Category Archives: unique


Avalon Funeral Plan Coup

Avalon celebrates exceptional feedback after being named ‘Best Funeral Plan Provider’ at this year’s Personal Finance Awards.

Stephen Pett of the Prepaid Funeral Review said “I was pleased to receive Avalons Press Release (below) which clearly shows they are one of the most improving providers in the crowded prepaid funeral plan market. As one gets better, all the rest have to try harder to get an edge – which makes our Independent Advice even more important.”

Avalon Funeral Plans is celebrating a coveted award win after being named ‘Best Funeral Plan Provider’ at the 2019 Personal Finance Awards.

Now in its 22nd year, the Personal Finance Awards has long been recognised as a benchmark for excellence in the UK’s consumer finance market, providing a reflection of the consumer’s choice of top financial providers over the last two decades.

Nominations for the awards are sent in directly by the consumer, based on their experience of outstanding products or customer service in the industry. This year, the awards received just over 20,000 votes.

With over 25 years’ experience providing funeral plans to more than 70,000 customers across the UK and Europe, Avalon was recognised for its dedication to its customers, as well as the high standard of its service.

These qualities are continuously reflected in the company’s industry-leading customer feedback, with over 2,000 reviews and a rating of ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot, as well as a five-star rating on Defaqto, lending justification to the company’s esteemed award win. So trusted is the brand that someone chooses an Avalon funeral plan every 10 minutes*.

Avalon’s prepaid funeral plans are designed to give customers peace of mind, working with a network of 1,800 local, independent funeral directors across the UK to ensure that families always have support close to home.

Avalon’s commitment to putting the customer at its heart is also reflected in the unique features offered in their plans when compared to other funeral plan providers. The Avalon Promise, launched earlier this year, reassures customers that if they pass away before their plan is fully paid, Avalon can cover the cost of the services included in their funeral plan.

The Promise offers increased peace of mind for Avalon’s customers, and the company is the only plan provider that works with local, independent funeral directors to offer this.

The award win follows a successful period of growth for the business under a new senior management team led by CEO, Susan Stevenson.

Speaking about the award win, Avalon’s CEO, Susan Stevenson, said: “There are few other industries in which taking care of the customer, their journey and their family is quite so important.

“We like to think we’re different to other funeral plan providers in that we go the extra mile in helping customers and their loved ones when they perhaps need it most.

“It’s our promise to always put our customers at the centre of what we do, and the fact that we’ve been recognised for our efforts – particularly by such a widely renowned awarding body as the Personal Finance Awards – really means the world to us.”

Regulated in the UK by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), Avalon employs more than 200 people at its offices in Cheshire and across Spain, The Canaries, Portugal and Cyprus.

The company is flexible in offering customers three different ways to discuss their requirements and their range of funeral plans.  They can speak to a specialist advisor in the comfort of their own home, or over the phone, or 24/7 online.

For more information, and to find out if Avalon plans would be right for you, contact Steve at the Prepaid Funeral Review on 0800 0588 240.

*Based on sales of funeral plans over the period January – December 2018, by home appointment or over the phone, during standard trading hours.

Avalons new CEO – Susan Stevenson

Susan Stevenson joined Avalon Funeral Plans as its new CEO, bringing over 25 years’ experience in consumer financial services to the role. Susan’s appointment marks a new period of diversification and growth for the funeral plan provider, both overseas and in the UK.

“It’s a fascinating time to join the industry,” said Susan Stevenson. “There’s a lot of opportunity to grow and meet the consumer need for pre-need funeral plans.”

Susan has global experience working with American Express and insurance group Cigna, living in Hong Kong and Singapore for nearly 20 years. Now back in the UK, Susan is looking to help Avalon diversify and meet the needs of its customers in both its UK and European markets.

“Avalon offers a unique proposition to consumers, in that it’s a well-established, specialist plan provider, regulated by the FPA that works with local and independent Funeral Directors. It gives consumers an opportunity to support local businesses and benefit from their personal, professional care.”

Looking to the future of the business, Susan recognises three key factors that will reshape the industry and Avalon’s product offering.

“Firstly, we’re anticipating the introduction of regulation, which will help protect the consumer. It’s something that Avalon fully embraces, as we’ve always championed consumer choice and a more open, honest industry.

“Secondly, there are great opportunities for product diversification, which we’ll be exploring to reach more customers and meet their planning needs.

“Last but not least, Avalon is delivering a product that really helps. It meets a consumer need that everyone has, even if people don’t realise it. That’s the key that will unlock future growth – communicating how funeral plans can help and why everyone should plan for the future.”

Our review of Avalon Funeral Plans.

Safe Hands Funeral Plans Now FPA Members

Safe Hands Official Statement Regarding Funeral Planning Authority Registration.
We at Safe Hands are delighted to announce that our application to become registered with the Funeral Planning Authority has been successful.

The FPA registration process we found to be reassuringly thorough and robust, involving, as it did, a forensic level of scrutiny of all aspects of our operation by the Compliance Committee, and the making of some modifications and changes operationally in order to satisfy the FPA’s exacting standards of qualification.

Over the coming days, we will be revising our marketing literature, website and other platforms, to include the FPA’s logo as confirmation of our registration.

FPA Regulated Firms

We expect the news, that Safe Hands Funeral Plans are now registered with the FPA, will be as welcome to those of you that sell our products as it was to us as a company. All of you that have secured sales for us have, by selling responsibly, honestly and in a manner compliant with our rules of operation, contributed to the success of our application. We are extremely grateful to you for your efforts.

We ask, now we are registered with the FPA, that we all continue to work together to maintain the high standards that we have achieved, and in a manner that is in keeping with the somewhat unique, particularly sensitive, environment in which we operate.

Yours faithfully,

David Latham
Managing Director

Coop Funeral Plans Offer Epitath Help

What is an epitaph? An epitaph is a short text honouring a deceased person. Strictly speaking, it refers to text that is inscribed on a tombstone or plaque,  The term is often used my widely, 

Here are some examples of brief epitaphs:

A friend In deed.
True and constant.
A loving husband and father. Or wife and mother.
A sharing, caring person.
A person of grace and dignity.
A true gentleman/woman.
Always in our hearts
An inspiration to all.
An unforgettable person.
Asked for so little but gave so very much.
Because he (she) cared.
Brave in spirit, strong in love.
Constant in faith, generous of heart.
Devoted In love.
Everybody’s best friend.
Faith, hope and courage personified.
Faithful forever.
Forever In our hearts.
Forever missed.
Gone but never forgotten.
Someone who enriched our lives.
An inspiration to all.
Everyone else came first.
Touched the lives of everyone they met.
He (she) lived to help others.
He (she) touched the lives of many.
They will never be forgotten.
In God’s care
In loving memory.
In memoriam.

Coop Funeral Plan Press Release

coop prepaid funerals

Coop Prepaid Funerals

Coop funeral plans seem to consider this service unique. As we understand it, there is no reason why you can’t add in exactly the same service to other funeral plan providers if you wish to, but it makes a good Press Release! I guess the difference is that they don’t buy the memorial until you die.  Like every funeral plan, the Coop plan has its strengths and weaknesses.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

We would always suggest that you download our enquiry form and let us help guide you towards choosing the most appropriate prepaid funeral plan for YOUR unique wishes and needs. You can always ask for our free Funeral Wishes form.

On with the Coop Funeral Plan Press Release.

Now you can really have the final say with the Coop Funeral Plans

A new funeral planning service which enables people to write and pay for their own epitaph in advance has been launched) by The Co-operative Funeralcare.

With more people electing to arrange a personalised funeral, The Co-operative Funeralcare, the UK’s largest provider of funeral planning products, is giving people the chance to say exactly how they would like to be remembered by choosing and writing their own lasting memorial.

The pioneering memorial masonry plan, the first of its kind, will give consumers the ability to choose the type of lasting memorial they want. There are many types of memorials available, from traditional headstones to slate sculptures.

This plan now means you can choose the material, colour, style, lettering and write the actual inscription for your memorial and pay for it in advance at today’s masonry prices, avoiding any future increases.

The cost of a memorial masonry plan will vary depending on the choice made and the geographical area as the plan will incorporate fees for your specific cemetery or remembrance garden. There is no limit to the length of an inscription, other than the space available on the memorial.

Ian Mackie of The Co-operative Funeral Planning, says:” With the new Memorial Masonry Plans we take paying in advance for a funeral one step further by enabling people to decide the memorial they want and what actually appears on it. Some local authorities do have restrictions on the type of memorial allowed, but our team will advise on the options available. The plan ensures family members are not left with the emotional and financial burden of making these decisions at a very difficult time.”


Coop funeral plans

Top Funeral Tunes 2016 by Category

2016 Top Funeral Tunes

  • ‘My Way’ tops the charts after a break in 2014.
  • Wiz Khalifa, Rihanna and Adele tracks are new entrants for the Contemporary Pop #FuneralMusic charts.
  • Game of Thrones theme could make future charts as UK consider it for their funeral.

Co-op Funeralcare has today released its 2016 funeral music charts, based on a study of over 30,000 funerals in the UK.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

The charts, which first launched in 2002 and have been released bi-annually since, see Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ top of the funeral pops,  knocking off Monty Python’s ‘Always look on the bright side of life’, now placed at number eight.

The full #FuneralMusic top funeral tunes for 2016 is as follows.

No. Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 My Way Frank Sinatra Up 4 places
2 Time to say goodbye Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman Up 12 places
3 Over the rainbow Eva Cassidy Up 15 places.
4 Wind beneath my wings Bette Midler New entrant
5 The lord is my shepherd Psalm 23/ Crimond Down 3 places
6 We’ll meet again Vera Lynn New entrant.
7 All things bright and beautiful Traditional Down 1 place
8 Always look on the bright side of life Monty Python Down 7 places
9 Abide with me Traditional Down 6 places
10 Unforgettable Nat King Cole New entrant.


Kate Thornton, Broadcaster and former Smash Hits Editor commented:

“There’s a lot of surprises on the chart, and it’s a real chart with a difference but it’s good to see that people are putting so much thought and personality into what will be their swansong, as a way of making loved ones smile, shed a tear or laugh out loud.

“I’ve been agonising over what song I’d choose, but the one I keep going back to is my favourite song of all time, ‘Love and Affection’, by Joan Armatrading, simply because it’s beautiful and a lovely open letter to love in all its guises.”

A further study conducted by Co-op Funeralcare among UK adults, reveals the popular TV series Game of Thrones’ theme song may make it into funeral charts, with 1 in 20 UK adults voting it as a song they would consider for their own funeral.

Humour is a key consideration for UK adults when choosing their funeral music. Over two fifths (42%) said they ‘want to raise a laugh’ amongst guests at their funeral.

This holds true as 1 in 10 UK adults said they would consider having ‘another one bites the dust’ (Queen) at their own funeral. 1 in 20 said they would have ‘going underground’ (the Jam) and a further 1 in 15 said they’d opt for ‘Highway to hell’ (ACDC).  Others said they would consider ‘stayin alive’ (The Bee gees) and ‘disco inferno’ (Trammps).

When delving further into specific music genres, new entrants to Contemporary Pop funeral music charts include Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See you again’ dedicated to the late Paul Walker, now placed at number 3, Adele’s ‘Hello’ (from the other side) now placed at number 7 and Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ now placed at number 8.

The full Contemporary Pop top funeral tunes.

No. Artist Track
1 Robbie Williams Angels
2 Westlife You raise me up.
3 Wiz Khalifa See you again
4 Westlife Flying without wings.
5 Ellie Goulding How long will I love you
6 Westlife I’ll see you again.
7 Adele Hello
8 Rihanna Diamonds
9 Sam Smith Lay me down
10 Boyzone No matter what.

Just outside of the top 10 is David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’, Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ and Justin Bieber’s ‘love yourself’.

David Collingwood, Head of Funeral Operations said:

“Funerals are very much about personal choice and reflecting the personality, hobbies and interests of a person. More so than ever we’re seeing people pre-plan their funeral music and in the last 12 months, 42% of our funeral directors and arrangers have received ready-made pre-planned funeral playlists.

“Personalisation doesn’t stop with the music; hearses, flowers, coffins and memorials can all be uniquely personalised to ensure a funeral reflects the unique personality of a person.

“Whilst ‘My Way’ is back at number one, it’s really interesting that the passing of celebrities and artists is having an effect on the music charts. Wiz Khalifa’s track ‘See you again’ dedicated to the late Paul Walker has made it into the Contemporary Pop charts whilst, the late David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ has also been requested by clients in the last 12 months.”

Oasis have stolen the show in the Indie group charts, with four of their tracks including ‘Wonderwall’, ‘Don’t look back in anger’, ‘Live forever’ and ‘Champagne Supernova’ securing places.

Liverpool FC’s ‘You’ll never walk alone’ is top of the sport category having overtaken the Match of the Day theme tune and popular TV Soap Coronation Street’s theme tune is top of the funeral TV charts.

All the charts and other key findings:

Rock Top Funeral Tunes 10:

No. Song name Artist
1 Stairway to heaven Led Zeppelin
2 Bat out of hell Meatloaf.
3 Live forever Queen
4 Wish you were here Pink Floyd.
5 Highway to hell ACDC
6 Another one bites the dust Queen
7 Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
8 Don’t wanna miss a thing Aerosmith.
9 Knocking on heaven’s door Guns and roses
10 Spirit in the sky Norman Greenbaum.


Sport Top 10:

No. Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 You will never walk alone Gerry and the Pacemakers Up 1 place
2 Theme tune Match of the day Down 1 place.
3 Soul Limbo / Cricket Theme tune Booker T and MG Non mover
4 The Chain Fleetwood Mac Up 2 places
5 I am forever blowing bubbles West Ham United Up 3 places.
6 Z Cars Theme Everton FC New entrant
7 Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur New entrant
8 Grandstand theme BBC Up 2 places
9 World in Union Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Down 5 places.
10 Dance of the Knights Sunderland FC New entrant


Indie Top 10:

No. Song name Artist
1 Chasing Cars Snow Patrol
2 Wonderwall Oasis
3 Don’t look back in anger Oasis.
4 Arabella Arctic Monkeys.
5 Live Forever Oasis
6 Hymn for the weekend Coldplay.
7 One day like this Elbow
8 Yellow Coldplay
9 Iris Goo goo dolls
10 Champagne Supernova Oasis.


TV/Film Top 10:

No. Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 Coronation Street Theme tune Up 4 places.
2 Last of the Summer Wine Theme tune Up 2 places
3 Only Fools and Horses Theme tune Up 1 place
4 Always look on the bright side Monty Python Down 3 places.
5 Eastenders Theme tune Up 3 places
6 My heart will go on Celine Dion Down 5 places.
7 Emmerdale Theme tune Up 1 place
8 Going home Hovis theme tune New entry
9 Dad’s Army Theme tune New entry
10 Bring me sunshine Morecambe and Wise Down 4 places.


Hymns Top 10:

No. Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 Lord is my Shepherd Psalm 23 / Crimond Non mover
2 Abide with me Traditional Non mover.
3 All things bright and beautiful Traditional Non mover
4 How great thou art Traditional Non mover
5 Amazing grace Traditional Non mover.
6 Old rugged cross Traditional Up 1 place
7 Jerusalem Traditional Down 1 place.
8 Morning has broken Traditional Non mover
9 The day though gavest lord ended Traditional Non mover
10 Ave Maria Traditional Non mover.


New Country Top 10:

No. Song name Artist
1 I will always love you Dolly Parton
2 Islands in the stream Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers.
3 Country roads Jon Denver
4 I love you because Jim Reeves
5 Annie’s song Jon Denver.
6 Over the rainbow Eva Cassidy
7 Ring of fire Johnny Cash
8 My best friend Don Williams
9 If tomorrow never comes Garth Brooks.
10 Blowin’ in the wind Bob Dylan


Classical Top 10:

No. Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 Time to say goodbye Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman Up 2 places .
2 Nimrod Elgar Down 1 place
3 Nessun Dorma Lucianno Pavarotti Up 3 places
4 Cannon in D Pachelbel Down 2 places.
5 Four Seasons Vivaldi Down 1 place
6 Adagio Bizet/Albinoni Non mover
7 Ave Maria Various artistes Down 2 places.
8 Moonlight Sonartz Beethoven New entry
9 Pie Jesu Faure Down 1 place
10 The Lark Ascending Ralph Vaughan Williams New entry.


Top Ten Funeral tunes RnB Top 10.

No. Song name Artist
1 I’ll be missing you Puff Daddy
2 Dance with my father again Luther Van Dross.
3 One sweet day Boys 2 Men
4 I will always love you Whitney Housten
5 Fly R Kelly
6 Halo Beyoncé
7 Turn back the hands of time R Kelly
8 Bye Bye Mariah Carey
9 World’s greatest R Kelly
10 Running Beyoncé.


Jazz Top 10 Funeral Tunes.

No. Song name Artist
1 What a wonderful world Louis Armstrong
2 Moonlight serenade Glenn Miller.
3 Stranger on the shore Aka Bilk
4 Smile Nat King Cole
5 In the mood Glenn Miller
6 A place in the sun Stevie Wonder.
7 Fly me to the moon Frank Sinatra
8 Sitting on the dock of the bay Otis Reading
9 Mr Bojangles Robbie Williams
10 Come fly with me Frank Sinatra.


Other stats:

  • Pop is now the most requested music genre.
  • Over half (54%)of funeral directors and arrangers stated that hymns are declining in popularity the quickest.
  • Almost two thirds, (59%) of Co-op’s funeral directors and arrangers have had requests for music to be played via digital devices including smart phones, tablets and laptops with further tenth (11%) saying they expect to see more of these types of requests in the future.
  • More than a fifth of people who have actually arranged a funeral say they were given explicit instructions from their loved one on what music they wanted, while almost 30% plan on giving our family a CD with our favourite songs on it.