Grandchildren told they can’t attend funeral of ‘cherished’ Sheffield nan who brought them up

Pressure on Sheffield City Council to lift restrictions on how many people can attend funerals amid the coronavirus pandemic is mounting after another grieving family came forward to tell of their heartbreak.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 4:55 pm

The family of Jean Castleton, who passed away on April 17 from dementia, said they were devastated to hear that only five people would be permitted to attend her send-off at City Road Crematorium.

It is understood that, while Council-operated City is permitting only five mourners as work to minimise the spread of the virus continues, Grenoside Crematorium is allowing 10 mourners while Chesterfield Crematorium allows 25.

It comes after the seven children of Gerald Hackford, who died at his Wybourn home on April 16, contacted the Star irate that they would have to choose which five siblings would be allowed to pay their respects at his funeral.

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The families of Gerald Hackford (left) and Jean Castleton (right) have spoken of their devastation at only five people being allowed to attend their funerals due to coronavirus restrictions. Pictures courtesy of the families.

The Hackford family have since launched a petition urging Sheffield City Council to increase the permitted number of mourners at the site, which has been signed by more than 770 people.

Jean’s granddaughter, Hannah Ellis, said that as her nan was living in a care home no relatives were allowed to see her in the weeks leading up to her death.

“She was my best friend,” said Hannah. “She also has more than five children so because only five are allowed to attend, her older grandchilden who she brought up and cherished have heard they can't attend the service.

“Do you know how heartbreaking this is for us to not see her, and now we might not get to say our final goodbyes?”

Hannah added: “I know Gerald’s family and he was an amazing man. He had a heart of gold and never did he not have a smile on his face.

“He deserves his children by his side on his final goodbye too, so I beg you please have a heart and hear our family's prayer for 10 people maximum people to pay their respects.

“I understand we are in a awful time, but if 50 people can stand in a queue at a supermarket, why can't 10 people say goodbye to their loved ones?”

The Star has contacted Sheffield City Council for comment.

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