Guidance regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Given the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, Funeral Partners recognises that this is an especially difficult time for our clients and the bereaved.

Funeral Partners is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD). NAFD representatives are continuing to liaise directly with government authorities in order to ensure that all NAFD members (including Funeral Partners) follow the latest government advice.

The well-being of all those who interact with Funeral Partners remains our key concern. Please see below for further guidance concerning our services at this time.

Funeral arrangements

Most of our funeral homes remain open to all visitors at this time, in order to support our clients and the bereaved.

In line with broader government advice to minimise unnecessary social contact, we would encourage you to call your local funeral home before visiting in order to determine how best we can support you to carry out the funeral arrangements.

Where possible, most if not all of the funeral arrangements may be carried out over the telephone, over email or via postal services.

For all those who do visit our premises, we would encourage usage of our washroom facilities for handwashing and we would encourage the usage of our supplies of such things as tissues and hand sanitisers when required.
We would also appreciate it if visits to our funeral homes could be a maximum of two people at any one time.

The funeral

It remains the case that funerals can continue in the United Kingdom. Regarding attendance at the funeral service itself, those in self-isolation must continue to self-isolate and not attend a funeral. In addition, we would encourage all our clients to try to restrict the number of mourners attending the funeral service if at all possible, in order to minimise social contact. We recognise how unfortunate but also how necessary these measures are.

In order to support social distancing measures, we are regrettably unable to provide limousines for funerals at this time. We very much appreciate that this may be disappointing, and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

High standards

We would like to reassure all our clients that Funeral Partners already has rigorous hygiene controls in place when it comes to handling any deceased person in our care, and this includes any deceased who may have died with an infection. These controls include the use of specialised health and safety equipment, along with specific ways of working so that we are able to maintain clinical levels of hygiene and safe working environments.

24-hour support

If you have any particular questions regarding Coronavirus, then please speak to your local funeral home at any time. Our telephone support is available 24 hours a day.

John Hogg Funeral Director Team Planning a Boxing Day Dip

John Hogg Funeral Directors teams in Sunderland are preparing and bracing themselves for a chilly Boxing Day dip. They’re doing it, not only to raise some much needed funds and awareness for the Sunderland Royal Hospital’s Cancer Patient Support Team, but also in support of a friend and member of the John Hogg team, Steve Gunby, who himself, is currently undergoing chemotherapy for Myeloma – which is a form of cancer which thins bones.

Steve said ‘After hurting my back whilst lifting, an X-ray found I had fractured my spine. Further tests revealed I have Myeloma, a very individual type of cancer which thins your bones and explains why my back fractured’.

Steve has been truly humbled by the support he’s received, especially from the Phoenix Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Macmillan Cancer Care, friends and family but also his work colleagues at John G Hogg funeral directors. ‘They wanted to do something in support, came up with the team name “Gunby’s Gunners,” and decided to do the Boxing Day dip, to help raise money for Sunderland Cancer Patient Support; who not only assist you through your treatment practically and emotionally, but your family too’.

The team of 20 people who are preparing to brave the chill are not only doing this for their friend, but also in memory of all the people they have had the privilege to care for at John Hogg Funeral Directors.

‘It’s often easy to lose sight of the impact a cancer diagnosis can have on your immediate family. Without the combined help of everyone concerned, this journey would be a very different experience.
Any donations would be most gratefully received in support of City Hospitals Sunderland’.

If you would like to support the fantastic work of Sunderland Royal Hospital’s Cancer Care, or for further information, visit


200 Funeral Homes and Growing as Funeral Partners Invests in Northern Ireland

The UK’s third largest funeral business, Funeral Partners, has announced significant expansion with 18 funeral homes in Northern Ireland becoming part of its high-quality network.
The new businesses bring the total number of funeral homes in the Funeral Partners network to almost 200, maintaining the heritage of more than 100 family businesses across the UK. Funeral Partners becomes the leading funeral provider in Northern Ireland.

Chief Executive Officer Sam Kershaw said: “As our first funeral acquisition outside the UK mainland, these 18 Funeral Services Northern Ireland branches represent significant growth for Funeral Partners and an important addition to our high-quality network of businesses.

“These well-established funeral businesses have excellent reputations in their local communities and we look forward to working with the local teams and investing in the businesses to ensure they continue to provide a caring and professional service to local families in Belfast and across Northern Ireland.”

The funeral homes include century-old Belfast businesses James Brown & Sons and Houston & Williamson, Bairds of Antrim, which was founded in the late nineteenth century, Doggarts of Newtownards and other respected businesses in Belfast, Portadown, Derry/Londonderry, Dungannon, Larne and Carrickfergus.
Regional Operations Manager Shona Burke, who will lead the renamed Funeral Partners Northern Ireland region, had been working with Funeral Services Northern Ireland for two years after many years working in retail services.

Shona said: “I’m looking forward to working with Funeral Partners, because they are fully funeral-focused and very keen for us to keep our heritage. They understand there are different challenges providing funeral services in Northern Ireland, as we operate differently from the mainland.
“These differences include the way we look after the deceased and the strong and very important traditions in the region. Far more families choose a burial for their loved one and these normally take place within three days. Funeral Partners understands these cultural differences.”

Third generation Funeral Director James Brown MBE, whose grandfather founded James Brown & Sons, said: “I have been greatly encouraged by Funeral Partners’ willingness to engage with Funeral Services Northern Ireland staff but, more importantly, to listen to their views.

“I have every confidence that the already excellent service which FSNI staff provide to bereaved people will be enhanced as a result of the change of ownership.”

Fourth generation Funeral Director Jon Baird, whose great grandfather James founded Bairds of Antrim, said: “Funeral Partners share our core values, they understand that the families we work with are the foundation of all funeral businesses.
“I feel it’s a very positive step because Funeral Partners understand the business, they understand why we’re here and what we do and that is being part of the community, looking after the community and supporting local families.”

£300 off a Pre-Paid Plan NOW

Choice are offering a national discount of £300 OFF a funeral plan if you purchase one of our pre-paid plans before 30 November 2019

Simply enter promotional code SON300 on our website, or call or visit your local Funeral Partners branch.

Find out who your nearest branch is at

Choice is a pre-paid funeral plan from Funeral Partners – a national network of over 170 local branches.

There are many different ways to arrange and pay for your plan and there are options to suit all budgets. For more information, call us on 01803 298243

Keeping the Emergency Services in the Sky

A N Abraham Funeral Directors has raised £900 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The money was raised during a Choice funeral plan promotion where for every plan purchased the branch donated £50 to their chosen charity.

The cheque for £900 was presented to Laura Lawton, Regional Fundraiser for Yorkshire Air Ambulance, when she visited the South Elmsall branch on Tuesday 11th June.

The money will support Yorkshire Air Ambulance to continue to provide a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for patients who have suffered trauma or serious medical emergencies. To keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances maintained and in the air the charity need to raise £12,000 per day and all donations go directly towards this life-saving service.

(L-R Brett Benton, Chris Whitehouse, Laura Lawton)

If you would like to help, or for more information, visit


Choice Helping Levi’s Star Shine Brightly

Wakefield Funeral Service were proud to hand over a cheque for £250 to a local charity, Levi’s Star.  The money was raised by donating £50 from each Choice pre-paid plan sold throughout the promotional period.

Barry Normington, Wakefield Funeral Services Funeral Director said;

‘We picked this charity to help raise awareness and much needed funds to support the fantastic work they do across the region.  We’re all so proud that we could help them carry on supporting local families and children’

Based in Yorkshire, Levi’s Star is a small hardworking charity with a big heart, dedicated to supporting children and young people diagnosed with a brain tumour. Since becoming a registered charity in 2008, they have worked tirelessly to raise funds for children with brain tumours and to raise awareness of this devastating illness.

To support Levi’s Star, or for more information, visit

Handing over the charity cheque
(L-R David Whitworth, Vicky Ringer, Joan Wain, Val Ringer, Barry Normington)

£300 off a Choice Plan NOW!

Choice are offering a national discount of £300 OFF a funeral plan if you purchase one of our pre-paid plans before 31 July 2019

Simply enter promotional code JJ300 on our website, or call or visit your local Funeral Partners branch.

Find out who your nearest branch is at

Choice is a pre-paid funeral plan from Funeral Partners – a national network of over 170 local branches.

There are many different ways to arrange and pay for your plan and there are options to suit all budgets. For more information, call us on 01803 298243

Choice Charity Cheque Presentation

Choice is passionate about local charities and after speaking with our Huddersfield Funeral Home, they wanted to support and raise money for their local Children’s Hospice.

Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice supports children with life-shortening conditions and their entire families.

Keith Clegg, Funeral Partner’s Area Development Manager was delighted to be able to hand over a cheque for £450 to Louise Addison who is the Regional Fundraiser for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice on behalf of Huddersfield Funeral Home.

Keith said: “We chose this charity because it is local, it was a team decision and had unanimous support from virtually everyone. It’s a children’s hospice which provide an invaluable service and support to families in Huddersfield and surrounding areas in extremely difficult circumstances.”

The money was raised via the sale of Choice Funeral Plans. For every plan purchased during the promotion period, £50 was put towards supporting this wonderful cause. For more information on the amazing work that Forget Me Knot Children’s Hospice does, visit


Choice Donates Towards Hythe Heritage

Earlier on in June, Funeral Director Sarah Graham from our Funeral Partner’s Waterside Funeral Home handed over a cheque for £500 to Hythe Pier Heritage Association which was raised via the sale of Choice Funeral Plans.

For every plan sold, £50 was put towards supporting this wonderful cause.

Run by volunteers, the groups aim is to preserve and develop the pier as a unique part of local heritage, to be enjoyed by local people and visitors to the village of Hythe. Hythe Pier is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest pier train in the world.

They have already revamped the waiting rooms at the end of the pier and the entrance.

The Association is going to use this £500 to kick- start their next campaign, to raise funds to restore the train tracks and work on the train itself.

For more information, or if you’d like to help, visit their website at


Dying Matters – Are We Ready?

For the last couple of years, Dying Matters Awareness Week has challenged  people to answer a question: What Can You Do? How can you help yourselves, or families or our communities face up to death and bereavement?

For 2019, they’re asking another question: Are We Ready? It’s a question that challenges each of us on several levels. Are We Ready for our own deaths, or the deaths of those we care about? This is a practical question – wills, funeral planning and more – but of course it’s also emotional, even spiritual for some of us.  For many of us, the answer will not be ‘yes’. We know from the research we’ve done that most people haven’t taken care of the practical aspects, which include deciding on organ donation, and planning our future care. And even for those that have, the emotional aspect of being ready for death is challenging. Who is ever really ready to die?

Such questions are best faced with the help of others, which is why they’re asking ‘Are We Ready?’ To face death and dying is a challenge greater than any one of us can face alone, and it is all of our responsibility. We’re in this life together, so our question is asking much more of us than you might think.

Are We Ready to help others get their affairs in order?
Are We Ready to help people we know who are caring for someone who is dying?
Are We Ready to support someone who is grieving?
Or even something as simple as “Are We Ready to talk about it?”

We can only know the answer if we start to have the conversation, and as they’ve said before, talking about it won’t make it happen. And those conversations don’t stop in our private lives – they have to form a part of the public debate as well. Are We Ready to volunteer at a local hospice? Are We Ready to support a bereavement charity? Are We Ready to do what we can in our communities to help people be ready?

Each Awareness Week will have a “theme” for each weekday. The idea behind which is that these will generate more specific conversation and give people a chance to ask questions or share things that aren’t often covered in as much depth.

This year, they have chosen:

Monday – Funeral costs
Tuesday – Memorialisation
Wednesday – Grieving for a pet
Thursday – Support for those who are estranged from/have no family
Friday – Diversity and inclusion at end of life

For more information, visit