Town rallies round to help grieving Corby man who couldn’t afford to pay for mum’s funeral

Keith Hutchings and his mum Annette, just before she died. NNL-160527-170832001

Keith Hutchings and his mum Annette, just before she died. NNL-160527-170832001

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A Corby man whose mum’s body sat in a funeral parlour for six weeks because he couldn’t afford to give her a send off has spoken of his gratitude after the town pulled together to help him.

Keith Hutchings, who lives in Little Stanion, was devastated when his mum Annette died after suffering from a brain tumour.

He was told he was not eligible for a financial grant to help with the cost of a funeral and warned he may lose his home, so he had to leave the body at the undertakers.

But now Keith has had several offers of help from local funeral directors, who have pledged to hold the funeral at cost price.

The 25-year-old said: “I am very, very grateful for all the help I’ve received.

“It’s pretty much all resolved now and it’s just sorting out what to do and when.

“Everyone has come together to help, Corby’s not a bad town is it?

“We’re having the wake at the Hazel Tree for free and I’ve had a few offers from different funeral directors in the area.”

Generous donations from those who sympathised with Keith’s situation led to a fundraising page amassing more than £2,000 in pledges.

This accounts for more than the likely cost of the funeral - but Keith isn’t sure what he’ll do with the leftover money just yet.

He added: “Because my mum’s been at the undertakers for so long there may be extra charges for holding her body or costs for moving her.

“So much has changed in the last 24 hours and I’m still getting my head around it.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to put a little buffet on at the wake but I’ll probably give any money that’s left to a charity.”

Among those to offer their services was funeral director Andrew Carter, who owns A J Carter Funeral Services.

He has offered to hold the funeral at cost price, meaning it would cost Keith less than £1,000.

He said: “I found out about Keith’s problems through Facebook and this is why I set up my business.

“There are people out there who are struggling and I’ve worked for 15 years but only ever seen the bosses get rich.

“If Keith wants us to do his funeral he can have it in less than two weeks for less than a grand.

“My partner has spoken to him about it and he seemed relieved.

“This is why I came to Corby. It’s a growing town but it’s a friendly town.”