Co-op encourages end of life planning at The Royal Highland Show: 93% of adults living in Scotland are yet to make funeral plan

22 June 2017

Figures published by Co-op Funeralcare reveal a worrying gap in end of life planning across Scotland, with as many as 93% of adults in the region yet to create a funeral plan and over two fifths (42%) yet to communicate their funeral wishes to anyone.

The findings come as Co-op embarks on its annual tour of the UK’s County Shows, with The Royal Highland Show, taking place at Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston, Edinburgh from today (22nd June) until Sunday (25th June).

Seeking to close the gap in end of life planning, Co-op Funeralcare’s stand will feature an alternative tandem cycle hearse, a picture coffin and a range of other funeral options. It is hoped that the stand will help to encourage visitors to share and discuss their funeral wishes in addition to raising awareness of the many options available for personalisation at funerals.

The research highlights the extent to which local residents don’t currently talk about death. Over three quarters (77%) of adults in Scotland have made the decision as to whether they want to be buried or cremated, however, as 93% are without a funeral plan there is a risk that these wishes will not be communicated.

Out of the 52% of adults living in Scotland who’ve had to plan a funeral, a third (33%) of them didn’t know what their loved one wanted which led to over a quarter (32%) finding it a highly stressful time.

John Williamson, Head of Operations for Co-op Funeralcare said:

“It has never been more important that we plan ahead and have conversations with our friends and family about our wishes. Not only so that we take our final journey in the way we would’ve wanted, but also to alleviate some of the pain for our grieving families by removing those important decisions which can cause distress.’

“Talking about funerals isn’t something that comes naturally to a lot of people, so we’re hoping that our presence at this year’s Royal Highland Show changes that and encourages people to talk more openly about they would want.’’

Notes to Editors

*Independent research amongst 2,000 UK adults conducted by Atomik Research in May 2017 on behalf of Co-op Funeralcare

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Sarah Pyatt
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About The Co-op:

The Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 colleagues and an annual turnover of approximately £10 billion.

Home to the UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare conducts almost 100,000 funerals annually across over 1,000 funeral homes. Combined with its leading legal services business, the Co-op is also a national provider of later life products and services ranging from funeral plans, through to wills and probate.