Crematorium’s recycling boost for local bereavement charity

A Hull charity that supports bereaved new parents has received a much-needed boost thanks to a special recycling scheme.

Hull City Council’s Chanterlands Crematorium’s donation of £15,000 to the Abbie’s Fund will help the charity provide memory boxes for the Maternity Unit at Hull Royal Infirmary’s Women and Children’s Hospital, to give to parents who have lost babies.

The memory boxes include keepsakes such as teddies, soft blankets, candles to light for baby on anniversaries, organza bags to keep hospital tags, locks of hair, and clay hand-and-footprint kits.

Information and support is also offered to parents during an extremely difficult time.

The donation comes from a national scheme the Council is part of. The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management’s (ICCM) Metal Recycling Scheme offers families the opportunity to give consent for the recycling of metals resulting from cremation.

These include metals used in orthopaedic implants such as hip and knee replacements and in the construction of coffins.

The national scheme enables the Council to make an annual charitable donation to local bereavement support charities.

Councillor Rosie Nicola, Portfolio Holder for Bereavement Services, presented a cheque for £15,000 to Abbie’s Fund and said:

“Abbie’s Fund provides an incredibly important service to parents having to deal with the most devastating kind of tragedy; the loss of their child. Their memory boxes provide comfort in those dark times as well as offering further support and signposting.

“I’m delighted that this innovative scheme can support such important work – Abbie’s Fund is a very worthy recipient of this year’s charity donation.

“I feel particularly strongly about this charity because my parents lost my older brother Robert at birth in 1951. In those days there was none of the help and support offered by a charity like Abbie’s Fund and my mum and dad were left to cope with their terrible bereavement alone.

“If it had been available, I am certain that an organisation like Abbie’s Fund would have provided them with a huge amount of comfort at that awful time. My mum is 90 now and she is delighted to know that parents today who suffer the loss of a baby, like she did 70 years ago, have, through Abbie’s Fund, access to a far more compassionate and supportive approach to their grief.

“In recent years, the Council has donated tens of thousands of pounds to many different local bereavement charities. I would like to thank the families who consent to supporting this fantastic scheme and making a difference to thousands of bereaved families across the Hull and the East Riding.”

Katy Cowell, Founder of Abbie’s Fund said:

“We’re overwhelmed by the Chanterlands Crematorium’s generous donation and would like to thank them for choosing Abbie’s Fund as the recipient. The memory boxes we provide offer much-needed support for families at an extremely difficult time in their lives, and this contribution will allow us to continue providing them, as well as sibling boxes and other support. 

“As a charity working with families in Hull and the Hull Women and Children’s Hospital, it is nice to know that the local community will benefit greatly from this. After starting Abbie’s Fund following the death of our daughter Abbie in 2010, we know first-hand the devastation the loss of a child causes, so we’re proud to be able to continue helping people with the support of organisations like Chanterlands Crematorium.”

The Metal Recycling Scheme has been run by the ICCM since 2006 in partnership with Dutch company Orthometals, reflecting bereavement services’ ethos to make a difference to the communities they serve and to make the least impact on the environment.

The scheme has raised over £7million for charities across the country since it was created, with £10,000 donated to Cruse Bereavement Care last year by Hull City Council.

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