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 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. 


  • Bill Stanley – Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management
  • Bryan Kerr – Church of Scotland
  • Caroline Pretty – Lothian NHS
  • David Hilferty – Money Advice Scotland
  • Donald Bulloch – Scottish Older People's Assembly (SOPA)
  • Graeme McAusland – Funeral Planning Authority
  • Jane Matheson – Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty
  • Jim Brodie – Society Of Allied And Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
  • John Birrell – Bereavement Consultant
  • 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