Funeral Poverty and Funeral Expense Assistance Reference 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 advises 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. 


  • Bryan Kerr, Church of Scotland
  • Caroline Clark, Scottish Older People‚Äôs Assembly (SOPA)
  • Caroline Pretty, Lothian NHS
  • David Hilferty, Money Advice Scotland
  • Graeme McAusland, Funeral Planning Authority
  • Jane Matheson, Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty
  • Joseph Murren, Society Of Allied And Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
  • John Birrell, Bereavement Consultant
  • Julie Dunk, Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management
  • Karen Hurst, Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL)
  • Mark Willis, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)
  • Maureen Gardner, Scottish Pensioners Forum
  • Omer Afzal, Muslim Council of Scotland
  • Paul Cuthell, National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD)
  • Richard Meade, Marie Curie
  • Robert McGregor, COSLA
  • Ruth Mendel, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Simon Cox, Dignity