Grangemouth organisation launches bereavement support group to help families' funeral costs

A group has been set up to help those mourning the loss of a loved one during the pandemic.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 10:35 am

Kersiebank Community Project (KCP) is renowned for the support it’s given to families struggling to make ends meet over the past year.

Having handed out everything from prescriptions and cleaning products to food parcels and children’s games, the Grangemouth-based organisation has been a source of solace for many.

KCP has now launched a bereavement support initiative to offer financial and funeral planning assistance to anyone who needs it.

Kersiebank Community Project has launched a new bereavement support group. Pictured: Donna Murray, KCP fundraiser; Michelle Murray, fundraiser; Janette McGregor, marketing; Lynne Fitzpatrick, Poppy’s & Petals; Christopher King, Kings Funeral Directors; Bindi Green, KCP chairwoman; Nawaz Haq, Helix Hotel; Marilyn Mcilvaney, KCP; and Cllr Robert Spears. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Conversations between Donna Murray, a KCP fundraiser, and chairwoman, Bindi Green, led to the formation of the service, which has brought on board Kings Funeral Directors in Falkirk, Grangemouth flower shop Poppy’s and Petals and the Helix Hotel as partners.

The former knows only too well how much stress a family comes under when trying to arrange a funeral amid the coronavirus crisis.

Donna’s cousin, John Thomson, died very suddenly last June.

The emotional and financial pressure she and her relatives experienced stuck with Donna – to the point where she wanted to help others facing similar circumstances.

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She said: “I got left to deal with everything and it felt like such a chaotic time in my life that I didn’t get a chance to grieve properly.

“There was Covid and my family is absolutely huge. We were going to have to pick 15 at the time if we used the crematorium. I felt I was under a huge amount of pressure.

“My sister and I did all the arrangements and thought, ‘We’re going to have to do a burial’. I don’t think the anxiety about the money has ever left me.

“The bereavement group is something we’ve just kicked off because we had a suicide in the town.

“The funeral director is coming to us when they feel a family’s struggling financially. If they’re making an application for the funeral grant, I can help them with it.

“The government covers some costs and we’re trying to cover the rest. We’re trying to alleviate any additional stress.”

KCP’s bereavement support group has already collected in cash through weekly raffles and is operating via referrals to its Facebook page.

Its volunteers will also make a funding application to the Big Lottery, while links with CVS Falkirk are also expected to pay dividends.

With its partnership organisations providing “special rate” fees, hard-up families will receive assistance with funeral costs, floral arrangements and wakes.

Outlining how the bereavement support service works, Donna said: “We’re going to do it case by case.

“The family will meet with the funeral parlour and get a total bill that’ll come to us. Kings Funeral Directors will also mention us.

“We’ll go through it and say what we can cover. Money from the fundraising is going to funeral expenses.

“It’s just a group of volunteers – people I’ve grown up with and known my full life. It’s the community giving back to the community.

“There are no criteria. It’s about trying to ease the financial hardship on families.

“Please don’t sit and struggle when it comes to food or bereavement. Please just come to us.”

Visit https://www.facebook.com/KersiebankCP/ or call 07516435083 for more information.

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