A ST NEOTS woman who died more than five weeks ago will finally be laid to rest ... thanks to the generosity of a mystery benefactor.
Mother-of-two Linda Jefferies died on February 17 but, with no money to pay for a funeral and delays in receiving a grant from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), her body had remained at St Neots funeral directors Cobbolds.
But after reading in The Hunts Post about the plight of Mrs Jefferies’s family one man, who asked to remain anonymous, donated £700 towards the cost of the funeral, and other generous readers boosted the total.
St Neots Town Council has also agreed to allow the family to pay for the cost of the burial plot when it can, and the Vicar of St Neots, the Rev Dr Paul Andrews, has waived the fee for the service.
Daughter Chloe Jefferies, of Love’s Farm, St Neots, said: “We went to Cobbolds on Friday to finally arrange the funeral. It’s crazy how total strangers would do something like this and we cannot thank them enough. We can now just start to grieve.”
The Hunts Post reported two weeks ago how grandmother Mrs Jefferies had lost her fight with neurological degenerative illness Huntington’s Disease.
Her family applied to the DWP for £1,300 to help with funeral costs but the application became caught in red tape. The DWP said the application would not even be processed
until 16 working days from receipt, and previous plans for Mrs Jefferies’ funeral had to be cancelled.
Cobbolds agreed to allow the 55-year-old’s body to remain in the New Street funeral parlour until March 16 while staff and the family searched for grants to help pay for the funeral, but the Huntingdonshire community has stepped in to help.
Two women called into The Hunts Post office in H untingdon to donate what they could afford from their pensions.
And a spokesman for Cobbolds said: “After that dates, , at which point responsibility would be handed to social services.
“There’s been so much community spirit and everyone’s been really helpful in getting this funeral to take place.
,” a spokesman for Cobbolds told The Hunts Post.
“We’ve had donations from £10 to over £700 and been astounded by people’s generosity.”
The funeral will now take place at St Neots Parish Church on Wednesday, April 4, at 2.30pm.
Ed Riley, St Neots town clerk Ed Riley said added: “It’s important this family can be allowed to grieve properly and that the funeral takes place as soon as possible.
“We’re glad we’ve been able to help.”