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Friday March 22nd: Jez Unsworth of Jeremy Unsworth Funeral Services.

Venue: CHAPEL EN LE FRITH GOLF CLUB, Manchester Road, CELF SK23 9UH
funeral-carriage“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” said Benjamin Franklin in 1789. So why come to breakfast with a funeral director? Because you’ll need one. We all will, sooner or later. Odds are, you could be organising one, in sad circumstances –  and then you’ll wish you had known a lot more about it.

The business of disposing of us all has had some lurid headlines recently. “Crematoriums warned over cancer patients’ radiation risk,” intoned the Telegraph; such patients are still radioactive, and so can those who handle them frequently can set the counters ticking, too. Not a laughing matter.

The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £4,271 for a standard cremation, including the doctor, funeral director and celebrant’s fees and the cost of the cremation itself. That’s according to Sun Life’s 2018 Cost of Dying Report, with the average cost of a standard burial £4,798 in 2018, according to the same report (25 Feb 2019). You could get a good little motor for that, or a holiday in New York: it’s not peanuts. Buying a plot of land in a cemetery could knock you back many thousands of pounds, even just to bury a pot of ashes. You’d be surprised.

So why does it cost so much? Is it because funeral directors know we will be weak, and can exploit that? Or is it genuinely a pricier (and more dangerous) activity than most customers realise?
And why are most funeral directors still small businesses – is it because personal service is what we are really paying for, ignoring the skills and knowledge behind the scenes? There are about 7,000 funeral companies in the UK, two-thirds of which are independent, mainly small firms. The rest are operated by two corporate providers, the Co-op and Dignity. The numbers employed in the industry have doubled in the past decade to 22,000, although the number of deaths each year has remained stable at about 600,000. The market is worth about £2bn annually.
I don’t know the answers, but JEZ UNSWORTH  of JEREMY UNSWORTH FUNERAL SERVICES is going to help us find out.

As usual, we meet for coffee, pastries, juice from 7.30am; speaker 8 – 9 am; then networking over the bacon baps (this is Derbyshire…) till 9.30am. Anyone in business is welcome, so bring along clients, colleagues, trainees. Please let me know numbers for catering.

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Future Dates

Thurs April 18th: speaker from UKFast. You do understand about cloud computing.. or do you? Tech business UKFast, Manchester based cloud computing firm founded in 1999 by the legendary Lawrence and Gail Jones, is lining up an IPO which will see it valued at £350m on the stock market. Cloud cuckoo land? No longer…

Friday  May 17th: Andrew Gadd, Finance Manager of Creamline. Since BBC TV’s Blue Planet II, public taste has swung away from plastic. Even the BBC uses milk bottles now. That gives traditional milkmen the edge. Creamline Dairies, who have been delivering dairy produce and groceries to Manchester and Cheshire for over 70 years, are busier than ever. Come and hear more.

Friday June 14th: The Renaissance of The Co-op. In an intensely competitive grocery world, the venerable Co-op has been investing in its corner shops and seen a substantial turnaround. How are they doing it? Tina Mitchell, Divisional Managing Director, Co-op Food, will tell us more.