Bereaved beg for help as funeral costs spiral

ITV News research shows a growth in the bereaved asking strangers for help.

We've found that thousands are now turning to crowdfunding sites for help with funeral costs.

As burial and cremation expenses rise, we've found that one site alone has almost 10 new appeals a day.

These online appeals show that, just as people's lives are shattered by loss, their finances are also left in shreds.

New figures released by leading crowdfunding sites to ITV News show:

  • GoFundme had a 14% rise in funeral appeals - 1,500 in the last 6 months, that's almost 10 a day.

  • Gogetfunding had a 51% rise with 410 appeals in the same period

  • JustGiving had a 72% rise with 1,549 appeals in 6 months

  • Ben Cornwell, 24 and Jade Pryce, 22, needed help to pay for funeral of his mother, who died unexpectedly

John Coventry from the Gofundme crowdfunding site told ITV News: "Some are tragic cases of young kids, some are for grandparents and everything in between.

"It is a really broad range... clearly people are struggling to afford funerals."

There are concerns that while many online campaigns are successful, that may change in future as the novelty wears off and funeral compassion fatigue sets in.

  • Kathy Lamprell's family had to crowdfund £3,500 to pay for funeral of her 38-year-old nephew

Mr Coventry says: "With each of these campaigns the donors engage on a very personal level, they are seeing a person they care about in trouble.

"These are very emotional and compelling stories".

Underpinning this rise in desperate fund-raising is a big rise in funeral costs, with the average now around £4,000.

Through this new and growing surge in funeral crowdfunding, families are grateful for donations and support.

At a time when they have lost so much, they have also been given something very precious.