Cannock Chase Crematorium’s £14,000 donation to two local children’s charities is helping Staffordshire children and their families.

Cannock Chase Crematorium is delighted to announce that a cash donation of £7,000 has been made on behalf of the crematorium to each of two charities who support children and young people, Young Lives vs Cancer and Windmills.

These donations have been made possible because the crematorium is a member of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management National Recycling of Metals Scheme. The scheme is a national initiative and works to sensitively recover residual metal items such as orthopaedic implants or metals used in the construction of the coffin, following the cremation process. These are then recycled, with the written consent of the bereaved family, to raise invaluable funds for charity.

Jo Walker, Manager of Cannock Chase Crematorium, invited representatives from both charities to the crematorium to understand more about how the metals recycling scheme works. She presented a cheque for £7,000 to Joe Burns, Senior Fundraising & Engagement Manager for Young Lives vs Cancer and another for £7,000 to Leeanne Clay & Zara Toussaint, Specialist Practitioners in Acute Bereavement for Windmills.

Jo Walker, Manager of Cannock Chase Crematorium, said:

‘We are delighted to have this unique opportunity to support Staffordshire charities through the generosity of the families who use our service. In consultation with our families, it was agreed we would identify two charities supporting children and young people in our area.

Every day 12 more children and young people hear the devasting news they have cancer, and life becomes full of fear for them and their family. Social care teams from Young Lives vs Cancer help families get through the most frightening time of their lives.

Nurses, Leeanne & Zara established the Windmills Charity to provide bespoke bereavement care for children and young people in Staffordshire when someone significant in their life is dying or has suddenly died. They will often break the bad news of a diagnosis; aid understanding and build memories whilst preparing the youngsters for their loved ones death. The examples of experience days they shared with us, filled with positive memories for the children, were so heart-warming.’

Joe Burns, Senior Fundraising & Engagement Manager for Young Lives vs Cancer said:

‘This donation will specifically help the social care teams in the Staffordshire region to offer bereavement support for families when their child dies, helping parents and siblings through the challenges of losing a child.

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 Young Lives vs Cancer. The donation will allow us to continue to provide vital bereavement support to families following the death of their child, often helping to carry out the funeral wishes of the young person we have been supporting through end-of-life care.’

Leeanne Clay & Zara Toussaint, Specialist Practitioners in Acute Bereavement for Windmills said: ‘£2,500 allows the charity to provide six months one to one weekly support to a child along with a memory box filled with mementos, Christmas and Birthday gifts and an experience day. This donation will help us support 3 local children and their families.

We are delighted to have received this donation; it will help us to improve the lives of those grieving children we support and help them build resilience moving forward.’

Jo Walker added:

‘Since its inception in 2006, the Institute’s national recycling of metals initiative has raised over £19.1million and has helped 691 different charities.

These donations have 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 us to support local children during such challenging times in their lives.’

This is the 5th major donation that Cannock Chase Crematorium has made to local charities since opening in April 2021, bringing the total donated through this scheme to an incredible £63,000.

Anyone wanting to find out more about how the metals recycling scheme works can join a Behind the Scenes Tour of the crematorium held on the last Thursday of every month from 6pm to 7.30pm. Those interested can contact the crematorium to book a place. Tel: 01543 212988 or email: