On 1 July 2019, it was announced that a new Social Fund for funerals will be introduced in England. Under the new Government scheme, families grieving the loss of a child through death or stillbirth will be given up to £2,000 to help cover funeral costs.
Every year in England, an estimated 3,800 children die under the age of 18. Bereaved parents can find themselves facing bills of thousands of pounds for funeral costs which can vary widely across the country.
The Children’s Funeral Fund (CFF) aims to bring an end to this and provide families with the support they need. The scheme will reduce the financial burden for families by reimbursing burial authorities, cremation authorities and funeral directors directly. Victoria, having experienced the heartache of losing a child herself, has welcomed the new fund as a way of helping parents to focus on family rather than the financial difficulties of a funeral. From 23 July 2019, families who suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18 will have access to the fund, regardless of their means, nationality or residency.
Following the announcement, Victoria Prentis MP commented: “This is a very important step. Losing a child and arranging a funeral is an extremely painful time for any parent. The last thing bereaved parents need is additional financial concerns. I am very pleased that the Government is going to provide families with the support they need to help them through such a difficult time”.