An update on changes we've made due to the impact of Coronavirus

In this section

We know this is a concerning time, and lots of people are trying to protect their family and their community. We’re 100% focussed on keeping our branches staffed and our services running as normally as we can. We ask all our clients to read the points below so we can update you on some changes we are making immediately, and some we may need to introduce moving forward

We're here for you, whenever you need us. 

To protect you and our colleagues, we're following government guidance and have implemented social distancing measures and we also ask that you wear a face covering when you are in our branches.

To help us with social distancing we're asking customers where possible to call us to arrange an appointment. Click here to find details for your local branch

Here are some key FAQs to help with you any questions you might have

Last updated 02/09/2020

  • Am I still able to arrange a funeral with you?

    Yes, we're continuing business as usual for funerals although you will need to contact your local branch to arrange an appointment if possible. This is so we ensure we are keeping everyone safe and in-line with the government guidelines for social distancing. It also means that if you are shielding or self-isolating, we are still here to help over the phone and will send you any documents via email or post.

    To find your local branch please use our branch finder here or you can complete our online arrangement form and we'll be in touch.

    We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via our 24-hour careline so you can call us whenever you need us. You can contact us on 0800 0744362

  • What questions will you ask me about bringing my loved one into your care?

    Before we can bring your loved one into our care, We’ll need to ask questions regarding their cause of death, and if they or anyone in your family is displaying symptoms associated with Coronavirus.  

    Depending on the circumstances, our team may need to wear protective equipment when bringing your loved one into our care. This will usually include face masks and gloves, although in some circumstances they may need to wear additional protective equipment. 

    Please do not be offended or alarmed, but this is what we need to do to follow the latest government guidance to help protect our community. 

  • Can I visit my loved one in the Chapel of Rest?

    Yes, you can visit your loved one in our Chapel of Rest as long as you’re not displaying any Coronavirus symptoms. If your loved one had a confirmed case of Coronavirus, you’ll still be able to visit them in one of our Chapels. Your Funeral Arranger will advise the closest Chapel where we can provide this service.

    Please be aware that we have had to place some restrictions on viewing loved ones in our care in order to support government guidelines on social distancing, and protect our teams based in branches.

    A maximum of two people will be able to attend a viewing at any of our branches at any one time.  

  • Will I still be able to choose the type of funeral and where it is held?

    Yes, we will do everything we can to make sure we provide your loved one with a diginified and respectful funeral. Although due to all the restrictions in place you may want to consider a memorial service in the future.

    We anticipate that given the current situation there may be less flexibility in the location, day and time of the funeral. The branch closest to you will be able to provide you with the most up to date guidance for your local area.

    To find your local branch please use our branch finder here.

    Currently, there are no restrictions that prevent someone who has died from coronavirus having a cremation or a burial. We’re following government guidelines closely on this and should the advice change we’ll provide updates on this page.
     

  • Can I still attend funerals in the coming days/weeks?

    The current Government guidelines are that only a modest number of family and friends of the deceased should travel to and attend the funeral.

    We advise that you ask your funeral arranger to confirm the current guidance in place at your chosen location and they will be able to confirm any restrictions around face coverings, singing and number of people able to attend.

    If you have symptoms of the Coronavirus or shielding/ self-isolating then you should not attend the funeral.

    Please be advised that some crematoriums are gathering the contact details of those mourners attending services, in accordance with the Government guidance relating to the NHS Track and Trace scheme.

  • Will I be able to watch a loved one’s funeral via live streaming?

    We recognise that a funeral is an important part of saying goodbye, and as an alternative we may be able to offer live online streaming of funerals or a recording of the service.

    This may depend on the crematorium you choose but our funeral arrangers will be able to help you with this.

  • Do you still accept in-memory donations for our loved one’s chosen charity?

    Yes, although we cannot accept donations at the funeral service. Instead you can donate online via our MuchLoved service.

    Please visit our webpage and find the tribute page for your loved one, where you will be able to place you donation.

  • Can I still follow religious customs before and during the funeral?

    We’re expecting there to be some impact to the funerals we arrange and as we need to follow government advice, it’s highly likely that funerals carried out in this time will not be how you, or the person who died would originally have wanted the funeral to be.

    We want to reassure you that we’ll do everything we can to help you to say goodbye.

    We’re here to help and will guide you through the options and choices available, your funeral arranger will be able to advise on specific rituals and customs and what we are able to offer in the current situation.

  • Will I still be able to have transport to the funeral?

    Yes. We’ve now fitted screens to all of our vehicles, so we can help keep you and our colleagues safe. If you’d like to know more about our vehicles options including Limousine services please contact your Funeral Arranger.

    When travelling with us, you will need to wear face coverings when inside the vehicle (unless you have an appropriate exemption in-line with government guidelines). Where possible we ask that all passengers be from the same household.

  • What should I do if I’m worried about paying for my pre-paid funeral plan by Direct Debit?

    Please give us a call on 01473 786153 so we can discuss options with you, which could include a payment holiday agreement.

  • How do I redeem an East of England Co-op pre-paid funeral plan?

    Please contact your local East of England Co-op funeral branch and we will be able to assist you.

    It would be helpful if you can provide the number of the pre-paid plan when you call.

    Your local East of England Co-op funeral arranger will be able to confirm the details of the plan that your loved one purchased and help make arrangements with you.

  • Is there any impact on the services you can provide as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak?

    Due to current restrictions from the Coronavirus outbreak there may be some aspects of your pre-paid funeral plan that we can’t provide. If this is the case we will provide you with a part-refund for the services we’re unable to provide you.

  • What happens if my loved one was only part way through paying for their funeral plan?

    As your loved one took their time to plan ahead, we‘d like to make sure that their wishes are still carried out.

    We’re currently able to offer the following choices to ensure that the outstanding

    • Pay the outstanding amount as a lump sum. You’ll then be issued with a pre-paid plan certificate and it will be accepted as full payment.
    • Use the amount paid so far as a deposit for a funeral service with us. This option does not attract a cancellation fee.

    You are also able to cancel the plan receive a full refund, although please note that a £250 cancellation fee will be charged.

  • Can I redeem a funeral plan that was taken out with another funeral provider?

    Yes, in most cases you can, and we’ll be happy to help you.

    If you have a plan with an alternative provider but would like us to carry out the service for you, please contact your local East of England Co-op funeral branch and we can talk through the options with you.

    All you’ll need to do is provide us with the details of the plan and the original provider - and we’ll do the rest.

    If we’re unable to provide the full services listed in the plan we’ll let you know the cost of the services we have available. You’ll then be able to negotiate directly with your original plan provider on how much of a refund they will provide you with.

  • Can I still purchase a funeral plan with you?

    Yes. Our range of fully protected pre-paid funeral plans are still available to purchase. You can purchase a plan online, or call your local branch and they will be happy to send you a brochure and application form. To find out more about our plans you can view our online brochure or visit our dedicated pages on our website.

  • Can I order a stone memorial?

    Yes, you can download our brochure online or email any enquiries, questions or quote requests to memorials@eastofengland.coop. Alternatively, you can discuss or place an order over the phone with any of our funeral branches. To find your local branch phone number click here.

  • If I place an order today for a memorial when will it be installed?

    In these unprecedented times it’s extremely difficult to give you a date or indicate how long your order may take. Although by choosing to place your order now, your stone will be ordered, and the team will start production as soon as we can. once you have plaved an order we’ll be in touch and with your expected delivery date.

  • I’ve already ordered a memorial; how do I check on progress?

    You can check progress of any order at any time by sending an email to memorials@eastofengland.coop, a member of the team will provide you with an update.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

We will continue to do everything we can to provide the very highest standards of care and professionalism for you and you can be sure we will carry out a dignified and respectful funeral for your loved ones throughout this challenging time, thank you for your support and understanding.