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Humanists UK welcomes new scheme to help grieving families cover the cost of their child’s funeral

Humanists UK has welcomed a new government scheme that from tomorrow will allow grieving families in England to access funds to help them pay for their child’s funeral.

The UK Government has announced it will provide financial support to cover burial or cremation fees and the cost of a coffin for a child under 18 or a baby stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy.

Under the Children’s Funeral Fund, expenses for burials and cremations will be largely met by government funding. To be eligible the burial or cremation must take place in England. The fund will be available to all families, regardless of income – it is not means tested.

Burial and cremation authorities and funeral directors will be able to claim the fees directly from the central fund. The fund does not pay for any fees for a celebrant – although it can be used in conjunction with a humanist ceremony. Neither does the fund pay for other elements of the ceremony, such as flowers and orders of service. 

Humanists UK Head of Ceremonies Isabel Russo said: ‘It is a tragedy when a family loses a child, and so this hugely welcome scheme will assist grieving families at their time of greatest need. We will encourage our humanist funeral celebrants to share the word to ensure that all families who are in this situation will be able to receive financial compensation for the costs incurred.’

The fund will cover:

  1. The cost of a coffin and associated fees up to £300.00.
  2. The cost of removal of an implantable medical device. 
  3. The fees levied for the completion of cremation certification.
  4. The fee levied by a private grave digger when not provided by/included in the cemetery or churchyard fee.
  5. The cost of removing and re-fixing a headstone or kerbing.
  6. The price of an appropriate receptacle for cremated remains where the receptacle in which they are returned from the crematorium is unsuitable.

Claims can be made from now for funerals taking place on or after 23 July 2019.


For more information on the scheme, visit the Government website.

For more information contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at or 020 7324 3078 or 07393 344293.

Read our previous news item calling for inclusive funeral settings.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

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