Responding to the sentencing of former funeral director Ms Alison Pople, for the theft of charitable donations, the NAFD said:

“This was a criminal act, by an individual who repeatedly breached the trust placed in them and Ms Pople’s actions in no way reflect the high standards of the UK funeral profession. Our thoughts are with the families and charities affected by Ms Pople’s actions and we are pleased, for them, that she has been brought to justice.

“Funeral directors across the UK handle many millions of pounds in charitable donations every year. Whilst an increasing percentage is now being raised online – which is the most straightforward method for donors, charities and funeral directors – there is still a considerable amount collected in cash, during funeral services and in the weeks after they have taken place.

“The NAFD operates a strict Code of Professional Standards which sets out how our members should operate and adherence to the Code is checked on application and through regular inspections. The Association also provides specific guidance on how charitable donations should be handled and encourages the use of online charitable donations services. These services are not only more straightforward to administrate they also provide an additional benefit to the charities through the opportunity to add Giftaid to the money raised, boosting the funds significantly.”