Cannock Chase Crematorium helps local families who have experienced the loss of a baby with a £15,000 donation to the baby loss charity Sands.

Cannock Chase Crematorium is delighted to announce that a cash donation of £15,000 has been made on behalf of the crematorium to Sands. Sands works to save babies’ lives and support anyone affected by pregnancy loss or the death of a baby.

Cannock Chase Crematorium is a member of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management’s (ICCM) metal recycling scheme, whereby residual metal items such as orthopaedic implants or metals used in the construction of the coffin are retained, following the cremation process, and recycled, with the written consent of the bereaved family.

The national ICCM scheme, introduced in 2006, has raised over £7 million since its inception to help fund bereavement related charities.

Jo Walker, Crematorium Manager, said: “We are delighted to donate this substantial sum of money to Sands. Baby loss has a wide reaching, devastating impact on the lives of all those involved. We wanted to support the invaluable work of Sands to support anyone affected by the death of a baby and fund research to save babies’ lives.

This donation has only been made possible because families, in those very difficult days following the death of a loved one, have made the selfless decision to consent for us to collect the metals following cremation.

We understand this is a sensitive subject and we want to extend our gratitude to those families who have enabled this to happen.  Their consent is vital to the ongoing success of the scheme. We want those families to know that their decision has enabled Sands to help other bereaved families.”

Liam Bennett, Assistant Manager, said: “We are mindful of taking every step to reduce the environmental impact of the cremation process. The metal recycling scheme, as well as benefitting local charities, reduces our environment impact as these metals were previously buried on crematorium land and their recycling reduces the need for metal ores to be mined.”

Sarah Finnigan, Regional Volunteering Lead, Sands, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Jo and the team at Cannock Chase Crematorium over the past few years, whilst they created this brand-new facility in Norton Canes.  The team are so supportive of bereaved families and have a dedicated memorial garden for families whose baby has died.

“I am delighted to receive this generous donation from them, which will allow us to continue to save babies lives, provide vital bereavement support to families whose baby has died and improve bereavement care across the UK.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to the families who have given their permission for the recycling of metal items, and to the crematorium staff who nominated Sands. We are very grateful for the support of local crematoriums and the ICCM’s invaluable metals recycling scheme, which helps to ensure our work continues.”

Sarah Finnigan, Regional Volunteering Lead, Sands, receiving the cheque from Jo Walker Crematorium Manager and the rest of the team at Cannock Chase Crematorium in the children’s memorial garden.

About Sands

Every day in the UK, 14 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth.

Sands works to save babies’ lives and support anyone affected by pregnancy loss or the death of a baby. Sands’ vision is a world where fewer babies die and when a baby does die, anyone affected receives the best possible care and support for as long as it is needed.

Sands provides bereavement support services both nationally through its Freephone helpline, mobile app, online community and resources, and locally through a network of around 100 regional support groups based across the UK and run by trained befrienders.

Sands works in partnership with health care professionals, trusts and health boards and offers a range of training programmes and bereavement care resources to ensure that every bereaved parent and family receives the best possible care wherever they are in the UK.

Sands supports and promotes research to better understand the causes of baby deaths and save babies’ lives. The charity also raises awareness of baby loss and works with governments, key influencers and other stakeholders to make reducing the number of babies dying a priority nationally and locally.