All of us from time to time find things are getting on top of us. We have to balance work, family, study…. life! And as celebrants, our work can often be emotionally demanding. What’s more, most of us are self-employed. We don’t have the support that comes from being part of an organization.

One thing that SICA is developing is a peer-to-peer support network  and we’re hoping that will give opportunities to share issues and problems.

But there is another line of support we now have access to since SICA became an associate member of SAIF, the independent funeral directors’ professional association. Any SICA member can now call the SAIFSupport line and speak for up to an hour with a counsellor or support staff. It could be an emotional issue, it could be a practical issue.

For example, when I spoke to Catherine Betley, Managing Director of the company that provides the support on behalf of SAIF, she told me that something that had led to calls during the lockdowns was the difficult situation of a celebrant being faced with far more people turning up to a burial or wedding than was permitted under the guidelines. Although this may not be the responsibility of the celebrant, it’s not hard to see how it puts us in an extremely awkward place. 

SAIFSupport is designed to help give practical advice, emotional support and sometimes just an opportunity to get things off our chest. There’s no charge for the service to SICA members (although there are options to book and pay for further counselling sessions if the member feels that would be beneficial).

So if things are getting you down, remember that there is help out there – SICA is developing its peer support and SAIFSupport is on 0800 077 8578 (Mon–Fri 9am–9pm).

Michael Hannah


myres castle, auchtermuchty