Grieving daughter’s desperate plea as she can’t afford mum’s funeral

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Siobhan Demetriades, 32, lost her job as an electrical engineer weeks before mum Bridget Gibson lost her battle with lung cancer at the age of 54. Bridget was buried but her daughter now owes the funeral parlour £2,300 and, jobless and crippled by the rising cost of living, she’s pleaded for help from Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Bridget did not have life insurance or a funeral plan and, though Siobhan receives Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), it’s not enough to recoup the costs.

Speaking today to Manchester Evening News, Siobhan said: “Since my mum passed, I haven’t been able to grieve properly.

“They’re [the DWP] are making me feel like I want to give up.

“I’m not getting any help. Everything they have asked me to do, I’m doing and getting rejected. They’ve told me to go on different benefits but I don’t qualify for them.

“My mum was diagnosed terminally ill with lung cancer and a brain tumour which turned cancerous. She was placed on end-of-life treatment. I visited mum every day to make sure she knew someone was with her so she never felt alone but most of all felt loved.”

Siobhan, from Manchester, struggled to concentrate on her job as her mother’s health worsened earlier this year. She lost her role as a result and, in the following weeks, she discovered she was pregnant.

But she suffered a miscarriage weeks before her mum died.

“I couldn’t concentrate wiring stuff up at work as an electrical engineer,” Bridget continued.

“I would either electrocute myself or send out a unit that wasn’t working properly and I was always upset at work.

“I ended up poorly. I didn’t know I was pregnant and miscarried. My mum died on April 26 and I didn’t manage to bury her until June 10.”

The average cost of a funeral in the UK exceeds £4,000 so Siobhan claims she applied for a grant ahead of the ceremony, but her application was denied by the DWP.

In a desperate bid for funding, she has since set up a Gofundme appeal in hopes of raising some cash.

The woman said: “I need £2,300 but have so far managed to raise £290.

“Because of the way I am at the moment, I feel like I have no friends or anything. I’ve just gone into my own world.

“I wasn’t too sure about setting the Gofundme up but I did and I put it out there and it’s been overwhelming seeing people donate.”

A spokesman for the DWP said Siobhan has since been awarded Personal Independence Payment and is set to receive a lump sum of more than £1,000.

In a statement, the DWP said: “The death of someone close can be very distressing and our sincere condolences are with Ms Demetriades.

“She has been supported by the DWP financially through Employment and Support Allowance and has since been awarded Personal Independence Payment, receiving a lump sum of over £1,000.”

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