SAIF Berevement Care

Sims and Jones are proud and active members of SAIF (Society and Allied of Independent Funeral Directors). SAIF ensure that we are always up to date with legislation changes and ensure that we are providing the best services to our clients, in the most professional way. With this in mind they are always looking at services to assist us, and ultimately our bereaved clients. This means that on this occasion, SAIF have teamed up with the organisation, Professional Help Limited, to create SAIF Berevement Care.

As well as providing care and counselling to SAIF members and their employees, to ensure we can carry on doing what we do to the best of our ability, Professional Help, through SAIF Berevement Care, are now offering Bereavement Care to a selected few of its member Funeral Directors, in the form of a pilot scheme. As Sims and Jones are leading the funeral profession digitally in Wales, we have been chosen to take part in this pilot.

SAIF Bereavement Care provides a range of services to bereaved people over the age of 18, including:

  • A freephone telephone helpline (0800 917 7224) which is open from 9am-9pm, Monday-Friday. Our friendly, supportive helpline staff are available through our helpline to offer information, advice and a listening ear.
  • Email support and information via help@saifbereavement.co.uk
  • Up to six free sessions of supportive counselling by telephone, Skype/facetime or face to face in your local area by skilled and qualified counsellors.

The above information highlights only a small part of the services available and if any of our clients would like to know more about this service and assistance, please contact Sims and Jones Funeral Directors on 01792 700501 or download our SAIF Berevement Care leaflet here.

Why we are where we are!

As the director of a funeral company most articles I read are to do with funeral costs, and why are funerals so expensive. The answer is that this is brainwashing people to expect a large price tag,, and not question this.

Sims and Jones offer an all inclusive cremation for £2895 and this includes bringing your loved one into our care (day or night), superior coffin with raised lid and routed panel sides, motor hearse, one limousine, £300 of flower, an obituary notice, 100 orders of service, cremation fees, all doctors fees. Basically all that is required for a dignified, professional funeral, and fits within most people’s requirements.

With this in mind, how and why are we in the position that we are now? People struggling with funeral poverty, funeral cost rising at a exponential rate?Continue reading

Five Things to Do Before you Die campaign

Sims and Jones Independent Funeral Directors in South Wales are very pleased to support the ‘Five things to do before you die’ campaign.

It is often a discussion that people avoid at all costs, but the importance of having this discussion is highlighted when families are planning a funeral of their loved one without any idea of what their wishes were.
“I often support families who are unsure what their loved ones would have wanted after their death and this puts even more stress on them during an already emotional time.”

If the discussion is still to uncomfortable for you to have with your loved ones, it is now an option to complete the information within the booklet and let your loved ones know where this is stored. Sims and Jones Independent Funeral Directors are also happy to record and keep a duplicate copy of these wishes, or should this information be something that you would prefer not to keep in your own home.Continue reading

Is combating funeral poverty while maintaining a successful funeral business possible?

Sims and Jones Independent Funeral Directors is a relatively new business. However its core staff have many years’ experience in the profession. The raison d’etre for our business was to change the current trend within the funeral industry. We wanted to create a business with a modern outlook, traditional values while being both realistic and as transparent as possible. Our ethos is to offer compassion and care when they are needed most.

After the renovation of our office, mortuary and visiting area, the completing of our branding, company stationery, website, e-mail addresses, registering the company and the creation of legal documentation it was time to consider our price structure. Following the creation of the original business plan and financial forecasts, we had some idea of what level of profit we required. This would enable us to pay back business loans and for the business to grow and become a success. However, within this planned structure we were aware that we needed to consider the important subject of “funeral poverty”.Continue reading

Sims and Jones Tender Success – We are Here to Help

Following our active campaign to reduce Funeral Poverty, and campaigning for transparency and clear pricing on other Funeral Directors Websites, Sims and Jones are pleased to be able to act on the very nature of our campaign.

In May this year we completed a tender return to the local authority in Swansea, to provide Funeral Services to the Environmental Department. This was to assist those suffering from poverty, who are unable to finance a loved ones Funeral, or those who have no family connections, leaving the local authority to provide a dignified Funeral Service. This comprehensive tender was successful, and we are now pleased to be assisting the local authority in providing a dignified Funeral Services to Swansea communities, to those in need of a helping hand.

Victory for Sims and Jones Independent Funeral Directors, similar to David and Goliath.

The past month has been busy for Sims and Jones Independent Funeral Directors of Swansea and the Dulais Valley. At the forefront of this activity has been our continued support for the Enhanced Fair Funerals pledge, a campaign run by the anti-poverty charity Quaker Social Action (QSA).

This pledge outlines certain criteria including the inclusion of all signatories to publish pricing for a simple dignified funeral on their websites. This price should include all necessary third party costs, such as crematoria charges, vicar/minister/celebrant fees and doctors’ fees. The raison d’etre being to help bereaved families, improve transparency and combat funeral poverty.

This pledge was supported by Co-Operative Funeralcare, the largest national funeral company in the UK, with approximately 900 funeral branches (each branch having an independent website). On further inspection by Sims and Jones, we believe the Co-op did not act within the spirit of the pledge which was to include third party costs online. We also believe the information provided could potentially be misleading to a bereaved family. This was brought to the attention of QSA who agreed with our claim and subsequently approached Co-operative Funeralcare. Sims and Jones also wrote to the Co-op with its concerns but the letter has so far received no response.

Here are screenshots of Co-operative Funeralcare’s website before signing the pledge and after being approached by Sims and Jones and QSA.

3rd-party

3rd-party2

As you can see, changes have been made to the national website and all other websites that are associated with the individual branches. A welcome victory for a small independent funeral directors. We are pleased that thanks to our involvement there is now far greater transparency and clarity for the public. However, we still believe that compliance to the pledge is questionable. Third party charges are still excluded by the Co-op in regard to their ‘Simple Funeral’. The QSA has said that it is working with the Co-op to rectify this within a set timeframe. Rest assured, we will continue to monitor the situation.

The Co-op offers and publicises a ‘Simple Funeral Plan’ for the inclusive price of £2,945. This provides the same services as the ‘Simple Funeral’ but has to be bought in advance. We strongly believe this still carries a lack of transparency as the ‘Simple Funeral Plan’ for £2,945 is almost an admission that the ‘Simple Funeral’ is likely to end up at the £3,000 mark once third party costs are included. We would urge the Co-op to make this clearer to families using their website.

Sims and Jones are still continuing to campaign for clearer pricing – with full costs published online – and we will be working with the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) moving forward.

We believe that greater transparency of pricing within the industry is vital to safeguard the interest of bereaved families during what can be a very traumatic time.

We are able to offer our essential funeral for £1,995 and our inclusive funeral for £2,895, both of which include all required disbursements. As in any purchase in life, and more especially with a funeral, make the choice that is right for you, without compromise.

Quaker Social Action – Fair Funeral Pledge

As a company that is leading the way in transparency, and assisting in the combat of funeral poverty, and with strict rules and a strong ethos, we regret that we are no longer able to offer support to the Fair Funeral Pledge, or the Enhanced Fair Funeral Pledge, that we mentioned some time ago on our Facebook page. This is due to the lack of compliance, by others, that are supporting the pledge. We have decided that it is misleading to the public, against our ethos, and therefore have decided to withdraw our support.

We will provide further information should we receive an update.

Sims and Jones celebrates new branch opening with Dulais Valley community

Family firm Sims and Jones Funeral Director Ltd has launched a brand new premises in Dulais Valley, marking the occasion with a special open evening for members of the local community.

Over 40 people attended the event at the former post office in Onllwyn which has been completely refurbished to feature a welcoming reception area and visiting room for families. The firm is currently the only business in the village and the team is planning on becoming heavily involved in community activities.

Matthew Sims, manager of Sims and Jones Funeral Director Ltd who hosted the event, is already well known in the village as the conductor of the Onllwyn Male Voice choir and has performed in local concerts for many years. Matthew has worked in the funeral industry for ten years and started his first funeral business two years ago in Swansea.

Commenting on the opening, Matthew Sims, from Sims and Jones Funeral Director Ltd, said: “I have walked past the empty premises in Dulais Valley for several years and I am delighted that we have now been able to open this new firm to offer a friendly and personal funeral service here in the local community. It was lovely that so many people came along to the open evening.”

Sims and Jones Funeral Director Ltd is a member of the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), which represents over 870 independent funeral directors across the UK. The firm was one of the first firms to sign up to the Fair Funerals pledge, a joint campaign run by SAIF and the charity Quaker Social Action which promotes the availability of simple, low cost funerals.

Terry Tennens, Chief Executive of SAIF, commented: “I am very pleased to see Matthew Sims open a new branch of his business to serve the people of Dulais Valley. Before being accepted as a member of SAIF, a funeral director is inspected to check they meet SAIF’s high standards for the management of funerals and service to the public. All SAIF members must commit to offer a choice of costs, including a simple, low cost funeral to support families on a low income. Sims and Jones Funeral Director Ltd is a valued member of SAIF and has played a key part in campaigning to raise awareness of funeral poverty in recent months.”

Choir Conductor to bring more than music to the Dulais Valley

The conductor of Onllwyn Male Voice Choir, Matthew Ioan Sims is a familiar face to many music lovers in the Dulais valley, not just as the Conductor of the choir but as a result of many years of singing at local concerts.

Following many years of support from the Choir, and the many audiences he has entertained at Onllwyn Welfare Hall, and other venues in the valley, Matthew now hopes to be able to repay this support and assist people in their time of need.

Matthew is a Funeral Director by profession and is a Director of Sims and Jones Funeral Directors Limited. The business is relatively young but has a wealth of knowledge and experience within the profession. Gareth Sims, Matthew’s father, has over 30 years experience and provides advice from a traditional outlook while Matthew has over 10 years experience, and has honed his skills working in Swansea and in the Capital City, Cardiff. Matthew and Gareth have the combined opinion and desire, to offer bespoke, personally tailored funerals, if that be the desire of the client, but also to promote Fair Priced Funerals and help address funeral poverty. Sims and Jones also offer pre-paid funeral plans by Golden Charter. This is another way of supporting the Fair Priced Funeral Campaign. A funeral plan freezes the cost of a funeral at today’s price. This is something that Sims and Jones are currently offering at their Bonymaen based office, Swansea, and are planning to provide this choice to the Dulais Valley and beyond.

After passing the empty premises of the old Post Office in Onllwyn for many years, on his way to concerts and choir rehearsal, the business is pleased to announce that 11a Hendre, will now join the business as an additional office, pending renovation. The office is situated next door to Onllwyn Welfare Hall, Wembley Avenue. This will be the only business in the village of Onllwyn, and Sims and Jones are hoping to become involved in community activities.

“Sims and Jones raison d’etre is to offer compassion and care when you need it most. Whether you have a small or large budget, then we are able to tailor our services to meet your needs. This is why we are pleased to develop our business. One of the main reasons that this decision was made is as a result of the recent, much needed, attention that has been in the media surrounding Funeral Poverty and Fair Priced Funerals. We have recently launched a new website with transparent prices and a wealth of information, and as a bilingual company, we are currently working on translating this website into Welsh”.

Should you require any further information, please call us on 01639 874188

Swansea Funeral Directors launch Songs in Spring for the young at heart

Swansea Funeral Directors Songs in Spring logoFrom the initial thought of forming our business, Swansea Funeral Directors, Sims and Jones’ ethos has been to support the community and be a little different. With any new business focus rests on the initial set up. To support the community requires funds, something a new business is always short of. Up until now the community support has been limited to the East Side Food Bank, MacMillan Coffee Mornings as well as our core business of giving help to bereaved families, by providing our professional services, as the families chosen Funeral Director. We have always wanted to do more for the Swansea community and recently, following discussions within the company, it transpired that there was an obvious service we could offer the community.

One of the Directors and Funeral Director of Sims and Jones, is a well known classically trained Tenor. Matthew Ioan Sims has sung at many concerts throughout Swansea, the UK and aboard. These appearances have ranged from guest artist with Choirs to charity events. Matthew graduated with a Masters Degree from the Wales International Academy of Voice, Cardiff, in 2013. The course was under the guidance of World famous Tenor Dennis O’Neill CBE and the Patronage of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa OBE. The degree was awarded by the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.

Following these discussions, Sims and Jones, Swansea Funeral Directors have agreed to sponsor and launch a new Community Program. It is planned that Matthew will tour local Swansea Residential and Nursing Homes. The idea is to provide music to those, in the community, who are now unable to attend concerts or musical shows. This will help and enhance the entertainment program that Residential and Nursing Homes already provide. Matthew will sing a 45 minute program of mixed music with a variety old classics and songs to stir the soul.

If you work at a Residential or Nursing home and would like to arrange a musical visit by Matthew, please contact him directly on Matthew@simsandjones.com or by calling 01792 700501. The program will run for three months, initially, with the intention of re-visiting, at regular intervals thereafter, should the program be a successful.

Bonymaen Funeral Directors revive family name

sims-and-jones-bonymaenThe family name Sims has been in existence in Bonymaen and Morriston, Swansea for a very long time. The Bakers and Confectioners business began in 1862 by Evan George Sims, supplying the Bonymaen area with freshly baked bread and other household goods. Following the death of Evan the business was continued by Evan’s Son David, and subsequently by Eirlys, David’s wife and ably assisted by her sister in law Sal Jenkins. After many fruitful years, the rise of the supermarkets were to change the business. However the general stores was still in existence until recently. In 2011 Sal passed away at the age of 91 and Eirlys decided that it was the right time to close the general stores. This ending an era. The location of the shop had been untouched and was like going back in time, until recently. Gareth Sims, who is the grandson of Evan George Sims worked as a funeral director for many years in Swansea, in particular the Brynhyfryd area, and when Gareth’s son, Matthew, became of age, he also followed in his fathers footsteps and began employment in the funeral profession, as is Gareth’s other son Lee.

bonymaen-funeral-homeOver the years Gareth has gained much experience in the Funeral Profession and has aided Matthew in his career, with help and advice. As a result Matthew is now established as a funeral director himself and a director of the company. It seemed a natural continuation, with the shop in Jersey Road vacant, offering an ideal location, that a family funeral directors be established, thus continuing the Sims name in the locality, hopefully for many years to come. Gareth and Matthew are fluent welsh speakers and the continuity of service will continue from first point of contact to the funeral itself and after. A family business cares for its clients like no other, because it matters to us that our good name continues and we are extremely proud that we can now service our own community with the very last means of respect, compassion and dignity.

Sims and Jones was set up as a new generation funeral director offering the family the widest possible range of choices now available with the changing face of modern funerals. This of course based on the very best traditional service, possible because of our forty years experience in the funeral profession. Because Sims and Jones is a new name does not mean that we are new to the very sensitive needs of the of the family or the funeral profession as a whole.

The clients of Sims and Jones can rest assured that your loved one will be treated in the most dignified and respectful way. Transparency, Compassion and Care, and attention to detail is paramount. We also believe that a Funeral Directors should from a part of the community. With this in mind we have chosen to support a new charity / organisation in the area. This is the East Side Food Bank. This will help the community fight against poverty and hardship. Here we are pictured making a contribution to the charity. The Food Bank will be present at the open day and will gratefully receive any food donations. Since establishing the business Sims and Jones Funeral Directors have focused on producing an informative website, with links to many social media platforms, making information available to all and at the clients convenience. We have obtained membership to SAIF, so that our clients know they are going to be looked after and cared for by professionals. We also provide Golden Charter Funeral Plans. Our newly renovated office and arrangement room is now totally functional and all the facilities at our head office have recently undergoing renovation. We are looking forward to what the future has in store for us as a family business and are very happy that the name lives on in the community of Bonymaen, Swansea.

We look forward to welcoming you to our open day where free refreshments, discount vouchers for all visitors and a warm welcome awaits you.

For any enquiries or advice please call 01792 700501