Following a cross-party campaign led by Labour MP Carolyn Harris, the Government has established a new fund, meaning families grieving the tragic loss of a child will no longer have to meet the costs of their burial or cremation
Every year in England an estimated 3,800 children die under the age of 18, and there are a further 2,700 stillbirths. Bereaved parents can find themselves facing bills of thousands of pounds for burial or cremation fees which can vary widely across the country.
The Children’s Funeral Fund (CFF) will bring an end to this uncertainty and provide bereaved parents with valuable practical support at a very difficult time. The scheme aims to reduce the financial burden for families by reimbursing burial authorities, cremation authorities and funeral directors directly.
The fund will be available regardless of the family’s income, and will also include a contribution towards the cost of a coffin.
If the person responsible for organising the burial or cremation chooses not to use a funeral director but makes the funeral arrangements themselves, they will be able to claim directly for those expenses from the fund. The only conditions for the scheme are that the child is under 18 at the time of death or is stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, and that the burial or cremation takes place in England. The scheme is not means-tested, and the residency or nationality of the deceased child, or of the person organising the burial or cremation, will not be relevant in determining eligibility.
The fund is to be in place from 23rd July 2019. More information can be found here.