SAIF President: Family matters

words: Mark Porteous, National SAIF President
Mark Porteous

As we head into winter, we are already aware of the increase in COVID-19 related deaths; Government figures where COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate have now reached 70,000. This figure is staggering and each one of those deaths will mean a family having to deal with the aftermath of losing a loved one, in most cases probably prematurely.

With funerals being restricted in many ways and with regional variations, there will be many bereaved families who are finding it hard to cope and get the closure that they need to move forward. In this edition therefore, I would like to remind you all that our support for our families should not end when the funeral concludes.

For the modern funeral director, aftercare support should be an integral part of their business. To that end, SAIF launched SAIF Care in 2018, a UK-wide bereavement service, in order to enable SAIF members to offer professional help to families who are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one.

Professional Help, which was established in 2012, assists SAIF in delivering this service. Their aims are to ensure that anyone can access support and counselling when they need it most. Professional Help offers general and bereavement counselling with qualified, experienced therapists who have been fully screened to ensure that they offer the very best care and support to those who require it.

The SAIF Care service includes a telephone bereavement helpline, email support and SAIF Care Chat, an online webchat powered by Grief Chat, a ground-breaking service founded in 2017 which provides emotional support for bereaved people and gives instant access to trained bereavement counsellors. So please don’t hesitate to recommend this invaluable service to any of your clients who you see are struggling to cope and might benefit from it.

On a lighter note, I would like to announce my own special news, in that Yvonne and I have just become very proud and delighted grandparents! Our first grandson, Louie Garland Porteous, was born to our son Grant and his partner Gemma on 11 November 2020. So, my grateful thanks to them for assuring the next generation of the Porteous family business!

I would like to take this opportunity to offer, from my family to yours, my very best wishes for the festive season. It certainly won’t be what we’re used to, but I think it’s important to look upon it as a time to reflect on the challenges we have faced in the year that’s gone past, to be proud of what we have all achieved and to remember to keep those we love close – within the COVID-19 guidelines of course!

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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