WAY members give evidence to Select Committee

May 2019

Seven WAY members travelled to Westminster on 5 June to share their stories with the Work and Pensions Select Committee as part of the committee's inquiry into bereavement support.

Fiona Shakesby, Kathy Ford, Lalena Walkley, Joanna Crookall, Nikki Haxton-Jones, Joana Niemeyer and Georgia Elms all presented powerful evidence that the current bereavement support system is failing bereaved families across the UK.

Committee Chair Frank Field described the current system - which does not currently support widowed parents who weren't married or in a civil partnership - as "archaic "and "a profound injustice".

He told the Victoria Derbyshire show that the government should make this one of their priorities: "It would cost around £20 million to extend the payment [to cohabiting couples]. The money is there but it's the rules that prevent access to that money. I think the rules should be changed."

We hope the combined strength of our members' testimonies will persuade the government to make some root and branch changes to the bereavement support system.

You can see the entire session on Parliament TV here.

Or listen to a summary on Radio 4's Today in Parliament here.

Twice widowed WAY member Jessica Haslem-Bantoft also talked to the Victoria Derbyshire Show about the impact of the changes to bereavement support payments on her family here (about 28 minutes in).

You can read the full written testimony from WAY and the Childhood Bereavement Network here...