The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) – the trade association representing the interests of 80% of UK funeral directors – is celebrating the achievements of its chief executive officer, who has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Alan Slater has been awarded the MBE for services to the funeral service.
“Alan has played a very important role in establishing the Association as the voice of the funeral profession, not only representing the sector at large, but also looking after the interests of the bereaved families we serve, and we are delighted that his hard work and dedication has been recognised at the very highest level,” said NAFD President Steve Pearce.
Alan joined the NAFD in 1999 following a successful career in the licensed retail industry. He embarked on a development strategy that would ultimately unite the funeral service, leaving the NAFD ideally placed to raise the debate on issues that matter to funeral directors and to give bereaved relatives a voice.
Today, thanks to Alan’s efforts, the NAFD is widely viewed as the voice of the funeral profession and through its cross party groups at Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff and Stormont – and the NAFD European Liaison Group, which has a growing influence in Brussels – has been instrumental in delivering key social benefits.
Despite difficult economic times, resulting in restrictions on the spending of the government of the day, the NAFD has met with every minister responsible for the Social Fund and successfully lobbied for an increase (to £700) in the cap on Social Fund funeral payments.
It has also secured other measures of support, including the formation of the DWP Bereavement Service to reduce the time taken to process Social Fund claims and, most recently, the introduction of interest-free budgeting loans to help families in receipt of benefits to meet funeral expenses. The Association is continuing to campaign to improve the position of low income bereaved families.
Alan Slater helped to establish the Funeral Arbitration Scheme, a conciliation and arbitration service designed to provide a cost-effective way of resolving disputes in those instances where funeral directors and families are unable to reach agreement, and is committed to driving up industry standards through education and training. He played a key role in the development of a series of new NAFD qualifications, which are purpose-designed to meet the needs of funeral businesses now and in the future, and the training of NAFD Approved tutors to national teaching standards.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this honour, but it’s not just for me, it’s for the team of around 60 people who support me, giving up their time voluntarily for the greater good of the funeral industry and the bereaved families it serves,” said Alan Slater.
Further information about the National Association of Funeral Directors is available at www.nafd.org.uk