A SERVICE giving bereaved families in Sandwell the option of affordable funerals has recorded its 100th low cost memorial in less than a year since launching.

Sandwell Council established the service last October in a bid to help families who cannot afford funeral costs which run into many thousands of pounds.

Under the scheme, the full cost of a simple, dignified cremation at Rowley Regis Crematoriums is £1,595, including a coffin, a funeral service with a minister, all crematorium and doctor’s fees and music of the family’s choice.

The service, which also takes place at Sandwell Valley Crematorium, is run by the council and Smethwick funeral directors Trinity Funeral Services.

Councillor Syeda Khatun, the council’s deputy leader, said: “Covering the cost of a funeral is a very real worry for many people.

“In response to this, our bereavement services set up a dignified solution to help people in who may have difficulty paying for the service.

“To date it has helped 100 families to afford a dignified service without ending up in thousands of pounds of debt.”

Service staff members said they have received a number of letters from families thanking them for their help and support, with one saying: “You have taken the stress out of an upsetting time. Everything went perfectly.”

For more information about the borough’s funeral service, visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/lowcostfunerals, email bereavement_services@sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 6700.

Rowley Regis Crematorium and Chapel officially reopened last year following a £1.3 million modernisation scheme.