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Funeral Poverty and Funeral Expense Assistance Reference Group

Role of the group

The Funeral Poverty and Funeral Expense Assistance Reference Group was set up to support Scottish Ministers in developing policy for a new funeral payment.

The group will advise on:

  • the evidence base to support policy decisions
  • the development of options and processes for the new benefit
  • the perspective of users
  • fit with the wider landscape of funeral and bereavement services and current issues
  • interaction with wider Scottish and UK social security benefits

The group first met in March 2016 and is anticipated to have a life of around 18 months, with two to three meetings.


  • Bill Stanley – Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management
  • Bryan Kerr – Church of Scotland
  • Caroline Pretty – Lothian NHS
  • David Hilferty – Money Advice Scotland
  • Mohammad Ali – Muslim Council of Scotland
  • Ruth Mendel – Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Robert McGregor - COSLA
  • Glenda Watt – Scottish Older People's Assembly (SOPA)
  • Graeme McAusland – Funeral Planning Authority
  • Rose Jackson – Scottish Pensioners Forum
  • Jim Brodie – Society Of Allied And Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
  • Karen Hurst – Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL)
  • John Birrell – Bereavement Consultant
  • Mark Willis – Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)
  • Paul Cuthell – National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD)
  • Richard Meade – Marie Curie
  • Simon Cox – Dignity
  • Stewart Wilson – CRUSE Scotland
  • Jane Matheson – Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty