£15k donated to children’s bereavement support group

£15k donated to children’s bereavement support group

Bath & North East Somerset Council has donated £15,000, raised from the recycling of metals reclaimed from Bath’s Haycombe Crematorium, to a local charity which offers bereavement support to children and young people.

Josephine’s Star provides one-to-one support sessions with trained volunteers to children and young people who’ve suffered a significant bereavement.

The charity also provides Grief First Aid training to schools across Somerset equipping staff with the skills to manage and support a child or young person through their bereavement.

Leif Tarry, founder of Josephine’s Star said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to the council for this donation which will go a long way in providing bereavement support to children and young people across Somerset. Our trained volunteers help  those referred to us develop strategies to cope with their grief through play and activities. The money we’ve received will enable us to support more children by recruiting and training more volunteers and providing them with resources to support young people as they come to terms with their loss.”

The charity is the latest to benefit from money raised by the recycling of common items like medical pins, metal plates and artificial joints which are retrieved from the cremated remains of a loved one and recycled through a national scheme.

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture said: “This is our largest donation from the recycling of metals from the crematorium to date and I’m delighted we have been able to support Josephine’s Star. Losing a loved one at a young age can be an incredibly traumatic experience and have a long-lasting impact on mental wellbeing. The professional individually tailored support provided by the volunteers from Josephine’s Star can make a huge difference to those who are struggling having lost someone special.”

The not-for-profit Recycling of Metals Scheme is run by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management of which Bath & North East Somerset Council is a member. Members of the scheme collect the metal from the cremators and the money raised from recycling is divided between ICCM members for distribution among charities.

Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services said: “We always respectfully retrieve the cremated remains of a loved one and recover metal items used as part of surgery from the cremator with the consent of the family. The most responsible way to dispose of them is to recycle them. We feel it’s only right the money raised goes to support bereavement charities and I hope people who are bereaved take comfort from that.”

To qualify for donations from the scheme, charities are selected on the basis they have to assist the bereaved or those who are terminally ill.

Local charities, which meet the criteria can get in touch with staff at Haycombe Cemetery and Crematorium on 01225 396020 or email cemeteries_crematorium@bathnes.gov.uk

For more information about Josephine’s Star including referrals, volunteering or fundraising, or to enquire about the charity’s Grief First Aid training visit: www.josephinesstar.org.uk

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