Cleckheaton funeral director’s fundraising idea for Royal British Legion takes off

Cleckheaton undertaker Shawn Peel, right, is presented with the one-off special award by Golden Charter's Malcolm Flanders. Shawn's idea has resulted in a nationally-available poppy badged funeral plan available through the company which benefits, and has involved, the Royal British Legion
Cleckheaton undertaker Shawn Peel, right, is presented with the one-off special award by Golden Charter's Malcolm Flanders. Shawn's idea has resulted in a nationally-available poppy badged funeral plan available through the company which benefits, and has involved, the Royal British Legion

A badged funeral plan which is the brainchild of a local funeral director looks set to raise up to over £250,000 for the Royal British Legion nationally in just its first second year.

Shawn Peel, of David Butterfield Funeral Directors, Bradford Road, Cleckheaton, worked closely with national funeral plan company Golden Charter and the Royal British Legion to establish the plans, initially for a two-year period, and is delighted it is paying dividends.

In the long term, if extended, it could potentially raise millions of pounds for the charity which helps servicemen and women and ex-servicemen and women and their families, all year round.

The scheme, which works by customers indicating they would like their policy to be “badged” with the famous RBL poppy, sees Golden Charter make a £25 donation to the legion for each badged plan. a £25 donation made to the Legion and Poppyscotland from participating funeral directors and also by Golden Charter for plans sold via the company’s website.

Having started last September, the initial target of £100,000 was smashed as far back as April when it had already realised £137,000.

Cleckheaton RBL branch member Shawn, who before joining his father-in-law’s firm was a Royal Air Force Senior Aircraftman working as an air reconnaissence and intelligence photographer, approached Golden Charter’s director of funeral director sales, Malcolm Flanders, with his idea. Funeral directors do a lot of charity work and as a former serviceman the idea seemed fitting, said Shawn. A fully supportive Malcolm liked it and both men are pleased at the scheme’s staggering success.

Shawn was honoured when Malcolm came to Cleckheaton to present him with the one-off special recognition award. A year in development, the plan was first made available in September 2016. “I am obviously thrilled with its success with the scheme able to promote the legion’s work all year round. I am incredibly proud by this award, it is nice to be recognised. Moving forward, it is going, over the years, to produce millions of pounds,” he said.

A spokesman for the Royal British Legion said: “Through this partnership with Golden Charter we hope to continue to keep alive the memory of the fallen in our Armed Forces community and support the future of the living.”