Meet the founder
Funeral Cost Expert & Consumer Champion
Who is Kim Bird?
Kim Bird is a funeral cost expert and consumer champion. She has appeared in the national and local press, on TV, on radio and sits on industry and government bereavement and funeral groups campaigning for better outcomes for for bereaved families and funeral consumers.
Kim started her career in the funeral industry over 20 years ago, working as a funeral arranger and bereavement support volunteer for one of the largest funeral companies in the UK.
Frustrated by the lack of price transparency in the funeral industry, and the unnecessary added distress experienced by bereaved families who were unable to easily shop around for an affordable funeral, she decided to do something about it.
In 2012, she founded the first funeral comparison site - About the Funeral, free to the public and free to funeral directors.
Kim has been campaigning for funeral directors to be fully price transparent ever since, and has contributed to the Competition & Markets Authority investigation into the funeral market. In 2021, funeral price transparency will be mandatory. You can read Kim's contributions to the Competition & Markets Authority investigation here.
Most recently Kim has been putting all her efforts into making consumers aware of the benefits of funeral planning.
The severity of the most common distress purchase problems associated with arranging a funeral at the time it's needed - the added upset of making the arrangements at an already difficult time, potential funeral debt, and feeling ripped off - can be alleviated when the funeral is planned and prepaid. The details are arranged and the cost is fixed on the day the funeral is purchased, which gives peace of mind for all concerned. And that is how Before You Go came about.
Some of the media Kim has appeared in
BBC news: Kim talking about what people can do to avoid funeral debt
The Sunday Times: How Kim campaigned for funeral director's to be price transparent
Daily Mirror: How Kim's experience of familial suicide shaped her
Business Insider: How ethics is core to Kim's ventures.
The Sunday Times: Kim included in the list of top 100 social entrepreneurs
The Guardian: How Kim is tackling society's most taboo subject
ITV news: Kim talking about how people can easily cut the cost of a funeral
Western Mail: One woman's quest to help families deal with funeral costs
How Kim's philosophy lead to Before You Go
" My philosophy is that life is too short - and death is too expensive ! "
"I am passionate about educating people about the benefits of funeral planning, which can help bereaved families avoid so many of the emotional and financial difficulties typically experienced when people don't plan their funeral.
In 2020, I founded Before You Go. It's dedicated to helping people arrange and prepay their funeral - wisely. It doesn't need to cost the earth to be buried in (or scattered on) it! Once organised they can get on with doing more of what they enjoy, content in the knowledge that their send-off is sorted and their loved ones won't have the worry of making decisions at an already upsetting time and paying a large, sudden expense when the time comes."
Founder of Before You Go
A different approach
"Before You Go deliberately takes a lighter, more positive approach to funerals.
I acknowledge that we tread a fine line, but we do so in the knowledge that some people find this topic extremely uncomfortable. We get it. Facing our own mortality is hard. But we strive to get the balance right to make the subject more approachable so no-one has to miss out on the positive emotional and financial aspects planning ahead brings.
We recognise that our tone may not suit everyone. However, if what we do makes people think a little more about this difficult subject, and ideally gets them to talk about and make preparations for their own funeral, then we have done our job."
What do you love about your job, Kim?
It has been, without doubt, a roller-coaster journey trying to change the funeral industry's attitudes and behaviour towards price transparency and also transform the way people buy funerals.
I love hearing people's positive funeral experiences, whether it's about planning ahead or quirky ways to celebrate a life well lived, or from families whose loved-ones have planned and prepaid their perfect send-off. I want to responsibly educate people about the positive impact later life planning can have on the people you care most about, and ensuring people plan wisely and well.
You could say my mission is in life is helping people prepare for death!"
Campaigning for better outcomes for funeral consumers & bereaved families
Joining government groups
Kim joins the National Assembly for Wales Cross Party Group and the House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group for funerals and bereavement in 2016 and 2018, respectively, where they debate and influence future policy.
Kim receives prestigious accolade
Kim was included in the 2017 Maserati 100, published in The Sunday Times, which recognises the top 100 UK game-changing entrepreneurs who are disrupting the business world and positively impacting the economy and society.
From left: Kim Bird of About the Funeral, Ricky Kothari of T-Sticks, PaulLindley of Ella's Kitchen, Claire Cockerton of Piexal, Humphrey Cobbold of PureGym, Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker of Notonthehighstreet.com, Emily Brooke of Blaze, Tom Adeyoola of Metail and James Lang of Hotcha.
Campaigning for greater price transparency
Since 2018 Kim has assisted the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) investigation with its ongoing probe into the harmful impact that escalating prices and lack of price transparency have on consumers. You can read her contributions here.
Funeral price transparency will be mandatory from the summer of 2022.
Kim joins industry working group to improve funeral standards
In 2019 Kim joined the Funeral Service Consumer Standards Review (FSCSR) working group to improve quality, standards and outcomes for funeral service consumers, in particular funeral price transparency.