COVID-19; Coronavirus & Funerals
As the Coronavirus changes to the way we live, work and communicate, so too must we must adapt the way in which we pay our last respects to those we love.
In these uncertain times, the Gooding Funeral Services team, are changing the way we work, so that you can get our help through the most difficult circumstances. No matter how unsettled the world may seem, you can be sure that the service you receive with us will meet the highest standards. Your loved one will always be treated with the utmost care, respect and dignity at all times, and we will continue to prioritise and protect your health and wellbeing in doing so.
If you currently feel unwell, then we urge you to follow the current NHS Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidelines. The guidelines are designed to protect you and anyone that you are likely to come into close contact with.
At the time of writing, the Government is allowing mourners to attend funerals. However, this could change at any time. Leeds City Council and other councils and local authorities are endeavouring to facilitate funerals and provide services, but also have a duty to ensure that they don’t place at risk the health of the general public, or that of their staff and service providers.
If you feel unwell, you are pregnant or you are a person at high risk, then you are strongly advised not to attend funerals, and to remain at home instead.
As a responsible funeral service provider, we also seek to put into place, practical measures that are designed to protect the health and wellbeing of our clients, their families, our team and anyone we work with.
Leeds City Council News
To read the Leeds City Council official news release dated 22 May 2020, on funerals, burials and cremations - please click the title below:
Keep up to date with the latest council news in the areas we cover:
Adapting our Way of Working
This is a fast-changing situation, so our planning is ongoing and we will be making changes as we go.
We carefully observe UK Government orders and Health & Safety Executive advice, NHS guidelines as well as directives by Leeds City Council and other local authorities. We liaise frequently with the National Association of Funeral Directors, the Good Funeral Guide as well as with funeral sector colleagues who are located across the UK.
Our team is informed of any changes on a daily basis and trained accordingly where necessary.
Working Together with You:
Call-out; When we are called to attend to the collection of a person who has died, we will ask you (or the informant) some additional questions which relate to COVID-19. Your answers will help us to prepare the correct equipment in advance of our arrival.
Collection; When we arrive at the location of the person who has died, our operatives will be wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and will advise those present, of the space needed to carry out their duties and to observe social distancing. Our operatives may request that the vicinity be vacated and fully ventilated, whilst they tend to your loved one. You can be sure that our operatives will remain sensitive and respectful at all times.
Coronavirus (Covid-19); In the case of Coronavirus related deaths, we may have to arrange a prompt funeral to prevent unnecessary storage and handling of the person who has died.
Funeral Arrangements; We will be limiting the number of people who enter our premises and funeral arrangements will take place over the telephone, email or Zoom video calling. Unfortunately, we are unable to visit clients in their homes or places of work until we are advised otherwise.
Documentation; We will always help our clients to complete all the necessary paperwork required to undertake a funeral. However, the signing of this paperwork, wherever possible, will take place remotely either electronically or by post. If you are unsure how to sign documentation electronically or you do not have access to the internet, please tell your arranger and they will help you.
Visiting a Person Who has Died; after much careful consideration, it is with the heaviest of hearts that we have taken the decision not to facilitate such visits at our premises. Due to a natural need for mourners to touch either the person who has died and/or the coffin etc., and the highly infectious nature of Covid-19 and the size of our premises; we feel the only way we can protect the health of all visitors and that of our staff is, sadly, to suspend such visits until further notice. This suspension of visits to our Chapel has been a very difficult decision for us to take however, we do understand the importance of such visits and so we may be able to offer a ‘virtual’ viewing service - please ask your arranger for further information. We hope this will provide some comfort to our families.
Going Home; Due to the current rules on self-isolation and social distancing, we are unable to take a person back to their home or to another residential address, prior to their funeral.
Limousines; The requirement for individuals to retain a minimum distance of two metres apart, means we can no longer offer a limousine service to our clients. We ask that clients and their families make their own way to the funeral service, assuming services are still running, and access is being allowed.
Hugs & Handshakes; Our team is required not to make physical contact and to maintain a safe and practical distance. This is to protect our clients and their families as well as our staff and the people we work with to facilitate the running of funerals. You can be assured that a little distance won't prevent the friendly, caring and respectful service that we are known for.
Funeral Venues (Leeds); In keeping with Government orders, Church of England guidance, the closure of Gurdwara's and other religious institutions, at the time of writing Leeds Bereavement Services has closed all public buildings. A maximum of 10 members of the immediate family, may attend a graveside funeral service. All cremations undertaken by Leeds Bereavement Services are now Direct Cremation only, which means there is no service and mourners are not allowed. We understand just how distressing the new public health measures will be for many who have lost someone. With this in mind, once the current restrictions are lifted, we would be immediately on hand to help you to arrange a memorial, remembrance or thanksgiving ceremony that is befitting of your loved one.
Funeral Rites; When someone passes away, the importance and ritual of a ceremony to mark their life and their legacy is immeasurable. Unfortunately, whilst the current public health restrictions remain in place, these ceremonies cannot be attended by those left behind. Wherever possible, we will continue to engage with celebrants and ministers of religion on your behalf, so that the life of your loved one can still be commemorated in a meaningful and considered way at a later date.
Virtual Front Office Services
We are working hard to ensure that you continue to receive our help and advice, during your time of need.
Our virtual front office operates during normal hours of business and we are on hand to accept all your funeral and arrangement enquiries. Call us and we will arrange for someone to call you back. Or if you would prefer to have a face to face conversation, we can arrange an online video call with you via Zoom.
If you have a phone, email, secure internet access or a private postal address, our virtual front office means you need can receive administrative help and guidance from the comfort of your home.
Call us: 0113 210 7998 for more information or to arrange an appointment.
Hours of business:
24-hour call-out service is still in operation
Zoom Online Video Call
Whilst you continue to observe social distancing protocol, our virtual front office gives you options to speak to us over the phone, communicate with us by email, or meet us face to face by Zoom video call.
Zoom is very easy to use – you don't have to be technically minded – however you will need a smartphone, tablet or computer and an internet connection.
If you'd like to meet us face to face, let us know when call and we will send a Zoom invitation to your email account. When you connect to the invitation, the Zoom app will automatically download to your internet enabled device.
Here are some really easy, short Zoom tutorials which will help get you started:
- Learn how to accept a Zoom meeting invitation and join a Zoom video call. This is what you'll need to know, if you've never used Zoom before and you'd like to meet with someone face to face.
- Learn how to host a Zoom video call. This is a useful tutorial for those who'd like to connect with friends, family or colleagues. We would recommend this for those who wish to attend a funeral or memorial with up to 250 of your family and friends, without leaving your home. You will also learn how to send an invitation.
- You don't have to wait to receive a Zoom meeting invitation to get the app. You can download the Zoom app here instead and start connecting to your nearest and dearest.
Should you choose to run a funeral service via Zoom, we highly recommend that you and other mourners in your group observe basic security measures - such as not sharing the Zoom link or details on social media. This will allow your loved-one's funeral service to run smoothly and without interruption or uninvited guests.
Memorial Masonry Service
Unfortunately, due to the current situation with Covid-19, our memorial masonry service has been placed on hold until further notice. All existing clients will be contacted about their existing orders in due course.
Skilled masons have been requested by the local authority, to concentrate their efforts on the removal and replacement of existing headstones to facilitate burials only, and not to create new headstones at this time.