Service for the bereaved retains its gold status

A COUNCIL service which helps families at their lowest ebb is continuing to earn national praise.

North Tyneside Council’s bereavement service has retained its gold award status following an assessment by the Institute of Crematorium and Cemetery Management.

The quality of service is measured through more than 400 questions, which cover cremation and burial procedures, grounds maintenance, communication and environmental issues.

Coun Ed Hodson said: “It’s really important that bereaved friends and families receive the very best care.

“Our team is delighted to have retained their gold award, particularly as the criteria to get it becomes tougher year on year.

“And I know they’re determined to continue making further improvements.”

Improvements to the service since the gold award in 2011 include:

• Families can request any metal joints recovered after cremation can be recycled with the proceeds going to bereavement charities;

• Visitor comments books now available at Tynemouth and Whitley Bay crematoria;

• A velvet pall is now available to cover coffins, helping families who wish to choose a cardboard or homemade coffin.