Over and Above is the latest charity to benefit from the North Devon Crematorium’s role in a national metal recycling scheme.

Yesterday (Thursday 20 August) a cheque for £10,000 was presented to the hospital charity from the proceeds of the crematorium’s recycling scheme, which enables metals from cremated remains to be safely recycled.

The money will be put towards a new Maternity Bereavement Suite in North Devon District Hospital's maternity unit, to support parents who have sadly lost a newborn.

Chairman of North Devon Crematorium, Councillor Tony Inch, said: “This is a brilliant amount of money and I’m really pleased we are presenting it to a charity that provides such vital support to local families during what can be a very difficult and upsetting time in their lives. I’m sure the money will be very well spent.”

Over and Above Fundraiser Julie Whitton said “We would like to thank North Devon Crematorium from the bottom of our hearts for their generous donation to the Maternity Bereavement Suite – it means we can now offer a dedicated room to care for those parents who sadly suffer the loss of their baby. Losing a baby is one of the hardest experiences a family can go through and to help bereaved parents, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has developed a new room in the maternity unit at North Devon District Hospital that will mean bereaved parents can be cared for in a dedicated homely room and spend time with their baby after a late miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, giving them the time to say goodbye when they are ready to do so.

"The room has been soundproofed and furnished in a way that is comfortable for women and their families to spend time in, providing facilities that enable them to stay together and to be as self-sufficient as they wish. This donation, together with the amazing donations and support we have received from SANDS, The Last Kiss Foundation, Over and Above and others have enabled the bereavement suite to be completed, and we are extremely grateful for that support.”

Over and Above is the registered working name of the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust Charitable Fund. To find out more about the work they do, telephone 01271 311772 or email: ndht.charity@nhs.net

The metal recycling scheme is run by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) and is only carried out with the consent of the bereaved.

Photographed left to right: Medical staff from the Ladywell Unit at North Devon District Hospital, Julie Whitton - Senior Charity Officer for Over and Above, Councillor Mel Lovering, Mark Drummond - Bereavement (Crematorium) Manager, Councillor Tony Inch.