Scotland business

Funeral firm's appeal over uncollected ashes

Urn at funeral Image copyright Getty Images

A Scottish funeral firm has launched an appeal to reunite families with the uncollected ashes of loved ones.

Fosters Family Funeral Directors said more than 150 sets of ashes had been left unclaimed at its parlours across Scotland.

Some date as far back as 2005, the year the company opened its first parlour.

Fosters said with Christmas approaching, it was keen to raise awareness about ashes which had not yet been claimed.

Branch manager Lorna Montgomery said there could be many reasons why ashes were not collected immediately.

Image copyright Fosters Family Funeral Directors
Image caption Fosters operates nearly 20 parlours across Scotland

She said: "In some instances we are asked to keep them so they can be scattered alongside the ashes of another family member at a later date.

"However, funerals can be hard for grieving families, and sometimes coming in to collect ashes can prove difficult.

"There are also cases where people have simply moved address and it can be challenging for us to trace them."

She added: "We would love to help reunite people with the ashes of their loved ones, especially at this time of year and that's why we are calling on families to get in touch."

Fosters runs 18 parlours in Scotland, including in Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow and Perth.

'Extremely difficult'

Co-op Funeralcare, which operates 125 funeral homes in Scotland, was unable to say how many sets of unclaimed ashes it held.

However, a spokeswoman said: ''For many families, making a decision about what they wish to do with ashes can be extremely difficult immediately after losing a person they love.

"As a result of this, funeral directors will have ashes in their care for families who have been unable to decide on their final resting place.

''If anyone has any questions about their loved one's ashes, we would advise that they get in touch with the funeral home the service was arranged with.''