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.
The Gooding Funeral Services team, is regularly reviewing and adapting the way we work, so that you will receive the best help through the most difficult circumstances. No matter how unsettled the world may seem, you can be sure that the service we deliver 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, safety and wellbeing.
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 vulnerable 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.
Local Council News Updates
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) Specialist Care; We are pleased to introduce our new specialist care service, that is specifically designed for those who have passed away due to Covid-19 or suspected Covid-19. Families who choose this service can also participate with familial, traditional or cultural observances such as religious bathing or dressing and open coffin visitation.
This service is conducted by a British Institute of Embalmers professional, is BIE compliant and subject to risk assessment.
Our Premises; As restrictions are slowly lifted we will revise access to our funeral home. For the most part, our team will continue to work remotely however, we are pleased to offer appointments for specific services. Unfortunately, these services are not available to Covid19 diagnosed or Covid19 suspected deaths.
Visitors must telephone to arrange an appointment with their funeral arranger, before they attend the premises as, we are unable to admit anyone who arrives without an appointment. When attending your appointment, you (and anyone attending with you) must wear a protective face mask. Hand sanitiser will be available to all visitors from the pump station on reception.
You can be assured that we regularly review our already high policy standards of infection control and cleaning. Door handles, light switches and accessible hard surfaces will be wiped down and disinfected between visits.
Funeral Arrangements; Funeral arrangements and funeral plan meetings, will continue to take place over the telephone, email or via Zoom video calling. Unfortunately, we are unable to visit clients in their homes or places of work.
Documentation; We will always help our clients to complete all the necessary paperwork required to undertake a funeral. However, the signing of this paperwork, will continue to take place remotely - either electronically, by standard post or by hand delivery to your home. 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.
Religious Observance & Cultural Practice;(non-Covid19 deaths only); We are pleased to offer families and religious communities the opportunity to attend to their loved-one in a way which reflects their religious observance or cultural practice. Attendance is by prior appointment only and for the safety of all, visitors will be required to observe some restrictions. Please call: 0113 210 7998 or ask your funeral arranger for further information.
Chapel of Rest (non-Covid19 deaths only); We are pleased to provide families the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved-one in our Chapel of Rest. Chapel of Rest visits are by appointment only and with public health and social distancing in mind, visitors will be required to observe some restrictions. Please call: 0113 210 7998 or ask your funeral arranger for further information.
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.
Floral Tributes; We are delighted to announce that we are now able to manage all your floral tribute orders and requests once again. You are welcome to discuss your floral requirements with your Gooding funeral arranger.
Limousines; We are pleased to welcome our brand new Mercedes limousines to serve clients and their families. For the sake of safety, specialist infection control glass has been installed - separating the driver from the passengers for your protection. Passenger numbers will be limited and passenger names must be provided in advance of the funeral. Limousine interiors and hard surfaces are cleaned and disinfected between funerals and sanitiser made available to passengers. For further details, please ask your funeral arranger.
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 line with the new restrictions for National Lockdown which came into effect on 06 January 2021, funerals and commemorative events following a person’s death have exceptions from the current rules relating to gatherings.
Funerals (including ceremonies at crematoria) are limited to 30 people. This remains the same and 30 mourners will still be allowed at a graveside for a burial, but please note that social distancing still applies.
Commemorative (or post funeral), events following a death to celebrate the life of a person who has died are still able to proceed – for example, interment of cremated remains or strewing of ashes.
However, please note that with immediate effect: the gathering at a strewing appointment or interment of ashes is now limited to no more than 6 people.
For the latest government guidance on funerals click here.
When inside Leeds City Council crematoria or burial chapels, mourners must wear a face covering at all times and mourner numbers are still restricted as follows:
- Rawdon Crematorium – 18 mourners inside
- Cottingley and Lawnswood Crematoria – 14 mourners inside each
- Armley and Hunslet burial chapels – 20 mourners inside each
Additional attendees up to the maximum number of 30 in total including those inside can listen to the service from outside the building.
Remote & Virtual Funeral Services; We want your loved-one to receive the best ever send-off - regardless of a pandemic, which is why we can provide a funeral cortège route, so that (in accordance with Government guidelines and social distancing) friends, family and neighbours can pay their last respects and say goodbye. Please ask your Gooding Funeral Arranger for more information.
For those who are not local and/or cannot attend the funeral in person, we can arrange live-stream footage or a video recording (or a combination of both services) for the entire funeral service, so that distance is no longer an issue for those who wish to mourn the loss of someone special. Again, please ask your Gooding Funeral Arranger for more information.
Funeral Rites; When someone passes away, the importance and ritual of a ceremony to mark their life and their legacy is immeasurable. As government, local authority and council guidelines change, Gooding Funeral Services will actively revise and implement our Covid19 policy accordingly. 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.
Once the restrictions are returned to something more akin to normal, we would be immediately on hand to help you to arrange a memorial, remembrance or thanksgiving ceremony that befits your loved one.
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.