Dealing with the death of a child is a devastating experience for any parent. The practicalities of organising a funeral, let alone paying for it, are the last things on a family’s mind at such a traumatic time.

Tragically, over 5,000 families have to go through this every year. Often the loss of a child is completely unexpected or sudden, making it even harder for families to comprehend the costs associated with a funeral.   

Tackling the rising cost of funerals is something we’ve been focusing on in Funeralcare. Last year we re-launched our Simple Funeral improving the offer and reducing the cost by £140 on average.

We also became the first funeral provider to sign up to Fair Funeral’s enhanced pledge to tackle affordability, and announced the launch of our Simple Funeral Plan, the UK’s most affordable fully guaranteed plan. Last month we also told you about the improved benefits we’re offering to you, our colleagues.

Leading The Co-op Way

Today’s another day we can show how our Co-op is leading the way on the issues that matter to our members and customers – the issues that really make a difference to people’s lives.

For the last 30 years we’ve helped approximately 25,000 families who’ve lost a child under the age of 16 by not charging for our funeral director services. We’re not the only funeral providers to do this but we want to go a step further.

From today we’re launching our new child funeral policy and making life easier for thousands more bereaved parents by extending our offer to include children aged 16 and 17.

We’re also giving families more choice when it comes to arranging their child’s funeral and making it clearer on our website that we’re offering this service.

I’m pleased that our announcement has been welcomed by CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading charity supporting children and young people with cancer who’ve been calling on the government to set up a national Children’s Funeral Fund to cover the cost of burial and cremation fees charged by many councils.

Carolyn Harris MP for Swansea and Mark Pawsey MP for Rugby and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Funerals and Bereavement have also shown their support.

Our new policy means that thousands of devastated families will no longer have to worry about paying for all of their child’s funeral.

This means a great deal to me and is a perfect example of the role our Co-op should be playing.

Richard Lancaster

CEO of Funeralcare and Legal Services

Check out the full press release