Sunderland begins live streaming funerals to help grieving family and friends during lockdown
Funeral services from Sunderland Crematorium can now be streamed online to help grieving families during the lockdown.
Webcams at services are now available at the crematorium in Chester Road, allowing more bereaved people to pay their respects.
The council has had to make a series of changes to its bereavement services under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, including the introduction of weekend services and limiting the number of mourners to immediate family members only.
Sunderland City Council's cabinet member for environment, Councillor Amy Wilson said: "We all recognise that we must support people who are unable to attend a service during the COVID crisis.
“It’s unfortunate that many people, through no fault of their own, cannot always pay their respects because of the emergency measures put in place to comply with COVID-19.
“Technology is now going to help people going through this difficult time and also ensure that we all observe the national regulations on social distancing. The new service is about offering extra comfort to families and friends.
“Because of the exceptional circumstances and the heartache faced by families who cannot attend the crematorium, this service will be provided free of charge while the social distancing restrictions at the crematorium remain in place.”
Live web-streaming, 28-day viewings and downloadable options are available, and there are no limits on the number of people who can view services.
Access arrangements for services can be booked through funeral directors.