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Latest News


Westerleigh’s Approach to the Cremation of Babies

There has been much media coverage in recent years about the cremation and ashes of non-viable babies. We recognise the pain and distress faced by families following the loss of non-viable babies and our crematoria will do everything within their power to provide a respectful, dignified and caring service to bereaved families.

While a non- viable baby (a foetus of less than 24 weeks gestation) has no legal status and there is no recognition of the term within The Cremation Regulations (England and Wales) 2008 and there is no requirement to provide cremation facilities, we recognise that we have a social and moral responsibility to offer a cremation service. This is an approach endorsed by the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Managers.

The Infant Cremation Commission, chaired by Lord Bonomy, was established in Scotland in 2013. It made 64 recommendations to the Scottish Government and it is entirely likely that many, if not all, of these recommendations will be adopted in England and Wales in the near future. The Westerleigh Group Directors and Managers have given careful consideration to the recommendations and have, in the absence of any current Guidance from either the Ministry of Justice nor the Department of Health, agreed that all crematoria within the Westerleigh Group will continue to provide a dignified cremation to non-viable babies up to 24 weeks’ gestation on an individual basis.

An application form will need to be signed by a parent or representative of a parent together with either a doctor or a registered midwife. Although the recovery of ashes cannot be guaranteed, every effort will be made to recover the ashes which will be made available for collection by the applicant or for scattering. All such cremations will be carried out free of charge.



Diary Dates
Christmas Memorial Service 2014

We are hosting a Christmas Memorial Carol Service at West Berkshire Crematorium on the evening of Friday 12th December 2014. The service will be more than carols and prayers, it will include an Act of Remembrance, where the names of the deceased being represented here on this evening will be read out and a candle will be lit in their memory.

Following the service there will be refreshments available (mince pies, biscuits, cake, coffee, tea, mulled wine and squash) and the opportunity to chat with others that are in the same situation as yourself, showing you are not alone but can unite in a shared grief.

Doors Open      …..  18:45
Service  Starts  …..  19:00
Refreshments  …..  20:00
Gates Close      …..  20:30

To make a reservation for this special evening, please telephone the office on 01635 872577.



Recycling raises cash for local charity


Staff at West Berkshire Crematorium in Thatcham, recently presented a cheque for nearly £2,000 to a local charity.

In 2008, the crematorium owners, Westerleigh Group, joined a not for profit scheme to retrieve metals and implants following each cremation. Families are invited to donate the metal residues from the cremated remains to this scheme. The metals are then sent for recycling.

Through this scheme the crematorium has raised £1906.31 pence, which has been donated this year to “Daisy’s Dream”, a charity offering support for children and their families through bereavement. The donation was recently presented to Gemma Gittins, fund raiser for the charity.

 

cheque


West Berkshire Crematorium Donates £5651.74 To Reading’s Local Hospice

cheque

Staff of West Berks Crematorium presenting a cheque for £5651.74 to George Solly (far right), Director of Fundraising, Duchess of Kent House Charity.

Making donations to charitable causes is the lighter side of the cremation business, but where do we find the funds to make such donations?

In 2008, West Berkshire Crematorium (WBC) joined a ‘not for profit’ scheme to retrieve metals and implants following each cremation. Upon the loss of a loved one, families are invited to donate the metal residues from the cremated remains to this scheme, they sign a form giving their consent. These metals are sensitively removed following each cremation and are sent for recycling on a not-for-profit basis. Annually, we receive funds arising from the sale of these metals, which we donate to deserving local registered charities.

West Berkshire Crematorium appreciates that this is a most sensitive subject, and they are most grateful to the families for their kind donations. WBC hope that the bereaved families take some comfort in the knowledge that the monies raised from their kindness, do go to help some very good causes.

Funds raised this year amount to £5651.74 and this year the chosen registered charity is ‘’ Duchess of Kent House Charity’’ in Reading. Said George Solly, of the Charity

“We are most grateful for this very generous donation raised in a most innovative and sensitive way which will certainly benefit patients in our care.”


 
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