CORONA-VIRUS UPDATE

25TH March 2020

 Following the latest guidelines from Government, Public Health England, BCP and Dorset Councils and recommendations from our trade associations we would like to update our own and the present situation regarding funeral services.

If a person dies from COVID-19 what happens? Our staff have been trained and equipped to handle this situation. We have all the required PPE clothing required to make our staff safe but also carry out our duties with the highest levels of dignity and care we would treat all with. We would kindly ask that we are informed from the beginning of this and also if anyone else within the family is suffering with any of the symptoms even if not fully diagnosed. Our only present restriction is that we are unable to carry out our usual hygienic treatment to someone who has the virus which then restricts the opportunity for visits to our chapel of rest. All other elements of a funeral will be the same.

 Funerals: There is allowed a maximum of 10 family members at each cremation service and we would request the same for burials also, and these must be from the following:

Spouse / Partner

Parent / Carer

Brother / Sister

Children (and partners)

Grandchildren (if still within the allowance of 10 people maximum)

At the start of each service the funeral director and team will bear the coffin into the chapel and will then leave prior to the funeral director inviting the family members to enter the chapel for the service.

It is recommended that the coffin is not touched by any person before they exit the chapel.

Any flowers placed on the coffin will be brought from the chapel by the funeral director once everyone has left the chapel.

All services in the chapel at Bournemouth and Poole Crematoriums can be viewed by webcasting (watch at home on a computer) and this service is currently free of charge. At the time of arranging the funeral we will offer this service, and on request a link with a login and password will be sent to you, which you can share with family and friends unable to attend. They will also be able to use this link to watch the service up to 28 days later.

The crematoriums are at this time unable to offer the chance for families to witness the scattering of ashes within the crematorium grounds. The ashes can be held there or we can hold them for you until you are able.

Office Hours: We have taken the difficult, but sensible step, to close our Verwood and West Moors offices to protect staff and to provide a team of back up staff so we are able to stay fully functional.

Our head office in Wimborne is open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, and we request people only attend by appointment only and that a maximum of two people per family attend any appointment.

Funeral Arranging: We will of course fully support you in arranging all aspects of the funeral. We are unable to make home visits unless absolutely necessary. Appointments can be made and for convenience a funeral director will meet you in any of our funeral homes if you are unable to travel to Wimborne. We can make the arrangements via phone, skype and email and can scan and email all required forms that need completing.

Chapel Visits: These are also by appointment only and again restricted to two people attending at any one time. Any further guidance required will be given at that time.

Limousines: It has been recommended at this time due to protecting our staff and social distancing that limousines are not used for services and we are complying with this. For any funeral taking place where a limousine has been included as part of a funeral plan purchase we will organise a refund of the cost of the limousine to you.

Order of Service Printing: Even though there is a restriction on numbers able to attend services we can still arrange printing for the service and it is recommended that if you wish, the amount printed would cover those you would have expected to attend. We will then provide the order of service to you along with envelopes so you may post them to those unable to attend so they can follow the service with you especially if it is being webcast. Orders of service are also mementos from the day that people like to keep.

Music at Crematorium: The music engine options for both Poole and Bournemouth Crematorium are both fully functional to provide the music you require for the service. Its only limitation is that it can only provide music already in its system but this is a vast list and once you have chosen your music we will let you know as soon as possible if any music is unavailable.

Future Memorial Services: For many, with the present restrictions, the funeral may not have all the same feeling that you may have wanted to create with all family and friends being able to part of a loved one’s final goodbye. We will of course help arrange and support future memorial services once the present situation has changed and restrictions lifted.

Services in Church: With the present guidance from The Catholic Church and Church of England there are to be no funeral services in church. If you wish, a minister from your parish or attending Church may officiate at the crematorium or cemetery. Again it may be worth considering a memorial service for the future.

Registering a Death: At present the usual process for death registration applies. This will be updated as soon as changes are confirmed.

Help with the cost of the funeral from DWP: We have been informed, for all who are eligible to make a claim for help towards funeral costs from the DWP, that they should do this in the usual way. We can offer more advice or please visit https://www.gov.uk/funeral-payments

Pre-Paid Funeral Plans: We are still able to discuss and arrange funeral plans for those who wish to do this. We suggest you firstly request from us our funeral plan pack and once ready either call us or email anthony@oharafunerals.co.uk with any questions you may have or to discuss your wishes. We are able to complete the application process by telephone or email and will advise what happens next and payment options.

Bereavement Support: Due to the current restrictions on face to face meetings our chosen grief support team SAIFCare are providing online messaging service. This can be found via https://www.griefchat.co.uk/

As soon as any further guidelines or changes are introduced we will update this information 

Our family, here for your family