Co-op announces new measures to keep colleagues and families safe while preparing to say goodbye to a loved one

Central England Co-op Funeralcare has announced a range of new measures to keep colleagues and families safe as they help people prepare to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Colleagues are working 24 hours a day to support families at their time of need but changes have had to be put in place following advice and guidance from the Government.

These changes include:

  • Funeral homes have restricted public access with clear information displayed on how to contact the teams if needed
  • Providing a new service enabling families to complete funeral arrangements over the phone or via email
  • Visiting loved ones is still allowed by appointment and providing social distancing guidance can be followed
  • Closing florist shops based on Government instructions. Families can still take their own flowers direct to any service
  • Being unable to provide limousines to comply with social distancing advice
  • Funeral Directors being encouraged to use wheeled trolleys instead of shouldering coffins
  • Being unable to provide new headstones or refurbish existing ones for the time being.  Stone removals for burials will still be provided

Hazel Moss, Head of Funeral, said: “We are working to do all we can to support our families at this difficult time but we feel these measures have to be put in place to protect them and our colleagues.

We will continue to monitor the situation with a view to taking all appropriate steps to minimise risk to our colleagues, all funeral directors and their teams and all mourners and the public while maintaining the highest standard of service possible.”

“These are circumstances that none of us could have imagined, but it continues to be our privilege to support families at this difficult time. Together, we will still give your loved one the best funeral we can, in the current circumstances.”

These new measures come after changes were also put in place at Bretby Crematorium to keep colleagues and mourners safe.  The grounds at the site are remaining open.

New measures include:

  • Funerals are restricted to immediate family only with a strong recommendation of a maximum attendance of 10 mourners. Immediate family includes partners, parents, children, siblings and grandchildren
  • We offer free of charge webcasting of services
  • Curtains will be closed around coffins at the end of the service
  • Hymn books will be removed from chapels for the foreseeable future
  • A gap of at least 10 minutes between services to allow for crematorium staff to tidy the chapels
  • Funeral Directors will be encouraged to use wheeled trolleys instead of shouldering coffins
  • Advice will be posted on site asking families to use hand washing facilities, sit some distance apart from each other and not to shake hands
  • The main office on site will also be closed to the general public and the Book of Remembrance and other memorial work have been halted at this time

People can keep up to date with the latest guidance by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates

Notes to editors

 

About Central England Co-operative

 

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 

 

It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property.

 

The company’s funeral business consists of over 130 funeral homes across 16 counties, seven florists, masonry production and administration, Bretby Crematorium and Terry Smiths coffin factory.

 

Central England Co-operative has more than 430 trading outlets in total across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

 

The Society has an ambitious food store and funeral home development programme for 2020.

 

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports several charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

 

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop

 

For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, @mycooplife and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative

 

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140

 

Email – publicrelations@centralengland.coop