Central England Co-op Funeralcare helps families personalise final farewells during uncertain times

Funeral Directors from Central England Co-operative have revealed some of the amazing and unique ways they are still able to help families say goodbye to their loved ones during these uncertain times.

Teams from across the country have working 24 hours a day to support families at their time of need while having to put in place safety measures following Government guidance.

Despite any difficulties, funeral colleagues have been helping families overcome any restrictions by ensuring bespoke and personal farewells have still been able to take place.

  • In Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, the team organised a funeral which included a cortege of 12 buses for a man who had dedicated his life to working on buses in the local area
  • Colleagues have often been asked to wear a special coloured tie to reflect the loved one being remembered or to celebrate their favourite sports team
  • Organising for funeral processions to go on special routes to stop outside places special to the loved one or so that family members who could not attend could pay their respects
  • In Suffolk, one funeral team organised a socially-distanced afternoon tea for the family of a loved one to take place at the exact same time as the funeral which was happening across the country in Derbyshire. This was especially notable as the woman who passed away was renowned for her love of baking, especially cakes
  • A Scottish man had his proud heritage honoured by a funeral director (who is also Scottish) wearing a kilt for the service, a piper playing and the funeral team wearing a Scottish thistle
  • A love of butterflies meant so much to one family that an entire funeral team donned images, stickers and badges on their ceremonial uniform
  • Due to current restrictions, family members are not allowed to touch the coffin during the service. One team went above and beyond to make this happen for a family by taking images of all of their hands and laying them on the coffin for them


Aiden Phillips, Senior Funeral Director, said: “Our colleagues see their roles not as a job, but as a vocation, so the current restrictions have really impacted them and how they want to help families.

“However, they have all decided to make sure that they can continue to go above and beyond where possible to make each send off as personal as possible.

“These examples are just a handful of some of the great ways our teams have tried to bring a little light to families in their time of need.

“And, when special arrangements cannot be made, they are supporting families by looking to the future and helping them prepare and plan memorial events and celebrations of life for when things return to normal.

“We want to reassure people that everything we do is in the interests of keeping them safe and well, both for our colleagues and the communities in which we work.”

Central England Co-op Funeralcare continues to work around the clock ahead of any potential further alterations to the way funerals are planned and services are held in the coming weeks.

This includes ensuring extra social distancing measures are being put in place at funeral homes to keep colleagues and clients safe such as hand sanitising stations and continued innovation with the use of phone and email to help families plan the funeral of a loved one while also still being able to see people in person via an appointment.

The Funeralcare provider will also be keeping a close eye on guidance related to the number of mourners able to attend funerals and will advise families accordingly based on the local rules and regulations.

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



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About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood



Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop