Co-op expresses concern to PM over Children’s Funeral Fund

30 January 2019

Leaders at Co-op Funeralcare have today written to The Prime Minister to address concern over a lack of progress in establishing the promised Children’s Funeral Fund.

Despite the Government’s announcement to establish a fund to cover the costs of children’s funeral fees in April last year, it’s evident that no progress has been made.

Having supported over 25,000 families by not charging funeral director fees over the last three decades, Co-op welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement in 2018.

Leaders at Co-op Funeralcare have now written to The Prime Minister to reiterate the business’s continued support for her decision. They've stated again that it would be a positive step to ensuring that the 5,000 families who suffer the loss of a child every year, do not also face financial hardship as a result.

David Collingwood, Director of Funerals at the Co-op said:

“We are concerned that there is a lack of consistency in the UK which could leave many bereaved families facing financial problems. We’ve therefore asked The Prime Minister to ensure her pledge on the Children’s Funeral Fund is implemented as soon as possible.

“Losing a child is utterly devastating and something that no parent should ever have to experience. Whilst we don’t charge for our services for children up to the age of 18, third party costs can still be a considerable burden for bereaved families. It is therefore crucial that families wherever they live receive the support which has been promised to them.”

Carolyn Harris, Labour MP, Swansea East said:

“We have now been waiting almost ten months for the Children’s Funeral Fund to be implemented in England. Too many bereaved families have already faced the cruel reality of burying their child without the financial support that the government promised is on its way.

“It’s time for the government to stop talking and implement the fund with immediate effect, so that parents in England have the same support as those across the rest of the United Kingdom.”

Clare Laxton, Associate Director, Policy and Influencing at CLIC Sargent commented:

“Back in April 2018 CLIC Sargent welcomed the news from the Prime Minister that she will establish a Children’s Funeral Fund. This Fund will help families going through a deeply traumatic time, who should not have to also deal with the massive financial stresses of paying for a funeral.

“Nearly a year later we are still waiting for the Fund to be implemented, in this time over 200 families will have lost their child to cancer, they need this Fund now. That’s why we are supporting Carolyn Harris MP and Co-op Funeralcare in continuing to raise this issue with the Prime Minister and look forward to seeing more information about the Fund soon.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

For more information contact:
Emily Penkett: Emily.penkett@coop.co.uk / 07738621201

About the Co-op’s free child funerals policy
Co-op’s child funeral policy provides free funeral director services to Parents, Grand Parents and Legal Guardians with Parental Responsibility of any child up to the age of 18 (0-17 years).

This includes necessary provision of funeral colleagues, transportation and collection, a hearse and limousine as appropriate, optional embalming, a greater range of coffin choice, option to use a Co-op Funeralcare chapel for the service where available and no charge for weekend funerals.

The policy does not cover associated funeral costs set by third parties and local authorities, such as burial and cremation fees, clergy costs, and doctor certification fee (England and Wales).

About the Co-op
The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives and has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of over £9 billion.

Home to the UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare conducts almost 100,000 funerals annually across over 1,000 funeral homes. Combined with its leading legal services business, the Co-op is also a national provider of later life products and services ranging from funeral plans, through to wills and probate.