Charity’s £12,000 boost thanks to the kindness of funeral families in East Devon

An East Devon charity dedicated to supporting members of the military and their families has been presented with £12,000 to help those ‘in desperate situations’.

The Bastion Baton Trust – known locally as The Baton charity – was presented with the donation from funds raised at East Devon Crematorium, through recycled metal.

The Honiton-based charity, which aids ex and serving members of the armed forces, and their families, will use the funds to provide a host of care, including support for welfare, rehabilitation, mental health, bereavement, housing and equipment.

Alan Rowe, The Baton founder, said: “The donation will be of immense and immeasurable use in our aims to provide emergency support for those in desperate situations.

“Any funds we are given go further as our ethos has been a no wages, minimal expenses policy right from the start ensuring as much as possible of a donation goes to where people would want it to go.”

The donation was made possible thanks to those families who held funerals at East Devon Crematorium agreeing to donate for recycling any metal left after cremation.

After consent was granted, the funds were raised through a national recycling project run by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.

East Devon

Pictured here, left to right, is Alan Rowe, with Katherine Ohlsen and Craig Mounty from the crematorium.
Photo: East Devon Crematorium.

Craig Mounty, crematorium team manager, based in Whimple, said: “The founders of The Baton have shared with us some really heart-breaking experiences of families being unable to gather the money needed for a funeral deposit.

“As they are a smaller local-based charity, they can often make much quicker decisions to provide grants to those who need it and be there at an extremely difficult time in their lives.”

He added: “We see many military funerals here at East Devon Crematorium with the armed forces having a significant presence throughout Devon and the south west.

“We feel very proud to be able to support service families through the invaluable work of The Baton.”

The Baton is a handle of a military stretcher, used by the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) in Afghanistan.

The MERT stretcher was sent from a nearby Afghanistan hospital to Honiton, where the four handles were cut into batons.

The charity launched its first annual baton relay run in 2008, in a bid to raise awareness and funds for the cause.

The baton has been carried at a host of national and international events and challenges.

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