10th June 2020

Technology Coronavirus: Families missed funerals ‘as webcast failed’

Technology Coronavirus: Families missed funerals ‘as webcast failed’

Technology

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Just 10 people are allowed at a funeral in Sheffield

Grieving families have missed the funerals of their loved ones in South Yorkshire because of problems logging on to video streaming technology.

Current restrictions mean just 10 people are allowed at a funeral in Sheffield, with those unable to attend advised to watch free online.

Councillor Gail Smith said two residents had contacted her but many others had mentioned the issue online.

She said they had not used the correct password and missed the service.

Mrs Smith said the passwords had been handed to the families on paper rather than emailed, which might have been easier for them.

Wesley Media, the company that provides the service, has been asked to comment.

The live webcasting service is offered by Hutcliffe Wood and City Road chapels, which are managed by the council.

Mrs Smith, representative for the Mosborough ward, said she had contacted Sheffield City Council but they were unaware of the issue.

“People need to be aware,” she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“The council said it’s not their problem, it’s the company providing the service but it is the council’s problem – I cannot imagine what it feels like to not be able to go to a loved ones’ funeral and then not be able to log on and see it.

“It’s no good the council saying it’s this company’s fault.”


Technology What does Public Health England say about funerals?

  • Funeral directors and faith leaders are advised to restrict the number of mourners at funerals.
  • Only members of the household or close family members should attend.
  • Anyone with coronavirus symptoms cannot attend.
  • A small number of friends can go if no family or household members can attend.
  • Mourners cannot take part in any rituals bringing them into close contact with the body.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield Council, said: “It is extremely concerning to hear of families experiencing upset regarding the webcam service, however we have not been made aware of any issues with the live streaming of these services by members of the public or funeral directors since it was introduced three weeks ago.

“As with any web based service, technical issues out of our control can arise, but if we are alerted to a problem at the start of a funeral we can work with the funeral directors to try and resolve any issues.”

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