South Downs Funeral Service are very proud to be members of SAIF, the National Society of Allied and independent Funeral Director.

Membership can only be granted by adhering to SAIF’s code of practice and by inspection and subsequent approval of the funeral home and it’s operating policies. In addition, membership will only be granted to independent and family owned funeral homes.

Additionally, we are also members of Hampshire County Council’s Buy With Confidence scheme. Staff were required to take CRB, or criminal records bureau checks. We are delighted to say that we passed with no concerns whatsoever.

Buy with ConfidenceThe Buy With Confidence scheme reassures the community that we open, honest and transparent in all that we do for the families we support.

Currently, there are no restrictions as to who may own or manage a funeral home, nor are there any requirements for a funeral home to become a member of a regulatory organisation.

SAIFThis means that anyone can either start a new funeral home, or purchase an existing business without any qualifications, previous experience or proven ability in the funeral business.

At South Downs Funeral Service, we feel that this may have a detrimental effect on the standards within the funeral business.

It is also important to ensure that the funeral home, to which you are entrusting your loved one, has staff that have attained a recognised qualification in the funeral business or that they are members of a regulatory organisation. Here at South Downs Funeral Service, Paul has been funeral directing for over 30 years. He received his Diploma in 1985, after a considerable period of study. To complete the heritage, Paul’s father received his Diploma in 1961. Both Diplomas are on display in our reception area.

DiplomaOur advice is, ensure that you know to whom you are entrusting your loved one.

It is important to ask questions regarding the ownership of the funeral home, and the qualifications and experience the staff has attained.

Ensure that the trading name above the door is not merely a disguise for a corporate or inexperienced company.

There are many corporate funeral companies who have local businesses including,

The Southern Co-operative Funeral Directors who own and trade as J. Edwards & Son in Waterlooville and Bedhampton, G. Andrews in North End, Portsmouth and Dashwood & Denyer in Southsea.

Dignity Funerals who own and trade as W. Wraight & Son in Emsworth, Carrell’s Funeral Service in Havant, A.G. Stapleford & Son in Portsmouth and their new branches in Portchester and Fratton.

Others to be aware of are The Fairways Partnership who are a subsidary of Co-operative Funeral Care, Laurel Management,The Funeral Services Partnership and Funeral Partners.

Whilst some disclose their ownership, others merely hide behind a company registration number on their headed note paper. Sadly of course, this is rarely noticed until the funeral service has taken place. We believe that this is totally misleading to the public.

Many corporate companies only employ part time or casual funeral staff, who work a limited numbers of hours per week. This will invariably mean that you will discuss your requirements with several different people when you call.