A subject that can be difficult to talk about but which will happen to all of us is death. Understandably, it is something we don’t like to think about, whether it is about our loved ones or indeed ourselves. When someone has died, their death needs to be registered with the registrar. Once this is done other organisations and government departments need to be informed. West Sussex County Council operate the ‘The Tell Us Once’ service which makes this process as smooth as possible. While we expect death in old age and can plan for it, there is nothing worse than losing a child.
Every year in England an estimated 3,800 children die under the age of 18, and there are a further 2,700 stillbirths. At the most traumatic of times, bereaved parents can find themselves facing bills of thousands of pounds for burial or cremation fees.
Last week the Conservative Government announced that they will establish a Children’s Funeral Fund, to cover the costs of a burial or cremation when a child dies, meaning that bereaved parents will not have to worry about money during the hardest time of their lives.
This Children’s Funeral Fund will help to reduce the financial burden for families by reimbursing burial authorities, cremation authorities and funeral directors directly. The fund will not be means tested and be available regardless of a family’s income and will also include a contribution towards the cost of a coffin.
Nothing can stop the pain of losing a child, but at a time of such unimaginable loss, no grieving parent should be faced with the additional stress and worry of finding the money to cover the cost of their child’s funeral. This fund will help ease the financial burden and the additional stress that can come with it at the worst possible of times.
While hopefully the vast majority of us will never lose a child and have a need for this fund, I very much welcome that it is being set up to be there, should the very worse of events ever happen to any of us.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
3rd July 2019