The Child Funeral Charity (CFC), which has just been launched, aims to help couples who are struggling to meet funeral costs and, subject to approval by its trustees, will pay up to £700 per application.
The charity will take referrals and applications for financial support from bereavement-related professionals who know a family’s circumstances and a decision will be promised in just 48 hours, with the money being paid directly to the relevant supplier.
CFC chief executive, Roger Gale, explains: “Whether a family has lost a baby through a pre-term loss or stillbirth; or a child through a life-limiting illness or something more sudden such as an accident; the last thing they want to worry about is how to pay for the funeral.
“Although many funeral directors, clergy and celebrants don’t charge for children’s funerals, there are other expenses such as a coffin, a vehicle, flowers and service sheets for the ceremony that all add up. With the help of professionals such as nurses and hospice teams who can make referrals, CFC can step in and provide support.”
He stresses that the aim of the CFC is not to replace the means-tested Funeral Payment from the government’s Social Fund, which helps low income families if they need assistance to pay for funeral costs.
“Our goal is to help a family in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy,” he added. “When you have just lost a baby or child, you don’t want to be faced with completing pages of forms, you want to get on with making the arrangements without wondering how on earth you will pay for it all. That’s the burden we want to be able to take away.”
Well-known author and national newspaper advice columnist Bel Mooney has already pledged her support as a patron and spoke at the charity’s launch event and educational seminar, which attracted an audience of more than 100 bereavement professionals, including nurses and midwives.