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Fairness pledge to tackle funeral poverty

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Funeral homes run by Lincolnshire Co-op have joined the national campaign to tackle funeral poverty and pledged to provide a fair deal for grieving people on low incomes.

Funeral poverty exists when the cost of a funeral is beyond a person’s ability to pay. One in seven people now experience serious financial difficulty when paying for a funeral.

Buying a funeral can be expensive and confusing. Bereaved people don’t make savvy consumers, and we can be very reluctant to have frank conversations about the cost of funerals. This can make it very difficult for grieving people to find a funeral within their budget.

Lincolnshire Co-op has signed up to the Fair Funerals pledge to help tackle this problem. It means the Society agrees to the following:

1. To recognise that funerals can be expensive and many people struggle with the cost.
2. To help people to find funerals that are within their means.
3. To be open about its most affordable options – including third party costs – in initial conversations, within price lists and on its website.

The pledge was launched by anti-poverty charity Quaker Social Action which supports people on low incomes struggling with funeral costs. Its Fair Funerals campaign is working with government, charities and funeral directors to tackle the growing problem of funeral poverty.

is working with government, charities and funeral directors to tackle the growing problem of funeral poverty.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Head of Funeral Services David Dernley said: “We’re proud to have signed up to the pledge and do our bit to help tackle the growing issue of funeral poverty.

“We’re transparent with our pricing and are pleased to offer a simple funeral option. Though this option carries certain restrictions, it facilitates a dignified, respectful and more affordable funeral service, with the same high standards of care we’re known for.

“All our funeral directors, arrangers and managers are trained to discuss with clients their ability to meet the financial liabilities associated with the funeral they are arranging and, in cases of hardship, to provide the simple funeral option.”

Fair Funerals campaign manager Heather Kennedy said: “No one should have to go through the distress of not being able to afford a decent send-off for someone they love. But the fact is, because of the price of funerals and the lack of state support, funeral poverty is inevitable for a lot of people in our society. We launched the pledge to help grieving people find a funeral they can afford.

“We’re really pleased by the number of funeral directors who have risen to the challenge and signed up to the pledge. By signing up to the pledge, funeral directors are committing themselves to providing the information and choices that allow bereaved customers to make empowered decisions.”

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