Grief support

When a grieving client rang up to ask for more details about SAIF Care, funeral director Paul Caine did not hesitate to refer him to the independent bereavement support service.

SAIF Care was launched last year specifically to provide support to families using the services of SAIF members and Paul, the third generation of his family to run Little & Caine Ltd in the West Cumbria area, believes it is an important extension to the support he provides to his clients.

He and his team of five funeral directors always explain to families the benefits of the free service, which offers six sessions of face-to-face, telephone or webcam bereavement counselling.

Paul said: “When we initially meet with families to find out their needs we give them an information pack with our services, costs and other information, which also includes the SAIF Care leaflet. We explain that this bereavement support is available to them at any point if they wish to take it up.”

He said that people don’t generally use the service immediately as they are naturally preoccupied with the arrangements for the funeral, but after the service is concluded and things have settled down and they are often at home alone, the leaflet is a good thing to have by the phone.

Paul added: “We say to people that we know that grief goes on much longer than just the duration of the funeral. It could be two weeks or two months before people feel the full impact of bereavement, so if they need to speak to someone about their feelings then the SAIF Care service of trained counsellors can help.”

This was the case with the person who phoned Paul. “He openly admitted that he had bottled up his feelings before and had not dealt with them properly. He said it did not do him any good at all and he ended up having to seek assistance. As he experienced the benefit of counselling before, he told me it was great to have the opportunity to speak to the people at SAIF Care who knew what he was going through.

“This was nice to hear because, while we always make sure that the families we care for know they can call us at any time, we are not experienced in providing this type of specialised support.

“That’s why a service like SAIF Care is so important to us. It shows our families that we are not just here to arrange the funeral and service, but we can also provide a network of support after the funeral as well. SAIF Care helps us extend our service to families so they feel that they are still being looked after beyond the funeral.”

Paul and his colleagues also remind families of the SAIF Care service after the funeral in the letter accompanying the invoice, in which Little & Caine always include a packet of forget-me-not seeds for people to plant in the garden if they wish in memory of their loved one.

The SAIF Care service is also appreciated by the local hospice, St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston, that also offers bereavement counselling to the families of the people it looks after.

Paul said: “We often work with the hospice to arrange funerals and they have said to us that it is nice to see a funeral director offering this type of support to families which complements their own bereavement support. It gives people the opportunity to feel supported and that there is a network around them if they feel they need it.”

About SAIF Care

The SAIF Care service is offered by SAIF members as part of their care for bereaved clients. It is managed and delivered by Professional Help Limited, members of the National Counselling Society and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Open 9am-9pm Monday- Friday

Freephone telephone helpline for information, advice and support 0800 917 7224

  • Up to six sessions of face-to-face, telephone or webcam bereavement counselling
  • Delivered by professional counsellors
  • Services are free of charge to bereaved people

Email for support and information.

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