T&G Direct Funeral Services

T & G Direct Funeral

Trevor does things his way with new funeral business

Award-winning funeral director Trevor Shingler has achieved his dream of opening his own business after years of working for others in the industry.

With the help of the North East BIC’s Start-up Team, Trevor has opened T&G Direct Funeral Services in Sunderland with a mission to deliver funeral care that keeps costs low and standards high for clients.

True to his promise to provide the personal touch, his business is a real family affair with father-in-law Bob acting as funeral assistant and wife Gayle, a qualified counsellor, offering wrap-around bereavement support to clients.

“This really is a dream come true for me,” Trevor said. “After years of running funerals for other people I can now do it for myself and do things exactly how I want.

“My aim is to serve Sunderland and surrounding communities in a friendly and transparent way at a sensible price. There’ll be no pressured selling, or complex range of products and services, just one caring family extending support to another family in their hour of need.

“By staying small and independent I can not only keep overheads low and pass on these savings to my customers but I can also be flexible and offer funerals as unique as the person we are celebrating.

“It’s such a privilege to work with families in their time of grief and having complete autonomy means I can help make sure the funeral reflects their loved one and I can create a supportive environment that is true to me.”

T & G Direct Funeral

Trevor began dreaming of becoming his own boss after training and working with national and independent funeral directors in the region and gaining a reputation for high standards.

In 2021, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners, an independent professional organisation with members around the world, which recognised commitment across the spectrum of bereavement care and support.

Later the same year, he received the President’s Award of Merit – the society’s highest award –in recognition of his outstanding bereavement care and support of families and individuals, often in the most complex circumstances.

He turned to the BIC for advice on starting up his own business after recommendation from a friend who heard about his ambition and his need of some practical business support to get his idea off the ground.

He worked closely with Start-Up Advisers Hina Joshi and Kelly Marshall, receiving guidance on everything from how to register the business, organise insurance and navigate fire safety legislation, through to how to manage day-to-day operations including tax and accounts.

T & G Direct Funeral Services

“At first all I could see were worries and problems I didn’t know the answer to,” said Trevor. “I could organise a funeral standing on my head but didn’t have a clue how to go about setting up a business. But within five minutes of meeting Hina and Kelly, I knew I was going to be able to do it.

“They worked through each step with me and gave me the confidence to realise things are much more achievable than I thought. I followed every piece of advice I was given, used every resource and every shortcut and followed up with every contact I was signposted to.

“It would have taken me weeks to sift through what I needed on the internet and I’d have lost my way. Hina and Kelly kept me focused and we pushed through it together.

“They were genuinely interested and so enthusiastic about helping me – it didn’t feel like it was a job to them. They were more like friends cheering us on. I couldn’t believe the quality of the advice, especially when it comes for free.”

Just days after starting to plan his new venture with the team, Trevor spotted the perfect premises for his new funeral business on Hylton Road.

And after an epic effort from friends, family and professional contacts, the former fruit and vegetable shop was transformed into a professional funeral services business, complete with two chapels of rest and a mortuary.

Trevor added: “I have so many people to thank for helping me to achieve my ambition. I am so grateful and I intend to do them proud.”

For more information about how the BIC’s fully-funded business support could help you become your own boss, visit ne-bic.co.uk or call 0191 516 6200. 

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