A final donation has seen Westerleigh Group give more than £40,000 to the Huntington’s Disease Association, its corporate charity partner in England and Wales for 2022.

A cheque for £11,000 was presented to HDA, which marked its 50th anniversary in 2022, to round off a year of fundraising by Westerleigh Group, the UK’s largest owner and operator of crematoria and cemeteries.

It has 37 sites in England, Scotland, and Wales, all set within beautifully landscaped gardens of remembrance which provide pleasant, peaceful places for people to visit and reflect. In Scotland, the Group named Scottish Huntington’s Association as its charity partner for 2022 and raised £20,000 for them.

Westerleigh Group donates money to a wide range of charities all over the country every year. The funds are usually raised through the group’s metal recycling scheme. With the consent of families, metals recovered during cremation are recycled and any funds raised are donated to charity.

Each crematorium chooses local organisations, charities or causes to benefit from the money raised by the recycling, which means each Westerleigh site gets to make a positive impact and provide valuable support directly to the communities they serve. But for 2022, it was decided to have corporate charity partners, too. The Huntington’s Disease Association and Scottish Huntington’s Association both support people affected by the genetic neurodegenerative brain condition. 

Earlier in 2022, Roger Mclaughlan stepped down as Westerleigh Group’s Chief Executive Officer, after learning he had inherited the faulty gene that leads to Huntington’s Disease.

His successor, Debbie Smith, said:

“Choosing the Huntington’s Disease Association and Scottish Huntington’s Association as our corporate charity partners for the whole year seemed to be a fitting way for Westerleigh Group to honour, thank and pay tribute to Roger for his leadership.”

It was Roger himself who collected the final £11,000 cheque on behalf of HDA from Westerleigh Group at West Suffolk Cemetery & Crematorium. He said: “QUOTES FROM ROGER HERE”.

There were many ways that Westerleigh Group raised money for the Huntington’s Disease Association during the year.
On 11 September, Commercial Director - and Managing Director of Distinct Cremations - Steve Wallis took part in the Great North Run.

West Suffolk Crematorium raised more than £1,000 through organising and hosting a quiz night, while West Berkshire Crematorium’s Site Manager, Steph Langford, and Crematorium Assistant Emmaura Leahy leapt from a plane at 13,500 in tandem with two professional skydivers. Meanwhile Test Valley Crematorium Site Manager Rob Metcalf is preparing to run the London
Marathon this April for HDA; he had planned to do this last year but was unfortunately unable to due to injury.

Cath Stanley, Chief Executive of the Huntington's Disease Association said, 

"Every penny raised makes such a difference to the lives of people impacted by Huntington's disease. To have raised this much money in one year is an incredible achievement for everyone involved. It will have a tremendously positive effect on the many people that we as a charity support. Thank you to the Westerleigh Group and everyone who has donated."