1,000 Grieving Families Used Children’s Funeral Fund Last Year
Since the government launched the Children’s Funeral Fund for England (CFF) in July, over 1,000 grieving families have used the scheme.
The fund has paid over half a million pounds to families who have lost a child under the age of eighteen and are in need of financial support with funeral and burial costs.
The government are keen to widen the service, reminding the public that, regardless of income, those that lose a child under the age of eighteen or give birth to a stillborn child over 34 weeks are entitled to financial help at a devastating and unexpected time.
According to the Office for National Statistics’ five-year average for deaths registered in England and Wales, the number of those aged under eighteen is over double of those using the scheme.
Between 2014 and 2018, the average number of deaths recorded was 2,429 which could suggest a greater number of grieving families should be looking to use the scheme and ease the financial burden at such a distressing time.
Justice Minister, Alex Chalk, said:
“The loss of a child is an unimaginable tragedy for any parent.
“While nothing can ever remove the pain that bereaved families experience, this government is determined to do everything in its power to support them.
“I am proud that the scheme has already helped so many, and we continue to increase awareness of the help available during such a distressing time.”
Labour MP Carolyn Harris (Swansea East), said:
“Sharing my family’s heartbreak and my son Martin’s memory was the one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I knew how desperately important a Children’s Funeral Fund would be to other bereaved parents.
“It saddens me that so many children have died since the fund was established and my heart breaks for all those families whose lives have been so devastatingly torn apart. I only hope that by lifting the financial burden of funeral costs from parents, we have been able to offer a glimmer of light in what will be a very dark place.
“Every year in England an estimated 3,800 children die under the age of 18, and there are a further 2,700 stillbirths. The Ministry of Justice wants to help as many people as possible who find themselves in such a devastating circumstance, and continues to improve awareness of the fund.”
Nikki Lancaster, who lost their 10-year-old son Lennon in 2017, said:
“Both myself and my partner gave up work in order to provide round the clock medical care for our son Lennon. It was struggle financially but we made work. In 2017 Lennon sadly died aged 10. We had no savings and all of the benefits we were claiming stopped on the day he died. In the weeks and months after Lennon died we struggled to pay our bills and had to borrow money to pay for Lennon’s funeral. It put a huge strain on us during the worst time in our lives.
“As the parent of a bereaved child I know what a huge difference this fund will make to families like my own. It may not seem a lot, but it is one less thing to have to worry about during such a distressing time.”
Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives said:
“It is good news that so many bereaved parents facing the worst circumstances possible have benefited from this support. No family should have to worry about money when they are coming to terms with the death of a child. It is crucial that every family who is eligible for the Child Funeral Fund is given the opportunity to access it.”