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Crematorium recycling boost for homeless charity

A Middlesbrough charity that supports the town's homeless has received a Christmas windfall thanks to a unique recycling scheme.

Teesside Crematorium's donation of £8,000 to Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Welfare will help provide vital food and support for those in need.

Under the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management's Metal Recycling Scheme, families regularly give consent for the recycling of metals resulting from cremation.

Recycled metals include those used in orthopaedic implants such as hip and knee and replacements and in the construction of coffins.

The national scheme allows Middlesbrough Council, which runs the crematorium, to make an annual charitable donation to local good causes.

And this week Councillor Dennis McCabe, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Environment, and Colin Duncan, the Council's head of Bereavement Services, visited the Homeless Café in Princes Road to hand over this year's cheque to charity founder Susan Gill.

Susan, who runs the café with a team of 25 volunteers, said: "I'm over the moon with this donation which will make a huge difference.

"It's hard finding funding for the homeless, so this will keep us going for the foreseeable future.

"I'm grateful to Dennis and Colin for all their hard work and their support for some of Middlesbrough's most vulnerable people."

The charity works with police and other services to identify and protect homeless people who are at most risk of harm, providing essential welfare such as shelter, food, clothing and cleaning facilities.

Through its work it helps to prevent death and reduce further harm such as violence and intimidation.

Councillor McCabe, who nominated Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Welfare for the 2019 award, said: "This is a great charity that is helping to prevent deaths, and making a real difference to so many people's lives

"I'm delighted that this innovative scheme will enable Susan and her team to continue their work with some of the most vulnerable people in our communities."

The Metal Recycling Scheme has been run by the ICCM since 2006 in partnership with Dutch company Orthometals, reflecting bereavement services' ethos to make a difference to the communities they serve and to make the least impact on the environment.

The scheme has now donated more than £7 million to nearly 500 charities and good causes across the United Kingdom.

A spokesman said: "ICCM would like to thank each scheme member and its staff, but most of all the bereaved themselves whose consent has enabled waste metal to be recycled and financial help to be provided to UK bereavement charities."

Pictured: Colin Duncan, Middlesbrough Council's head of Bereavement Services, Homeless Café volunteers Lauren Skyrme, Melissa Myler, Aimee Baker and Katie McGowan, Councillor Dennis McCabe, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Environment, Susan Gill