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Ottery charity to receive £12,000 donation

6 September 2022

Ottery charity to receive £12,000 donation

Colleagues at East Devon Crematorium have chosen a charity in Ottery St Mary to receive a donation of £12,000 which has been raised through the generosity of families who have lost loved ones.

The Ottery Help Scheme helps hundreds of people every month with a whole range of services on offer including community transport, befriending and bereavement support as well as many other groups.

It was as a result of the high praise from people who received the charity's support that it caught the attention of the team at the local crematorium in Whimple.

The team was pleased to nominate the local cause to receive funding from a national scheme which recycles the metals which remain after cremation with the written consent of each bereaved family.

Craig Mounty, Team Manager at East Devon Crematorium, said: "We first heard about this organisation when a memorial owner told us about the incredible bereavement support he had received from one of their volunteers since the death of his wife. This was then endorsed by many others.

"As Ottery St Mary is a local town to East Devon Crematorium, we are delighted to have been able to support such an appropriate neighbourhood charity."

Ottery Help Scheme was initially set up in 1992 with the help of Ottery St Mary Hospital League of Friends. The aims of Ottery Help Scheme are to unite and mobilise the goodwill of our community, offering support to local residents where it is needed most in times of illness, difficulty or life-changing circumstance.

It is now a registered charity celebrating its 30th anniversary year and offering a number of significant services which include bereavement support, befriending, Carer support, Memory Cafe and various weekly and monthly activity groups - all run and organised by specially trained staff and volunteers.

Emily Lezzeri, Chief Officer, said: "There's so many things we do that people know us for. There's lots of things that the funding will support.

"It's a huge amount for us and what is great about it is that it's not restricted funding, as it can be hard to get project funding for some of the services we deliver.

"There's been a big increase in need during the pandemic as, even if you haven't lost someone, feelings of loss and being lonely have been exacerbated.

"We currently have 900 clients on our database and over the last three months we have taken 758 bookings across a range of our services. The feedback we get all the time is just fantastic.

"People say they couldn't do without us. The staff and volunteers are all really busy but when you get that type of feedback you know that the work we are doing is directly supporting people and that's a good feeling."

The Ottery Help Scheme is moving offices on 12 September and is delighted that its new home in Silver Street will be more accessible and will highlight its services at the heart of the local community."

To find out more about Ottery Help Scheme,

The recycling of metals scheme is run by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management - a national verified scheme that recycles metals which remain after cremation with the express consent of bereaved families, such as items used in the construction of the coffin or orthopaedic implants.

The proceeds are then returned to the crematorium who donates the money to local charities.

Dr Juliet Nelson, a Medical Referee for the crematorium and a GP at the Coleridge Medical Centre in Ottery St Mary, said: "The Ottery Help Scheme supports our community in so many ways. It is run by an enthusiastic team who have diversified and flourished despite recent challenges. We have come to rely on the Help Scheme for the well-being of our patients and the charity is richly deserving of this generous donation through East Devon Crematorium".

Set in 10 acres of land, East DevonCrematorium is complete with landscaped memorial gardens, establishing woodland with ponds and areas of wildflowers and grasses.

To find out more about East Devon Crematorium, visit or