Heart of England Co-operative launches new ‘Unattended Funeral’ service for 2016


Friday, November 25, 2016

The Heart of England Co-operative Society’s funeral division has bolstered its offering with the launch of a new ‘unattended funeral’ for less well-off relatives or people without family.

Launched this month, the new service – which is a direct disposition – is the cheapest funeral service available for those looking for either a very simple service or the most cost effective option.

The Society – which operates a network of 13 funeral homes under the banner of The Co-operative Funeralcare across its trading area of Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire – has introduced the service for a fraction of the normal price at £1,550.

Although there is no service or mourners at the funeral, transportation and a simple wooden coffin for the cremation is included within the service, as well as all the relevant doctors’ fees and crematorium fees.

Darryl Smith, General Manager of the Society’s funeral division has stressed that while it is not a traditional funeral service, the same level of respect and dignity will be given to the deceased.

Darryl Smith commented: “Our charge reflects the amount of time involved in arranging and conducting this kind of service, and the lower cost of a ‘direct cremation only’ service where there are no service elements.”

“We will still offer the same high standards of dignity and respect in all that we do, but we have removed all the components of additional cost in order to be able to provide a very cost effective service for clients who wish to have either the simplest of funerals or want the cheapest option available.”

The service would see the deceased transported to a crematorium of the Society’s choosing in a private ambulance at a time convenient to the business but within 14 days of completion of the necessary paperwork.

The cremated remains will then be placed in a suitable temporary container and can be returned to the client if so desired. Alternatively they can be scattered in the garden of remembrance at the specified crematorium.

Mr Smith added: “If the family said that the person who’s died didn’t want any fuss and didn’t want a funeral, this unattended funeral would suit them.

“Or if the family said they didn’t have very much money and the financial issues really are a problem and they need the cheapest possible option, this would suit them.

“It is the absolute cheapest, but the caveats are that we would collect the deceased and we would take them to a crematorium of our choice, at a time of our choosing and there will be no attending family and no chapel of rest viewing.

“There has been a lot of media coverage recently on funeral costs and funeral poverty and this is our way of trying offer our client families a suitable solution.”
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