What happens when you die alone in Liverpool?

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Jo O’Brien and Pam Flanagan ensure people without anyone in the world, are laid to rest respectfully. Working in the city council’s Property Protection team, their work ensures that anyone who dies alone with no next of kin, is given a proper funeral.

Pictures by Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.


Jo O’Brien and Pam Flanagan from Liverpool City Council’s Property Protection Team at the home of a deceased resident in south Liverpool on 23 January 2020

Part of their role is to search people’s homes for documents to ensure any final wishes are honoured. Finding address books or mobile phones could be the key to contacting family members, and discovering utility bills and other financial documents means they can close accounts and tie up all loose ends.


Jo O’Brien holds up a jar of dog hair found as a keepsake with a box of the dog’s ashes which will be included in the deceased’s coffin.

Obviously the animal meant an awful lot to him to have him cremated. Just a little touch because you think I’d like someone to do that for me

Jo O’Brien, Team Manager

Watch the video and find out more about Pam and Jo’s work.