WAY was delighted to take part in the Full Circle Festival at Mortlake Crematorium this weekend alongside other bereavement charities including the Good Grief Trust, Winston’s Wish and Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
On one of the hottest days of the year, two of our trustees, Kate Siegler and Chris Lima, managed to stay cool and spread the word about WAY alongside two of our local members Nicola Miles and Suzanne Rowan.
Organised by Mortlake Crematorium, the festival was a chance to tackle some of the taboos around death and dying in a series of talks and presentations from key influencers within the industry. There were also family-friendly stalls and even a pop-up Death Café with much-needed tea and cake and some shelter from the sun.
“The idea of the festival was fantastic,” said WAY Trustee Kate Siegler. “It was great because it was an opportunity for people who’ve been bereaved to find out about lots of different services all in one place. It helped to give people an insight into what’s available – because, let’s face it, death is inevitable for all of us.”
Kate and the WAY Team talked to lots of people about WAY – including many funeral and charity professionals who will now be able to spread the word about WAY to young widows and widowers in future.
To cap off the celebrations, WAY was thrilled to be presented with a cheque for £8,000 from Mortlake Crematorium by Superintendent Natasha Bradshaw.
The generous donation was raised through a charitable scheme, operated by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM). Under the scheme metal from medical implants is recycled after cremation, with the consent of the family of the deceased. Twice a year the institute asks its scheme members to nominate local charities that they will help to support. WAY has this year received very welcome donations from the scheme through Haycombe Crematorium in Bath and Markeaton Crematorium in Derbyshire.
“We are incredibly grateful to Mortlake Crematorium for their generous donation to WAY Widowed and Young,” said Kate. “We’re delighted to accept these funds and know that it will help many people to find out about WAY – which has been such a lifeline to me and countless others – and will help to support young widows and widowers up and down the country. I would like to thank all involved for their support.”
Natasha Bradshaw added: “We were so pleased WAY were at our Full Circle Festival, celebrating 80 years of Mortlake Crematorium serving the community. I have heard from people how WAY has made a difference by offering peer to peer support and how they and their children have enjoyed meeting up, having meals out and picnics. Sharing experiences with others that understand and has really helped them. We have let many people know about WAY over the years. We are delighted that we can make the donation through the recycling scheme to support the amazing and essential work WAY does.”
Photo caption: WAY trustees Kate Siegler and Chris Lima and WAY member Suzanne Rowan (left to right, wearing blue T-shirts) accepted a generous donation from Mortlake Crematorium’s Natasha Bradshaw (far right) and Ruud Verberne, who founded the company OrthoMetals (far left).