Council covers cost of 23 welfare funerals in one year

Nunhead Cemetery in Nunhead, south-east London.

Welfare funerals are minimalist affairs with no flowers. - Credit: PA

Tower Hamlets Council covered the cost of 23 welfare funerals in the space of a year, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

The authority spent £22,415 on these funerals - for 20 men and three women - between April 2019 and March 2020.

Welfare funerals are given to people who have passed away alone, in poverty or without any remaining friends or family – or funds to pay for their funeral.

Families may be unable or unwilling to cover the funeral costs of their dead relative.

Welfare funerals are minimalist affairs, with no flowers, viewings or obituaries for the deceased.

Two of the Tower Hamlets welfare funerals were burials, which cost the council £1,495 each.

The remaining 21 were cremated, which cost the council £925.

Most Read

Government guidance says that welfare funerals are “designed to protect public health and are important in ensuring that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their circumstances".

Tower Hamlets Council has been contacted for further comment.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter