Two crematoria have raised almost £40,000 for charity by recycling metals recovered during cremation.
Barnham and Charing Crematoriums in Kent donated £38,000 to six organisations — including Crisis at Christmas who received £1,500, MacMillan Cancer Support who received £2,800 and Holding On Letting Go who were given £2,000.
The metals are extracted following the completion of the cremation process using magnets and are then stored and recycled with the crematorium’s partners, who are based in the Netherlands.
The crematorium said it always ensures families give their full approval for the process, and while making funeral arrangements they are given the choice about whether they wish to authorise the recycling of any metals reclaimed.
Pilgrims Hospices, an east Kent charity that supports those facing a terminal diagnosis, received the largest donation of £23,000.
The crematoria, which are part of the Westerleigh Group, have been taking part in the recycling scheme for a number of years, with donations to charities being distributed through the year across the group of 34 sites.
Darren Daughters, site manager of both Kent crematoria, said: “Since the donations come through the generosity of our families agreeing to recycle the metals, we try to give back to the community.
“Throughout each year, listening to families helps us to agree where to donate the money we’ve raised. This gives us a connection to the families and lets them know how much we wish to support them.
“All these organisations do such incredible work trying to enhance and make a positive difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, and it’s an honour to be able to provide them with some financial support.”
Commercial director for Westerleigh Group, Kate Davidson, said: “Our local crematorium teams take very careful consideration in supporting local charities in their communities.
“We always ensure that families have given their full approval for the process – if they do not wish to take part in the scheme there is absolutely no pressure to do so.