Leeds firm helps family finally lay Olga to rest

The late Olga Schuman
The late Olga Schuman
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A Leeds funeral director has stepped in to help a struggling family who were forced to appeal to the public to fund a loved one’s funeral.

As previously reported in the YEP, family and friends set up an online crowd-funding campaign to raise £2,000 to pay for the funeral of popular grandmother-of-two Olga Schuman, of Cross Gates. She died suddenly on January 12 aged 54 but her family knew they would be unable to meet the funeral costs.

Her daughter Kelly Greene, 37, of Chapel Allerton, had to wait for a death certificate from the coroner before applying to Leeds City Council for a public health funeral but said they were told it could take up to 28 days.

Now Karen Fisher, of Fisher Funerals in Chapel Allerton, has offered to organise the funeral without a deposit, at minimum cost and with the use of a limousine for the family to follow the hearse in.

She said: “When you see someone from you’re own community who’s struggling, you want to help. Kelly lives five minutes away from our chapel. Under normal circumstances, she probably would have come to us in the first place. We’re just trying to look after people in our own community.”

Olga’s daughter Kelly said she couldn’t thank the firm enough.

She said: “I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulder - my mum is finally being laid to rest. I can start healing now instead of being on pause.”

Money raised through the crowd-funding page - which has now reached £1,125 - will go towards extra funeral costs and the wake.

The family’s plight comes after the YEP revealed Leeds has some of the highest costs in the country for burials and cremations. Karen Fisher said the story was not news to her. She said: “The price of bereavement in Leeds is worrying. More and more families are struggling. We have families now paying in instalments, which never happened before.”

The funeral will be at Cottingley Crematorium on February 26 at 1pm.