Dignity Pet Crematorium has announced it has raised £2,000 from its annual charity Christmas Tree, its biggest total ever, with funds split equally between the Samaritans and nine other charities.
Every year, the Hampshire-based crematorium displays a Christmas tree in its foyer and invites clients to make a small donation and hang a bauble in memory of their pets.
With Covid restrictions in place this year, however, the business created a memorial tree that was instead displayed outside. The monkey puzzle tree, which sits at the front of its grounds, was lit up with Christmas lights and gradually filled with personalised baubles throughout December.
In total, 486 charity baubles were sold in the run up to Christmas, raising a total of £1,355. Dignity added £192.50 from donations made to its charity well, and Kevin Spurgeon, who runs the crematorium, rounded the figure up to make a grand total of £2,000.
Dignity also ran a poll for its followers on social media to decide how the money should be split between charities.
As well as the Samaritans, the charities include; Pet Blood Bank UK, Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary, Hounds for Heroes, Garbo’s German Shepherd Dog Rescue, Dog Lost, Farnham, Camberley & Districts Cats Protection, Medical Detection Dogs, Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs and Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service.
Spurgeon said: “We regularly raise money for animal charities through the wishing well here in the Dignity grounds, but the Christmas tree allows our clients to pay tribute to pets that they have lost. We have an extremely generous group of followers who not only want to support our chosen charities, but also wish to remember their beloved pets.”
The group currently supports 36 different animal charities through its wishing well.
Spurgeon was given an honorary fellowship by the University of Winchester in 2014 for his “commitment to running Dignity with ethics and compassion”.