Mrs Nicky Massey, a campaigning mother who sadly lost her son, Ethan, just before his fourth birthday in 2013, has welcomed the decision by Cambridge City Council to scrap funeral service fees for children and young people under 16.
Mrs Massey spoke at the Cambridge City Council Budget meeting on 22 February to highlight the difficult position many bereaved parents found themselves in after the death of a child, with worry about how to manage the financial cost of the funeral. She said: “In 2013 I lost my son just before his fourth birthday. The costs I faced for burial fees were a real concern at the time. I was a single parent carer reliant on benefits and I did not know where money would be coming from, and what my future without my my youngest child would be. Whilst most funeral directors already forgo payment for a child’s funeral, this hasn’t been the case for burial or cremation fees which grieving parents still have to face, and which can be substantial.”
“I fully support the campaign to get the government to create a fund for child burial fees from the Labour MP, Carolyn Harris, who also lost a young child and struggled to pay but so far they have refused to step up. I am so pleased that Councillor Anna Smith and city council officers have taken the lead here in Cambridge in supporting parents and families through such a difficult time by waiving these fees. I will though carry on campaigning to ensure this valuable support is not a postcode lottery for families and that all grieving parents will have the burden of fees lifted from them.”
Councillor Anna Smith, the City Council’s Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, said: “Everyone in the Council chamber was moved by Mrs Massey's courageous and heartfelt questions, which showed us so clearly why we were right to scrap these fees. No family should have to go through what she went through at such a time. That's why, like Mrs Massey, I am calling on the Government to scrap child burial fees right across the country."