22nd Sep, 2020

Kind-hearted council staff step in to make sure Redditch family can give their late son the send-off he deserves

Imogen Buller 15th Dec, 2017

AS bad weather struck Redditch this week, one family feared they wouldn’t be able to give their much-loved late son the send-off he deserved – until kindhearted council staff stepped in.

Paul Delahaye passed away on November 25, and his family, along with Thomas Brothers’ funeral directors, had arranged for a service to be held on Monday, December 11.

The plans were all in place, but when the heavy snowfall arrived on Sunday, the Delahaye family were worried all their funeral arrangements might be ruined.

However, thanks to the compassionate teamwork from staff at Redditch Borough Council and Worcestershire County Council, everything went ahead, despite the icy conditions.

74-year-old Brenda Delahaye said: “We lost our son at the age of 51 and had his funeral all arranged – but of course with the bad weather over the weekend, we were very concerned about whether it would be able to go ahead as planned.

“The neighbours in our close all pulled together and tried to help us clear the road, which was fantastic, but a big task.”

Worried the family might be unable to get to the crematorium, on Sunday afternoon, Brenda called Redditch Borough Council’s out of hours service to ask for help, and she was delighted when they sent over a small snowplough to help clear the road.

But as Sunday night’s snowfall continued to build and the temperature dropped, Brenda and her husband Alan, 76, feared the worst.

“We didn’t know what to do, so I called the council again early on Monday morning. They were so helpful, and advised me to get in touch with Worcestershire County Council.

“I was about to call them up, when my phone rang – and it was them – and within half an hour they had sent round a full size gritter and cleared the whole road for us.

“It was amazing and took away so much of the stress of the day. I felt they had gone above and beyond to help us and it meant we could send our son off in style, and travel with him to the crematorium.

“We would like to thank everyone for their help and dedication. Their compassion and kindness means so much to us.”

A Redditch Borough council spokesperson said: “We have supported Worcestershire County Council – as lead authority – wherever we can. The main thing is to ensure our residents get the services they need during bad weather. County have done an excellent job of dealing with some very extreme circumstances and as a close partner we are always happy to help out.”

Councillor Alan Amos, Cabinet Member Responsible for Highways, said: “Our teams have been fantastic. People who live and work in Worcestershire can be really proud of our teams who have kept people moving and that can’t be said of other areas of the country.”

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