An independent East Devon Funeral Director has joined a national campaign to highlight the reality of direct or ‘pure’ cremations.

Family-run Shoobridge Funeral Services is supporting Let’s Talk About Direct Cremation, an initiative to help bereaved families to understand funeral options better.

Shoobridges, which has branches in Honiton, Exmouth and Exeter, have been approached four times in the past month by national companies to collect and store the deceased on their behalf because they do not have sufficient personnel or facilities.

Paul Shoobridge, company director, said: “When a family opts for a national company to carry out a direct cremation, they are often unaware of how their loved one will be treated. It is simply a removal of that person, followed by the return of the cremated remains some weeks later. It is often the case that they are transported to a central cremation hub far from their home.

“Independent local funeral directors, like us, are frequently asked by national companies, based miles away, to collect the deceased because we have the local staff and facilities to do this; they do not.”

“A Direct Cremation, as advertised on TV, has no service for family or friends. We offer Direct Cremation but, unlike national companies, it’s our team of funeral directors who attend and will look after your relative locally and offer additional services such as dressing loved ones in their own clothes and facilitating visits in our chapels of rest.

“We will talk you through the choice of services, for you to make an informed decision. Very often, families just need a simple way to say a quiet goodbye that doesn’t cost the earth. Whatever you need, we will support you.”

Let’s Talk About Direct Cremation is an initiative led by SAIF, the UK’s largest trade association representing independent funeral directors.

Terry Tennens, Chief Executive of SAIF, welcomed Shoobridge Funeral Service’s involvement in the campaign.

“It’s fantastic to see local independent businesses working to help people in their communities make informed decisions about funerals, which are often the ultimate distressed purchase.

“I defend anyone’s right to have a direct cremation but it’s important that people know exactly what they are buying and look beyond the ‘no-fuss’ headlines and ensure that this kind of service is going to work for them and their families.”

Shoobridge Funeral Services has an informative section about direct cremations on its website, visit