Co-op Funeralcare has become the first national funeral provider in the United Kingdom to offer bereaved families the option of using a drone to scatter their loved one’s ashes. Co-op’s new service will enable customers across the country to scatter ashes in special and memorable locations over both land and water.
Cremation ash scattering services by drone have become popular in the UK recently, but rapidly. The service typically costs upward of $700, with the service provider obtaining any required approvals from the authorities.
Co-op, which has 800 funeral homes across the UK, caught on to the idea when its research showed that 80% of families are now opting for cremation rather than burial, and 35% of people who chose cremation for their loved one are opting to scatter ashes in a location of significance.
Using drones would allow families to scatter ashes in harder-to-access locations such as out a sea, over rivers, or at sports grounds and beautiful locations. As Gill Stewart, MD of Co-op Funeralcare, explains:
We’re always looking at new and innovative ways to help families honor their loved one’s not just through the funeral service, but also through uniquely personal commemorative options for their ashes… and the sky really is the limit now in terms of the choices that are available.
For its new scattering service, Co-op Funeralcare is partnering with a company called Aerial Ashes, which was founded by a former Royal Air Force pilot Chris Mace.
Mace is quick to point out that drones are increasingly being viewed as a means of providing essential services in society, with investment in creating drone superhighways being mulled as the technology use grows. Here’s Mace:
The use of drones to provide new options to scatter ashes is an emerging and unique way that this technology can offer a truly memorable service. Ensuring that the right permissions are sought is essential and weather conditions must be favorable, but the use of a drone alleviates much of the worry when families want to scatter ashes in otherwise hard-to-reach locations.