Crematorium recycling funds 200 heart tests in Newcastle

Recycled metal retrieved from cremations is funding potentially life-saving health checks for young people.

With the consent of bereaved families, orthopaedic implants such as knee or hip replacement joints are reclaimed after services at Bradwell Crematorium and sold to a specialist recycling company.

Now Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has donated £14,000 to the Nathan Butler Memorial Fund, named after a talented young sportsman from Porthill, Newcastle, who died in 2006 at the age of 16 from an undetected heart condition.

David Hutchison, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Environment at Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said:

“The story of Nathan Butler’s untimely death and how his parents Angela and Phil reacted to launch the memorial fund to help other young men is both tragic and inspirational.

Each single scan has the potential to save a life and I am delighted that the money raised through the generosity of the bereaved families using Bradwell Crematorium will be used this way to support local families.”

The donation will fund around 200 heart tests in the Newcastle area for men and women aged 14 to 35, who may be at risk of hereditary heart disease, and will be organised by the Cardiac Risk for the Young (CRY) charity, which the Nathan Butler Memorial Fund supports.
In recent years, with consent, orthopaedic implants have been recovered from Bradwell crematorium and sent to a specialist company that recycles the higher-grade cobalt steel for companies manufacturing new implants, while lower grade metal is recycled elsewhere.
Nathan Butler was found at home shortly before his 17th birthday having died from a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
A keen sportsman who was a swimming lifeguard and football referee, the member of Porthill Park Cricket Club had played for the Staffordshire county squad at under-14, 15 and 16 level, including a tour with Staffordshire Colts to Barbados.