Growing the next generation

words: Ross Hickton, SAIF NextGen

I am pleased to announce that our first full year of SAIF NextGen has been a great success.

At the SAIF AGM in Harrogate in March 2017, Terry Tennens, SAIF CEO, put a number of us around a table with the objective to create a support and contact network for our members, a platform to share ideas and future business plans. It was primarily aimed at emerging leaders, owners and managers of independent funeral businesses, generally under the age of 40.

The framework and plan were conceived, with our first social meeting held in collaboration with a Golden Charter social gathering, Golden Talent, in London at the SAIF Charter AGM in September 2017.

Myself, Daniel Ginder and Jamie West formed the leadership and the drive to push on with the group to get it established and up and running. Due to personal reasons, Jamie had to step down from the group in early 2018, for the time being, to look after his daughter.

Daniel and I planned our first official meeting for the SAIF AGM 2018 in Brighton, which was a success. We contacted all our signed up NextGen members prior to the event and a number attended, a few from as far as Scotland. David Gosling, the FingerPrint Man, gave us a fantastic speech on how he got his business up and running in this new digital age. We also signed up a number of new members.

In June 2018 I took part in the SAIF charity event to support Team Eva, to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) who looked after Jamie’s daughter.

In July, Daniel and I took the decision to map out the country and install a leadership team to help run and support the NextGen group. Inez Capps and Sarah Brodie stepped up to the challenge and have been integral with their input and views on how we move forward as a collective. We each have an area of the country to look after and plan to attend our regional meetings in our NextGen capacity going forward.

We set up a closed Facebook group for our signed-up members who we invited to join. This group has been an excellent platform for discussion and ideas thus far.

In September 2018, with the support of Golden Charter, we held another social event in Edinburgh during the SAIFCharter AGM weekend. With a number of NextGen members making the trip to attend our event, we had an excellent speech from Vicki Fraser on her experience of taking over the business from her late father and the challenges she faced. We also signed up several new members during the weekend.

We have had a number of excellent blogs and articles published by our NextGen members, including a very relatable one from Inez Capps.

In October 2018, myself and the other three leaders attended the SAIF Education Day and met with our CEO and President to plan 2019 and discuss our official budget going forward. On Education Day itself we had a fantastic day. Sarah presented on behalf of SAIF Technology working group, which she and I are part of. We also signed up around 10 new members for NextGen and handed our literature out to a lot of potential new members.
Not only are we the next generation of our individual businesses, but the next generation of the SAIF organisation and the funeral profession.

As of writing this, we have 57 signed up members, many of who have also signed up to the Facebook group.

We would like to thank everyone who has attended, supported and been involved with SAIF NextGen over the course of 2018. During 2019 we:

Plan to attend all our local regional meetings
Will hold official meetings in March (SAIF AGM) and September (SAIFCharter AGM)
Now have an online application form
Shall be present at the NFE in June on the SAIF stand

If you feel our group would be of benefit to your company, a member of your family or staff, please contact me via email visit the website

Tags: , , , , , , , ,