Stay in touch, stay strong

words: Mark Porteous, National SAIF President
Mark Porteous

There is no doubt we are all a bit battle-weary and tired of this horrible and infectious virus. The situation, as ever, is fluid. As I write this article, we now know that restrictions vary markedly throughout the UK. SAIF, as always, will continue to send members updates which many of you have welcomed and appreciated

I am sure we will all have a better idea of how extreme the second wave might be over the coming weeks and months. Government modelling is indicating the peak of the second wave could be in the middle of winter and, with seasonal flu being prevalent at that time of year, that wave could be longer than the first and more severe, but I hope this will not be the case.

It is vitally important you introduce any measures that you can to protect your staff and the families who use your services. You should be checking your PPE supply chain now, and consideration needs to be given as to how your business will operate if an employee catches the virus.

At present, the Government does not prioritise funeral directors for testing and if a member of staff did catch COVID-19, others may have to isolate. For many businesses that could mean they have no option but to close completely. You may wish to consider contacting other local funeral directors and create a working partnership for the winter.

2020 is, and will continue to be, a challenging year for Independents. Not only are we all working and living through a worldwide pandemic, but we have the added pressures of regulation from the CMA for both at-need and pre-need markets. Rest assured, however, that SAIF is fighting your corner on your behalf on all fronts and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the SAIF CMA taskforce group for all their efforts so far.

With all that is going on in the profession, one or two of you may be forgiven for questioning why you do this job! Please remember, as independent funeral directors we are all driven by our passion – we all want to do the very best for our families. We are, by our very nature, a unique group of people. We are resilient, strong individuals and as we face the possibility of a second wave our sense of community, our attention to detail, accompanied with our care and service, will show governments and the CMA why independent funeral directors are the industry leaders.

I am very proud to be your National President. Be reassured that both the National and Scottish Executives are working tirelessly on your behalf and are there to support you if you need guidance or help.

Remember we all in this together, and we can only get through it together…

Stay SAIF.

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