Trevor Shingler (centre) with wife and company director Gayle and father in law Bob Waite.
Trevor Shingler (centre) with wife and company director Gayle and father in law Bob Waite.

Sunderland entrepreneur launches his own business with North East BIC support

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.

Trevor said: “This really is a dream come true for me. 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.”

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.

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.


By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

Our Partners