Standing together

words: Jo Parker. National SAIF President
Jo Parker

Things are starting to pick up as I enter the final six months of my Presidency. My diary is pretty busy, and I have just finished Regional Meetings with Kent and Essex, which were well attended.

Kindred AGMs and banquets are also coming to an end and, as I write this, I am really looking forward to the SAIF Educational Day in Scotland. I am also starting to concentrate on the SAIF AGM and Banquet in March which, I think is fair to say, most Presidents find a bit of a headache with so much to organise and put in place.

Although the AGM and Banquet are a key part of the weekend, I am particularly looking forward to the Friday as we have some amazing educational speakers who will be focusing on mental health, a subject I think we all need to get up to speed on. From the speakers we move to our ‘Meet the Associates’ evening dinner which is a great way for associates to network with the membership, and exceptional entertainment to top the night.

SAIF is proud to boast a high calibre of funeral members, but we are also blessed with some exceptional associates that know our profession and can bring great benefits to our businesses. I urge each and every one of you to support the associates in your area, as SAIF members they too are bound by a robust code of practice and are inspected before going in front of the Executive to be approved. This means SAIF can be sure that we are offering our members quality providers of goods and services.

As you are probably aware, my charity for the year is Papyrus and I am sure most of you have seen the three dads who have walked the length and breadth of the UK in memory of their daughters who they lost to suicide.

Death by suicide is the main cause  of death in the UK for under 35s! The more we raise funds and awareness, the better the chances of making a difference. My counterpart John Adams, President of the NAFD, is working hard during his year to make bereavement a subject on the National Curriculum. I truly believe that with his efforts and ours, we will bring about change so children will understand death and bereavement and that understanding will help with the conversations that need to be had about suicide. Now is the time when mental health and suicide are so high profile that great things can be done. As mentioned in the last SAIFInsight, Brian Hart and Brian Stock walked the West Highland Way, raising funds for Papyrus and to date have raised a massive £7,110. We are still working hard to raise as much as we can for this great charity, so please dig deep.

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