Leaders at Co-op Funeralcare have written to the prime minister to address the company’s “concern” over what it calls “a lack of progress in establishing the promised Children’s Funeral Fund”.
The government announced the establishment of the fund in April last year and in its letter, Co-op reiterated its continued support for the decision and said 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. However, the fund is yet to be implemented.
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 added: “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.”