In Times of Bereavement

Listening Ear Bereavement Service

Launched earlier in the year, the Listening Ear South Yorkshire bereavement service has been extended until December to help people who have lost loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Open to anyone who has lost loved ones during this difficult time, whether from the virus or otherwise, local health and care organisations across South Yorkshire wanted to make sure there were services available to support people whilst they may be physically distant from their families and friends.

The service is a free to call on 0800 048 5224, email: [email protected] or via the website:

During their appointments, people will be able to talk to a trained therapist who will be able to offer emotional health and wellbeing support and practical support.

The helpline is staffed by professional mental health counsellors who will use counselling based skills, however it isn’t a counselling service. Occasionally people in crisis contact the service and they require additional support in addition to the helpline worker and should contact their GP.

In the unfortunate event that a person has passed away, there are three things that must be done in the first few days;

  • Get a medical certificate from your GP or hospital doctor (this is necessary to register the death)
  • Register the death within 5 days (8 days in Scotland). You will then receive the necessary documents for the funeral.
  • Make the necessary funeral arrangements.

Register the death

If the death has been reported to the coroner (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) they must give permission before registering the death.

You can register the death if you are a relative, a witness to the death, a hospital administrator or the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

You can use the ‘Register a Death’ page on the website that will guide you through the process. This will also explain the registration process for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Arrange the funeral

The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. Most people use a funeral director, though you can arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral directors

Choose a funeral director who’s a member of one of the following:

These organisations have codes of practice – they must give you a price list when asked.

Some local councils run their own funeral services, for example for non-religious burials. The British Humanist Association can also help with non-religious funerals.

Arranging the funeral yourself

Contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of your local council to arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral costs

Funeral costs can include:

  • funeral director fees
  • things the funeral director pays for on your behalf (called ‘disbursements’ or ‘third-party costs’), for example, crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
  • local authority burial or cremation fees

Funeral directors may list all these costs in their quotes.