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STATEMENT FROM DARRYL SMITH

STATEMENT FROM DARRYL SMITH

GENERAL MANAGER – FUNERAL DIVISION

HEART OF ENGLAND CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Heart of England Co-operative Society was saddened to read the articles in today’s Daily Telegraph and are deeply concerned about the highly inappropriate practices highlighted which brings the funeral industry into disrepute.

Although we operate under the name The Co-operative Funerals our Society is a regional independent co-operative which trades in Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire only.

Our Society has been established for more than 185 years – our longevity and success attributed to our values and principles. We are proud of the levels of care, dignity and compassion provided by our colleagues throughout our 15 local funeral homes.

We have always been transparent in our approach and pride ourselves on delivering a service which is in line with the wishes of our families and have worked hard to keep costs down for our client families while offering them a respectful, dignified and compassionate service.

The Daily Telegraph article, which makes for a distressing read, relates to the Co-operative Group in south London and is in no way a reflection of our practice here at the Heart of England.

During Covid, there was for us, and most funeral directors, an increase in basic (simple) and unattended funerals due to the restrictions on the number of people who could attend. Nevertheless, we continued to offer our client families choice and focused on delivering exceptional client service during a difficult time and in unprecedented circumstances.

“We strive to ensure every member of staff is trained to the highest degree so each and every client family receives an unrivalled caring, dedicated, professional service throughout.”