Helping grieving families 'means the world' to woman behind fake funeral flowers

Samantha Quereshi on ITV show Tonight -Credit:ITV
Samantha Quereshi on ITV show Tonight -Credit:ITV

A mum-of-four who started renting out cheaper artificial funeral flowers following the death of her beloved dad says helping to take away some of the financial stress from grieving families "means the world" to her. It's an issue close to the heart of Samantha Quereshi, from Meir, who was speaking during an ITV current affairs programme on the soaring costs of funerals, which aired last night (May 2).

The 27-year-old was left devastated when dad Shaun, 52, passed away suddenly in August 2021 after contracting sepsis. Being his only child, Sam was left to take on the burden of planning his funeral and was stunned by the costs involved, including the price of floral arrangements.

Determined not to let others go through the same experience, she launched Forget Me Nots in 2022 which rents fake flowers to grieving families at a far more affordable price. The rise of her business led to ITV featuring her in the latest episode of Tonight. The programme revealed that average costs had reached "an all-time high" of more than £9,500.

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Discussing her experience, Samantha told the show: "Naturally when you lose someone you want to give them the best service you can. So when I went to the funeral directors and I was like 'I want grandad, I want dad, I want football badges' and then I kind of got brought back down to reality when I heard the costs."

Forget Me Nots provides fake funeral flowers for a fraction of the price of the fresh version.

Samantha explained: "So they're getting the use you'd get out of fresh flowers but without the financial stress of it. Being able to give that option to families who are struggling, it means the world. It's helping them."

Samantha Quereshi on ITV show Tonight -Credit:ITV
Samantha Quereshi on ITV show Tonight -Credit:ITV

Ahead of last night's show, Samantha - who runs the business from her home in Meir with boyfriend Samuel O'Neill, 32 - revealed to StokeonTrentLive she is aiming to open a shop before the end of the year.

"I'm looking to get a shop in Longton in the next six months," she explained. "I've recently had a baby so I've been doing it from home but that's definitely the aim. The business is to help people more than anything - that's why I started it. Two years ago to get fresh flowers for 'Grandad' I was quoted £240 - it's probably even more now.

"Ours is £50 - it's such a big difference. It's all about saving people money. We've had amazing support from the community and like any business we'd be nothing without our customers."

You can watch the episode now on ITV Hub

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