Children's funeral fund pays out to 3,000 bereaved families

Almost 3,000 bereaved families have accessed money from a fund launched a year ago to pay for their child’s funeral.

Co-op Funeralcare said its research showed that almost half of families eligible for the Children’s Funeral Fund in England have made an application for assistance since it launched last July.

The Government fund, which helps bereaved parents pay for their child’s burial or cremation, followed a cross-party campaign supported by the Co-op and led by Swansea East Labour MP Carolyn Harris.

To qualify, a child must be under 18 at the time of death or stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, and the burial or cremation must take place in England.

David Collingwood, director of funerals at Co-op Funeralcare, said: “We campaigned for and welcomed the introduction of the Children’s Funeral Fund, which was such a positive and important step in helping families in England through the most tragic and unimaginable loss.

“This vital fund has helped and comforted devastated parents at the worst time of their lives.

“This is a fund that you hope nobody will ever have to access. Sadly though, an estimated 3,800 children die under the age of 18 every year, and there are a further 2,700 stillbirths.

“It is encouraging to see that the fund has been able to offer many of them some financial support in a time of such tragic loss.”

Ms Harris said: “I remain immensely proud that the Children’s Funeral Fund was established last year in memory of my son, Martin.

“It was a painful process for me and my family to revisit our grief in order for the fund to come into existence, but knowing that almost 3,000 other families have been spared any financial worry at the most difficult time of their lives has made our pain more bearable.”

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