This month’s funeral industry news round-up looks at the much-needed changes to child burial costs, as well as the launch of a nationwide survey on Britain’s approach to death, dying and bereavement.
Northern Ireland has followed England’s decision to waive the fees for children’s funerals, reports the Funeral Service Times.
Mid and East Antrim, Mourne and Down Council are the latest UK local councils to adopt the idea. All costs linked with providing a grave for a child under 18 have been canceled. Fees will now be met by the Children’s Funeral Fund in order to help struggling parents pay for the costs.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Paul Reid, commented, “Nobody should be denied the right to bury their own child in a dignified and proper way. Parents who have lost a child are already facing tragic circumstances and the burden and process of cost shouldn’t be another.”
The decision was a result of a campaign led by Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who has to borrow money to bury her son. Wales was the first country to respond to the campaign - they waived the fees in 2016, with England following suit in March this year.
Carolyn said, “After so much pressure and so much time, families right across the United Kingdom can know that if they're ever in that terrible, terrible position when they lose a child, that there will now be a pot of money available to make sure that child has a dignified and respectful funeral."
Co-op has announced the launch of a large-scale survey to find out what’s stopping people from talking openly about death, dying and bereavement.
The survey aims to include views from individuals, funeral directors and charities across the UK. Much like huunuu, the Co-op is attempting to drive social change on how people see and approach the subject of death, dying and grief.
The preliminary results have already been published, with over 66% of people surveyed claiming that talking about death and dying needs to become less taboo and more of an open conversation.
Managing Director of Coop Funeralcare stated, “Making arrangements for a loved one’s funeral is a huge responsibility, with everyone having their own personal wishes. No-one likes to think about their own mortality, but having a discussion and planning ahead can have huge benefits in terms of being able to do the right thing for loved ones when the time comes.”
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