Baby ashes charity in crisis after OSCR launches second probe


Charity founder can't be reached as regulator investigates 

5th July 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A charity created in the wake of the 2012 baby ashes scandal appears to have ceased operating after Scotland’s charity regulator opened a second investigation into its running.

Forget-Me-Not Care and Counselling, set up and run by Linsay Bonar (pictured), has deleted its website and Facebook page and is months late in submitting its annual report to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

The organisation was established in the wake of the scandal to offer support to victims of a practice in which baby remains were secretly disposed of without parents’ knowledge.

From 2015-2016 the charity received £55,000 Scottish Government funding. 

Several families had been critical of the charity saying support wasn’t available when needed and offers to help families were unfulfilled.

A previous investigation by OSCR found issues with the way funding was used, potential conflicts of interest and problems with data protection. 

An OSCR spokeswoman said: “We did open an inquiry into this charity. We continue to monitor it and cannot comment further at this stage.”

The scandal first emerged at the Mortonhall crematorium in Edinburgh in December 2012, before problems also emerged in Aberdeen and Glasgow. The law was changed after it was found that hundreds of parents were told that they may never know what happened to their babies’ remains after cremation.

More than 250 families are thought to have been affected by the issue at Mortonhall, with parents wrongly told there were no ashes left when babies were cremated. An inquiry found staff believed that it would have been “too distressing” to tell parents about the existence of ashes, and instead buried them in secret for decades.

A Scottish government official said: “Over three financial years up to 2015-16, Forget-Me-Not Care and Counselling received Scottish government funding totalling £55,000 to support parents and families affected by issues about previous infant cremation practice in Scotland. No funding has been provided by the Scottish government since May 2015.

“All of this funding was considered, allocated and assessed in accordance with our standard procedures.”