The government has finally announced the introduction of the Children’s Funeral Fund for England.
The news comes after a long and tireless campaign led by Carolyn Harris MP and supported by a group of organisations including QSA. The Fund has been set up to help bereaved parents after the death of a child.
Carolyn Harris MP, who lost her son Martin when he was just eight years old, has time and time again recounted the pain and distress she experienced when struggling to afford his funeral. With cross-party support and the partnership of organisations including QSA, she successfully called on the Prime Minister to follow Scotland, Wales and local councils in Northern Ireland by providing a Children’s Funeral Fund for families in England. However, after an initial announcement in March 2018, there was no sign of the Fund until now.
Carolyn Harris MP said “Whilst I was talking about children’s funerals I had to revisit my own grief. But today, I know that sharing my beautiful son’s story was meant to be and that no other bereaved parents will have to worry about funeral costs.
“They will have time to grieve, not cause to worry. It has been a tough road to this bittersweet victory, but I am so pleased that the Prime Minister has kept her promise, and that at last Martin’s Fund will exist right across the UK.
“My pain will go on forever but so will Martin’s name. I’m so proud that even his short life will make such a difference to bereaved parents in the future.”
The Fund will be officially launched on 23rd July, and will cover burial or cremation fees and a contribution towards the cost of a coffin. It will be available regardless of the family’s income.
Since the end of the Fair Funerals campaign in 2018, Quaker Social Action has continued to advocate for change through our Down to Earth project, the only UK-wide advice service for people in financial need arranging a funeral.