News

Gold status for Kingston's Bereavement Service

Bereavement Services Team

The council has secured the highest national accredited standard under the Charter for the Bereaved scheme.

A double award-winner, Kingston joins an elite group of just 42 councils in the country to hold combined gold awards for both its crematorium and cemetery services.

Bereavement Services Manager, Howard Greenoff, said: 

“We’re all so thrilled to receive this award. The Bereavement Services team is like a family, and come rain or shine, we’re here together working on site.

“I think the dedication and camaraderie we share helps us to deliver a quality service for Kingston residents - we treat our bereaved customers with the same care and compassion with which we would treat each other. This also means we understand what help and support our customers need to get them through a very difficult time.”  

In order to become a member of the Charter for the Bereaved, a local authority must show that it is able to satisfy basic Charter rights connected with funerals. The Charter also contains objectives and targets that help authorities to set priorities for future development and improvement.

Members of the public can be assured that an authority that has adopted the Charter is committed to providing excellent service designed to meet their needs. In doing so, Kingston has developed a range of affordable options that suit people’s financial needs whilst still being respectful - just one example of innovation by the service.

Howard Greenoff said: 

“When a family member dies, it’s a distressing enough time without the added financial pressure of paying for a funeral. We know that funeral poverty is on the rise across the UK so we’re trying to give families more choice with options like home funerals and direct cremation.”

Congratulating the team on their gold award, Kingston Council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for bereavement services, Councillor Dave Ryder-Mills, said: 

“I’m delighted for the team to see their efforts recognised. The loss of a loved one can have a significant impact on our wellbeing and the team has clearly developed a 'value-added' service with a clear sense of community purpose that extends beyond the cemetery walls.”

As a Charter Member, the Bereavement Service is assessed annually on its burial and cremation provision, social, and environmental aspects relating to its 42 acres of green space.