Local crematoria staff 'wing it' for a good cause

By Jessica Durston - 24 June 2022


Six daring local crematoria staff members - including Royal Wootton Bassetts's North Wiltshire Crematorium - come together to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

  • A group photo of those involved in the charity wing walk

    A group photo of those involved in the charity wing walk

Staff from North Wiltshire, West Wiltshire, Aylesbury Vale, The Vale and Woollensbrook crematoria, led by area manager Bill Scott, each completed a wing walk to raise funds for the Royal Air Force Association.

The crematoria are all part of Westerleigh Group, the UK’s largest independent owner and operator of crematoria and cemeteries, with 37 sites in England, Scotland and Wales.

All are set within beautifully-landscaped gardens of remembrance which aim to provide pleasant, peaceful places for people to visit and reflect.

Katie Capel, Site Manager at North Wiltshire Crematorium, was one of the event organisers.

She said: “The RAF Association is a charity close to the hearts of not only us here at North Wiltshire Crematorium but also the wider community in and around Royal Wootton Bassett, which was granted royal patronage in March 2011 by the Queen in recognition of its role in military funeral repatriations.

“Led by area manager, Bill Scott, also known as ‘the flying Scotsman’, we all attended RFC Rendcomb Airfield at Cirencester on a blue-sky day, to brave the wing-walk challenge.

“One-by-one, six of my colleagues were safely strapped to the top wing of a glorious 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane, which then took them all for an exhilarating experience of flypasts, zoom climbs, dives and banking turns.

“As well as being an enjoyable team-building experience, the event also enabled us to raise more than £2,700 for the Royal Air Force Association.”

This money will be put towards many welfare projects supported by RAFA including a dedicated helpline, which received nearly 40,000 calls every year, and a welfare service which assists more than 85,000 beneficiaries.

RAFA’s Connections for Life volunteers reach out to those in need, making more than 100,000 outreach calls every year.

Finding It Tough and Navigating Dementia online services helped nearly 4,500 people last year, and childcare at RAFA’s Kidz nurseries, and retirement accommodation allows elderly people to retain their independence.

Katie added: “While North Wiltshire crematorium will look to continue its support of the Royal Air Force Association in the coming years, we are also planning to introduce a specific memorial area on our grounds for our armed forces veterans while accommodating all faith services.”

More information about the North Wiltshire Crematorium can be found on its website at https://www.northwiltshirecrematorium.co.uk/

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