A NORTH-EAST MP and town councillor have welcomed a Government’s announcement to deliver a Children’s Funeral Fund this year.

The funeral fund, which is already available in Wales and Scotland, will mean parents in England will not have to pay their local authority for the burial or cremation of a child.

The campaign to implement the fund within England was led by Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris, who first pressed for it three years ago. Under the fund, all local authorities will have to waiver either a burial or cremation fee, in return for a government subsidy.

Darlington Labour Councillor Chris McEwan and his wife Amanda lost their first child, William, aged eight weeks in 1991.

Cllr McEwan said: “The shock and pain of losing a child is unimaginable. As a newly married couple, we were in so much distress and shock – we felt absolutely lost.

“It’s not something you ever envisage, think about or plan for. I dread to think what other young couples go through. The success of Carolyn’s campaign will help so many parents through a tremendously painful period.”

The Northern Echo:

Darlington councillor Chris McEwan

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman added: “Following almost three years of campaigning, I’m happy the Government will finally implement a Children’s Funeral Fund in England.

“It has taken a bereaved mother, Carolyn, to get herself elected to Parliament to lead the charge to ensure bereaved parents, in the worst of moments, are able to provide a dignified funeral for their child. Whilst this fund does not mend the grief, it removes an unnecessary financial barrier.”

*The youngest and oldest daughters of Chris and Amanda McEwan, Rose and Jessica, are running the Great North Run to raise money for the Lullaby Trust – formerly the Foundation for the Study of Infant Death – in memory of William, their older brother.