For a long time, death and funerals were only discussed when they absolutely had to be.For a long time, death and funerals were only discussed when they absolutely had to be.
However, according to Central England Co-op Funeralcare, an increasing number of people in Cambridgeshire are seeking a say on their own final goodbye.
As well as wanting to play a role in planning their own funeral, the Society says more people are looking at a wider range of options for their loved ones.
In some cases, that can mean opting for a dignified private approach with a simple unattended and lower-cost funeral, enabling mourners to celebrate their loved one’s life in the way they feel suits them best.
The Society, which has provided help and guidance for local communities for over 30 years, has evolved its comprehensive and personalised range of services to help ease families through what can feel like a difficult and complicated experience.
But what hasn’t changed is the Society’s compassionate approach.
Senior Funeral Director Niki Roberts said: “At Central England Co-op our job is to make sure that when somebody’s bereaved they feel comforted at whichever stage of bereavement they’re going through.
“They need somebody there to understand and listen. They need hand-holding and they need advice at the right time – that is what our teams across Cambridgeshire can provide.
“Our funeral directors and arrangers do everything they can to help families during their time of need. They help people to pre-plan their funeral and make it unique to them while removing any worries of financial uncertainty and stress really makes a difference.”
To cater for ever-changing needs, Co-op Funeralcare has introduced a £1,250 unattended funeral service option for families who do not wish to hold a traditional funeral service at either a church or crematorium.
Instead, a simple, dignified cremation takes place at Bretby Crematorium without family or friends in attendance. Afterwards, their loved one’s remains can either be returned to the family or scattered in the garden of remembrance at Bretby Crematorium.
Whatever style of funeral, Central England Co-op colleagues can also offer advice on floral tributes, monumental masonry, funeral stationery and probate.
The Society has also seen a rise in people looking to manage their funeral by planning and pre-paying for it now. Recent research by the Society showed that more than one-fifth of UK funerals is now paid for in advance.
Niki said: “We would advise people to pre-plan if there’s something specific that they would like for their funeral service.
“People can record their ideas using our funeral wishes cards and we endeavour to provide everything they want.
“Pre-planning lessens the burden on friends and family. At the time of need, whether the death is expected or not, it is an emotional time for all involved.
“A pre-planned funeral means that the family can take some comfort from the fact that the person who has passed away is having their wishes met.”
Benefits of pre-paid plans include:
• Securing a funeral at today’s prices without worrying about year-on-year price rises
• Everything included in a Central England Co-op pre-paid plan is fully guaranteed
• Being available without medical or health questions and have no upper age limit
• Paying in full or spreading the cost across up to 60 months: all money will be secure and protected, invested in a regulated whole-of-life insurance policy in agreement with the rules and guidelines set out by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA).
Co-op Funeralcare offer everything from a Bretby plan (£1,495), which is an unattended funeral with a simple coffin, to a Kensington plan (£4,195), which includes a limousine and a high-quality coffin.
The service also creates bespoke send-offs to reflect individual tastes and preferences.
As standard, Co-op funeral plans include all funeral director’s fees and services, hearse and support, cremation or interment, family support and minister fees.
Details about pre-paid funeral plans and arranging a funeral across Cambridgeshire can be found by talking to the teams at the following homes:
• George James & Son, City Road, March, PE15 9LS – 01354 652208
• Fitzwilliam Street Funeral Home, Peterborough, PE1 2RX – 01733 763366
• RJ Scholes, Wherrys Lane, Bourne, PE10 9HQ – 01778 394687
• Wootton Road Funeral Home, Gaywood, King’s Lynn, PE30 4EX – 01553 768970
Further information is available by visiting www.centralengland.coop/funeralcare.