A charity gift for children

A donation of £12,000 has been made to the Children’s Air Ambulance by Bath & North East Somerset Council with money raised from recycled metals reclaimed from the city’s Haycombe Crematorium.

The Children’s Air Ambulance is a national lifesaving transfer service for critically ill babies and children that flies medical teams and equipment to children who are too ill to travel, turning their local hospital into a specialist centre.

The service provides high-speed transfer of the children and can fly them from one hospital to another for specialist care. The clinically designed helicopter also provides a flying intensive care unit for babies and children.

Fiona Franklin, Community Fundraising Executive at The Children’s Air Ambulance, said: “The support of our local communities is so important to our charity as we receive no government funding and rely solely on generous donations like these to remain operational.

“Each potentially lifesaving mission costs £3,500 so, on behalf of the charity, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the wonderful team at Haycombe Crematorium and Bath & North East Somerset Council for their generous donation which will help save young lives. The charity often transfers patients from all over the Southwest, including Bath, so support from the local community is vital.”

The charity is the second to benefit this year 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. In February, £15,000 was donated to Josephine’s Star, a charity which provides bereavement support for children and young people.

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture said: “Through the recycling of metals scheme we have been able to make a second charity donation this year to an essential service, The Children’s Air Ambulance provides a fantastic, life-saving service and without it, many children would not be here now. This service really deserves our support.”

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: “Any metals are always retrieved with the agreement of the family and we would like to thank everyone who has given consent. This has enabled waste metal to be recycled instead of being buried and has ultimately helped the lives of many people across the UK through financial support. I hope this is of some small comfort if you have lost a loved one.”

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 meeting 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 the Children’s Air Ambulance visit https://theairambulanceservice.org.uk/childrens-air-ambulance/