Cllr Andy Bowden (2nd right) with staff at Willowbrook
Cllr Andy Bowden (2nd right) with staff at Willowbrook

Willowbrook Hospice has received a donation of £12,000 as a result of St Helens Crematorium’s participation in an international metal recycling scheme.

With the consent of next of kin sought sensitively at the time of making funeral arrangements, many crematoriums across the country carry out the recycling of metals following the cremation process.

Metals for recycling can be from orthopaedic implants and accessories from the construction of the coffin.

Recycling is handled centrally and non-profitably in the UK by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) in partnership with Dutch company Orthometals.

Normally these metals would be held by crematoriums and respectfully buried, but the recycling scheme – done only with full support and permission of the bereaved – gives next of kin the opportunity to support charities.

The scheme is free to join and gives each participating local authority the opportunity to nominate charities to receive a donation every year from the proceeds.

Nominations were submitted in March, with then Mayor Councillor Sue Murphy’s chosen charity receiving the donation on this occasion.

Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Climate Change, said: “It’s a new scheme to St Helens Borough and we’ll be listening carefully to its reception, working sensitively and compassionately with bereaved families, next of kin and local funeral directors to help residents in making informed and transparent choices about their funeral arrangements.

“First and foremost we strive to provide a caring and professional service to the bereaved, at our nationally renowned standard, but the scheme presents a completely optional way to fund some of the borough’s vital charities, with the full support of the bereaved.”

Alun Owen, Executive Corporate Director at Willowbrook Hospice, added: “We are very honoured to receive this donation from St Helens Borough Council on behalf of Councillor Sue Murphy, the former Mayor of the Borough.

“As the decision to recycle the metals in these circumstances can be a very sensitive issue for families and friends, the permission to allow the proceeds to be donated to a charity such as Willowbrook is very gracious.

“The hospice is a very special place and we would not be able to provide our services without this kind of help. We always have reasons to give thanks for the generosity of our community but for these donations, we are humbled by the support shown to us from across the borough.”

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