Southampton Crematorium donates £10,000 to Paediatric Intensive Care Unit charity

Southampton Crematorium, which is run by Southampton City Council, donated £10,000 to Friends of PICU

Paedetric charity donation

Southampton Crematorium has raised this money from their Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) recycling of metals scheme. This brings the total that Southampton Crematorium has donated to charities to £58,000 since its introduction.

The presentation of the cheque took place on Thursday 1st April 2021 at Southampton Crematorium.

Friends of PICU was nominated by members of the crematorium’s Bereavement Team, following the death in 2020 of 11-year-old Harlee Steele, grandson of Service Manager Heather White. Harlee’s family had chosen Friends of PICU in his memory.

Founded in November 2006 by parents and nursing staff of the PICU, Friends of PICU has grown due to the generous donations from all their supporters, and the recognised great care given by the PICU team.

Harlee Steele

Kerry Houghton, Operations Manager, Friends of PICU wrote a letter of thanks to Bereavement Services said: “I am writing on behalf of everyone at Friends of PICU and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, to thank you so much for your kind donation of £10,000 from the ICCM Recycling of Metals Scheme following a nomination by members of the Bereavement Services Team at Southampton Cemeteries and Crematorium to receive this donation in memory of Harlee David Steele. This money is an absolutely incredible donation to receive and really will make such a difference.

“With your donation we will continue to assist the PICU and the NHS in providing the best of care for critically ill children, their parents and families, who will require the specialist services of the PICU. Friends of PICU are very proud to have funded the expansion of PICU to 16 beds, from the previous 14, 4 dedicated PICU ambulances and various items of equipment, staff training, and craft materials to desensitise the medical environment, over the past 15 years. We are now working towards our next major project, which is the renovation of the on-site parent accommodation alongside further key medical equipment.

“It is through such kindness given by yourselves and other supporters that we make a real difference. I send from myself, our Trustees, Patrons and all who support Friends of PICU our thanks.”

Dr Iain Macintosh, Clinical PICU Consultant and Chairman of Friends of PICU added:

“The Unit really appreciates the incredible support received from the charity as it makes an enormous difference across the whole of the unit and the excellent level of care which can be provided to the children and their families. Friends of PICU contribute to every part of the specialist care with no patient passing through PICU without being assisted by nursing training and education, the variety of equipment donated, and the caring and considerate environment they have helped to create – Thank You.”

Harlee’s mum Fern Steele on behalf of herself and her husband Ryan said:

“In June 2020 our world was suddenly turned upside down, when we had to say goodbye to our smiley, caring, beautiful son Harlee who was just 11 years old. It was such a devastating time and me and my family would like to thank the staff in PICU for how supportive and caring they were to us all. Even though the staff knew that there was nothing more they could do to help Harlee, each one of them came into the room and spoke to Harlee, telling him who they were, what they were doing with the machines and when moving him they showed such compassion. The lovely idea of providing hand printing and making sure they got all the colours that Harlee’s brother and sister wanted was so thoughtful. We really can’t thank you all enough for the way you looked after Harlee.”

Mary D’Arcy, Executive Director for Communities, Culture and Home at Southampton City Council said :

“We’re absolutely delighted that our crematorium is able to offer this donation to the Friends of PICU. We hope this money goes some way to help fund the vital work the charity is doing in supporting children and their families on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit Southampton Children’s Hospital at the University Hospital Southampton.”

In the presentation photo from left to right are: Dr Iain Macintosh, Clinical PICU Consultant and Chairman of Friends of PICU; Kerry Houghton, Operations Manager, Friends of PICU; Claire Hodges, Team Leader, Bereavement Services; Heather White, Service Manager at Southampton Crematorium/ICCM President (Harlee’s grandmother) and Harlee’s parents Ryan and Fern Steele and his siblings, Louie and Elsie-Mae Steele.

For more information about Friends of PICU please visit: Friends of PICU