Bereavement services in Kingston have been recognised as being of the highest standard, receiving accreditation under the Charter for the Bereaved.

Accreditation requires the council to show it can satisfy basic rights connected with funerals, and the scheme gives authorities targets for improvement.

Bereavement Services manager Howard Greenoff said the team was "thrilled" with the award.

He added: “I think the dedication and camaraderie we share helps us to deliver a quality service for Kingston residents - we treat our bereaved customers with the same care and compassion with which we would treat each other. This also means we understand what help and support our customers need to get them through a very difficult time.”

Kingston Council joins 41 other authorities to have gold standard crematorium and cemetery services.

The service has recently developed affordable options to suit people's financial needs while remaining respectful of their deceased loved ones.

Mr Greenoff said: “When a family member dies, it’s a distressing enough time without the added financial pressure of paying for a funeral.

"We know that funeral poverty is on the rise across the UK, so we’re trying to give families more choice with options like home funerals and direct cremation.”