Everybody at Houghtons are delighted that the Government’s Children’s Funeral Fund finally came into effect on July 23rd 2019. Under the scheme the fees and expenses for burials and cremations are met by Government funding.
To be eligible a child must be under 18 at the time of death or stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, and the burial or cremation will take place in England. It is available to all families, regardless of income and is not means tested.
Our local Burial and Cremation authorities Warrington, Halton and St Helens will claim the fees directly from the central fund. Because Houghtons have never charged for childrens funerals the £300 allowance that could be paid to us from the fund will be passed back to the family to put towards something in their child's memory or gifted to a nominated charity.
Below are brief details extracted from the announcement by The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister, Teresa May intervened to establish a Funeral Fund for grieving parents who have lost their child. It means that parents will no longer have to meet the costs of burials or cremations and the fees will be waived by all local authorities. This came about because of Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris who has been campaigning following the loss of her young son.
The Prime Minister said:
'No parent should ever have to endure the unbearable loss of a child – a loss that no amount of time will ever truly heal.
But in the raw pain of immediate loss, it cannot be right that grieving parents should have to worry about how to meet the funeral costs for a child they hoped to see grow into adulthood.
I have been incredibly moved by the dignity and strength of campaigners like Carolyn Harris, who lost her own son Martin when he was just eight years old. Carolyn has passionately argued for a Children’s Funeral Fund to spare grieving families the burden of meeting funeral costs.
In the darkest moment of any parent’s life there is little light - but there can be support.
That is why I have asked for the Children’s Funeral Fund to be set up in England. For Carolyn, in memory of her son Martin, and in support of all those parents overwhelmed by such harrowing loss '
The intervention followed government support for Kevin Hollinrake’s Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill for parents who lose a child under the age of 18.