news stories reporting that some local authorities withhold the deceased ashes**.

We are living in a world where working people are in poverty; where the cost of living is high, and inflation keeps rising. It is completely understandable that people can’t afford to invest in a funeral plan or pay for someone else’s funeral.

If someone close to you died right now, and they had no financial plans in place, would you be able to find £4,184?

Caledonia Cremation is a charity-owned and operated funeral directors. We were set up to fight funeral poverty and provide full support to every bereaved person across mainland Scotland – regardless of their financial circumstances.

So, we ask everyone to think twice before using the P word. We must remove the pressure people feel to get into debt to pay for a big expensive funeral. We must show compassion for those who find themselves in this distressing position and support them towards the help that is available. Every person who has experienced loss deserves our compassion – not our judgement.

If we can help you, or someone you know, then please do get in touch.
Call 03000 11 33 11

Or if you would like to support us in our work, you can donate here

But we politely ask everyone reading this blog to never, ever use the P word ever again.

* Sunlife Cost of Dying Report 2021
**Councils refuse to hand over ashes to families after pauper funerals | News | The Sunday Times (

What type of funeral do you want?

We’ve all read about the “alternative” funerals; Star Wars funerals; Viking funerals or New Orleans inspired processions.

So it inspired us to ask some of the team at Community Renewal (the charity that owns and operates Caledonia Cremation) about their end-of-life wishes.


We want to empower everyone to choose the funeral that is right for them or their loved one. In so doing, the funeral is more personal, less decisions need to be made after the person has passed away, and the bereaved may also avoid the pressure to pay a funeral bill they might not be able to afford.

Direct Cremation is one type of funeral that allows time and freedom to celebrate a loved one’s life in a way that is totally personal to them.

If we can advise you in anyway, please do get in touch. We are a social enterprise funeral directors who provide not-for-profit direct cremation across mainland Scotland.
Call 03000 113 311

A Quiet Revolution has backed our Gie it a bye campaign with a very generous donation.

A Quiet Revolution has backed our Gie it a bye campaign with a very generous donation.

A Quiet Revolution has backed our Gie it a bye… campaign with a very generous donation.

We are delighted to announce that we have just received an unbelievably generous pledge of £1,000 from the Scottish Charity, A Quiet Revolution

Jane Alcorn, Chair of A Quiet Revolution said:

“We’re a small Scottish charity trying to change the world one ceremony at a time.

We love what Caledonia Cremations’ Crowdfunding campaign is doing, encouraging people to give a little, that can mean a lot. We were delighted to contribute donations from couples we have married who have paid it forward.”

In addition to supporting bereaved people experiencing hardship, Caledonia Cremation offers families direct cremation which cuts out having to attend a burial or cremation.

“Frankly, this can be very hard to do when you’re feeling fragile,” said Jane.

“Direct cremation encourages families to think about what else they might prefer to do. This is where A Quiet Revolution can complement Caledonia. We have a small celebrant network who craft ceremonies with human kindness at their heart.”

Barbara Chalmers, Founder of A Quiet Revolution and a celebrant with the network said:

“As a celebrant, my goal is to help families get the right sort of send-off for them. A wake in the kitchen, a cuppa and cake in a local cafe or a gathering in the park with flasks and homemade buns can be a beautiful thing. We can craft and deliver a ceremony that offers moments of joy at an otherwise dark time… a proper celebration of a life.”

A Quiet Revolution can also pay for the celebrant for families in need.

If you would like to join A Quiet Revolution in supporting our work helping bereaved people across Scotland, then you can pledge here

Gie it a bye for loving goodbyes

Gie it a bye for loving goodbyes

Do you back our work supporting people facing funeral poverty in Scotland?

If so, then this September we ask – would you give up just one wee treat and donate that money to Caledonia Cremation so we can support those facing funeral poverty?

You could Gie it a bye for just one day this month, or one day a week or more if you are up to it – whatever you prefer! Every penny donated will help us support someone experiencing hardship.

It could be your morning coffee or roll, a takeaway lunch or your “one for the road” drink in the pub.

We aren’t asking for big donations – anything from £3 upwards will help us to support others.

So will you Gie it a bye so someone else can say a loving goodbye?

Pledge your treat here

The direct cremation price may be low – but a word of advice

The direct cremation price may be low – but a word of advice

As Scotland’s first funeral directors set up to fight funeral poverty, we are delighted that more funeral directors are offering direct cremation.

In offering the bereaved more choice, the industry is going some way towards removing the pressure some feel to pay for a big expensive funeral they may not want or be able to afford.
We are seeing direct cremations advertised at low prices, and we are fully supportive of that.

However before purchasing – may we offer a word of advice?

Most funeral directors are caring and compassionate and will put your needs first. But…

  • Some will not collect your loved one without a deposit being paid
  • Some will use a low price to get you through the door and then try to upsell you items you don’t need to increase their profits.
  • Some may even dissuade you from actually having a direct cremation and push you towards choosing a more expensive funeral to increase their profit

Please note that most funeral directors will not do this, and we only highlight the above to advise you in case you come across the small minority of profit orientated ones.

How Caledonia Cremation is different

  • We are a charity-owned and operated funeral directors, so your wellbeing is our priority – not profit.
  • We won’t hold your loved one to ransom. If you don’t have a deposit – we will go ahead and collect the deceased and proceed with the direct cremation.
  • We are a not-for-profit funeral director, so we won’t upsell anything. We have two prices only; £1095 for a direct cremation or £1,190 including the return of ashes (but you can pick them up from us if you prefer).
  • We never turn anyone away. If money is an issue, we will support you throughout.

If you have lost someone and need support organising the funeral. please do get in touch. We won’t pressurise you – our job is to empower you to make the decision that is right for you.

You can call our team on 03000 113 311 or email us on

People choose direct cremation because it’s a cheap funeral– right?


People from all walks of life choose direct cremation for themselves or their loved ones and there are lots of reasons why.

If you have ANY questions about direct cremation or how we support those facing hardship, then do get in touch.

You can call our team on 03000 11 33 11 or email us on

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