A shot of the Guildhall in Hull. The building is in the background and spring flowers are in the foreground

Legacy Funeral Directors: new support line

A new support line has been established for anyone with any concerns or who has been affected following the launch of a police investigation into Legacy Funeral Directors in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

From today (Thursday, 28 March) at 4pm, Victim Support, a specialist, independent charity, will open a helpline and support service, to support those affected.

This bespoke service to our communities includes a dedicated phone line and ongoing support options, and will be run in liaison with Humberside Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, to provide timely support and personalised assistance in relation to any worries people may have in connection to the investigation.

Assistant Chief Constable Thom McLoughlin said: “The helpline that has been established will be able to provide additional support and care for a range of concerns and worries people understandably have, and I would encourage anyone who feels they need to speak to someone and talk through their concerns to please get in touch on 0808 281 1136.

“The investigation continues to be multifaceted and highly complex, with over 2,000 calls now received into the initial phone line we set up, and numerous lines of enquiry being carried out, which includes work around any suspected financial and fraudulent activity.

“Our dedicated Family Liaison Officers continue to support all the families of the 35 deceased, and we have a specialist investigation team for those more widely effected in relation to suspected fraudulent activity and the ongoing management of the recovered ashes of loved ones. I would like to say a personal thank you to the families, as well as to others who have been affected, for their patience and understanding as we continue to investigate.”

Debbie Harding, Victim Support Area Manager for Humberside said: “Victim Support is committed to supporting those impacted by this distressing incident. We have fully trained staff available to listen to concerns and ensure those affected are provided with the very best support, either through our own services or those of trusted partners locally. We want those affected to know that they are not alone and that support is available.”

Julia Weldon, Director of Public Health at Hull City Council, said: “With our partners, we have worked hard to ensure this helpline will truly help people. We know there will be both practical and emotional needs and we’ve worked together to develop clear pathways to get people where they need to be.

“One of the most important things was ensuring this process was as joined up as possible, to prevent people who call from telling their story over and over again to different people in different services. Those who call can be reassured partners are working together to make sure calling and accessing help is as easy as possible.”

Andy Kingdom, Director of Public Health and East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “We have worked closely with colleagues in a number of other organisations to ensure those affected by this incident are provided with the best possible support. We understand that this traumatic event will have touched many of our residents and we want to ensure that their needs are met.

“Anyone who has been affected should consider using this service, where trained professionals will be on hand to provide information and pastoral care.”

Rachel Cook, Chief Executive at Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, said “The office has provided a direct award to Victim Support to supplement the existing service we have in place for those affected by crime.  The additional funding allows for a specific helpline to ensure those affected by can be best supported, aligning with partners where appropriate but importantly giving people an independent source of support”.

ACC McLoughlin continues: “I recognise that this has been a difficult and distressing time for all of the families involved, and of course for our communities. They will no doubt continue to have questions, and I want to offer my reassurance that I have a dedicated team of Detectives working day and night to give them the answers they want and deserve.

“We will continue to release updates on any significant developments as and when we are able, but we do need to be mindful not to jeopardise ongoing investigations and we ask that people refrain from speculating and show the utmost respect for bereaved families within our community.”

A man and a woman remain on police bail following their arrest earlier this month in connection to the investigation.

A Hull City Council worker seen from behind wearing a high-visibility jacket emblazoned with the "Love Your Neighbourhood" logo. In the background is a spring scene in a British street
a red fox labrador stands on his hind legs, with his front legs on a large bin