The new SAIF President

words: Jim Auld, SAIF National President

This month I have been thinking a lot about change. I always do at this time of year, but more so this past month. Most of us would say we don’t really like change, myself included, but really change is all around.

I love the lengthening days in spring. In one church I am regularly involved with, almost overnight the churchyard turns into a carpet of crocuses among the grave stones. Some stones have stood for 300 years and I contemplate the changes we have seen in this time – in fact Henry Bell, the Scottish engineer who introduced the first successful passenger steamship in Europe, was buried in this churchyard, in Rhu, Argyll, in 1830.

Our own profession has seen changes in the last month with the start of the roll-out of the Medical Examiner system in England and, in Scotland, the introduction of new application forms for cremation. Both systems will take a bit of adjusting to, but in the long run our work should be more streamlined. If there are any worries about these new systems, don’t be afraid to seek advice from the national office or any member of the Executive.

I have always resisted the change to using social media to promote my own business. Rosie, Regional Business Manager at Golden Charter, has been slowly coaxing me to consider using Facebook as a promotional tool. After being elected National President, SAIF’s extremely talented Public Relations Advisor Mark Binnersley put out a number of press releases to promote my appointment and this included some targeted to regional press in my area. One of these published a nice article on Facebook as well as in the printed version. The online post generated 350 likes and more than 90 comments.

I couldn’t believe the interest it created, not to mention the number of emails and cards from the local community. I think I have been convinced of the power of social media.

My final thought (at the moment) on change is when we get life-changing news and what it brings. I’m not thinking about a lottery win, more when we get devastating news such as a diagnosis of breast cancer, and that is where Breast Cancer Care comes in. When someone is diagnosed, things change, people have to adjust and try to come to terms with the illness, but Breast Cancer Care can help anyone going through treatment and advise on life afterwards.

Please have a look at and see how this wonderful charity helps people adjust to a change that isn’t wanted or invited. Please also read the SAIFInsight article on Brian Hart and his energetic band of fundraisers. Brian and his team will be taking part in Action Challenge 2019 in the Peak District to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care.

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