Help is at hand

Helping hand

SAIF Support

All employees of SAIF full-member businesses have access to SAIF Support, the emotional support and counselling service that forms part of your member benefits. The service was launched in 2015 by SAIF, in partnership with service providers Professional Help, when it was recognised that funeral directors and their staff sometimes require some extra support to deal with the stresses of working in such a demanding profession.

“Being a funeral director is one of the most high-stress professions there is, with the emotional stress of coping with bereaved clients, as well as all the normal stresses and strains of running a business,” says Catherine Betley, Managing Director of Professional Help. “Funeral directors and their staff are good at supporting each other, but sometimes extra help is needed.”

In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, the funeral profession is likely to face unprecedented pressures in the weeks and months to come. It is a sad fact that the workload will increase, and given the dramatic changes that are already happening in the funeral world, it’s likely that elements of the personalised, high quality service that independent funeral directors pride themselves on will be simply impossible to deliver. It is imperative, in these challenging conditions, that funeral staff take good care of their own emotional wellbeing. While the job probably seems paramount at the moment, if there are problems outside of work, such as relationship, family or other personal issues, SAIF Support is here for those, too.

Through SAIF Support, members can access confidential advice and information or simply a listening ear. You can also receive free-of-charge counselling, either face-to-face (currently delivered by webcam) or on the telephone, with a qualified therapist.

SAIF Support is available 9am-9pm Monday to Friday. Call 0800 077 8578 or email.

Follow on twitter @SAIFSupport.


In January 2020, bereavement support service SAIF Care was announced as a core benefit for all SAIF members. SAIF Care is available free of charge to all your bereaved clients and comprises helpline and email support, webchat directly with a bereavement counsellor (on the SAIF website) and referral into other services where appropriate.

Professional Help, the organisation that delivers SAIF Care, knows that access to bereavement care in the UK is difficult and often involves a lengthy wait. But when somebody needs help with their grief, they want it as soon as possible; and it’s proven that earlier intervention can stave off later mental health problems.

In the light of the current coronavirus pandemic, the sad reality is that there are going to be more bereaved people, and their grief is quite likely to be complicated by the unique conditions that exist around the virus. Not being able to spend final moments with a loved one, or to have the funeral service they would have liked, for example, can have a lasting impact on how people grieve.

SAIF Care operates very much on the basis of ‘emotional first aid’. On contacting SAIF Care, the client is connected to an experienced bereavement professional who will listen in confidence to their experience and their feelings, and give the support they need in that moment. If it is identified that they would benefit from further help, SAIF Care will work with them to understand what that could look like, and signpost to local services or to formal counselling support (currently available via Professional Help, by telephone or webcam).

Member businesses that wish to offer full counselling provision to their clients are invited to set up a SAIF Care Counselling Fund, which will then be used to fund appropriate counselling for bereaved clients. Please contact if this is something you might be interested in.

SAIF Care is available 9am-9pm Monday to Friday. Clients can call the helpline (0800 917 7224) or email. And you can follow SAIF Care @SAIFCareUK or ‘like’ it on Facebook.

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