EASTBOURNE Borough Council has nominated the region’s air ambulance to receive £10,000 raised through a metal recycling scheme.

Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex is a 24-hour emergency service that last year alone was called out to help more than 2,500 people in life-threatening conditions.

It is an independent charity that costs £14 million a year to operate including maintenance of its helicopters, rapid-response cars, medical equipment and staff costs.

Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, Cabinet member for Direct Assistance Services, said: “The air ambulance is a fantastic service that has saved thousands of lives over the years but running costs are expensive, so I am pleased we can contribute towards the first-class care it offers.”

Eastbourne Crematorium is a member of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) national metals recycling scheme.

Following a cremation, the cremated remains may contain metals from orthopaedic implants such as hip or knee replacement joints as well as items from the construction of the coffin.

When a bereaved family gives consent, these metals are recycled by the ICCM with proceeds shared between its members to donate to a charity of their choice.

Lynne Harris, Executive Director of Income Generation, Marketing and Communications at KSS, said: “We’re incredibly thankful to everyone at Eastbourne Crematorium for their very generous donation of £10,000 through the ICCM recycling scheme. This money will ensure we can continue delivering our life-saving service, which costs £14 million a year to sustain. Amazingly, 88% of that is raised through public donations and fundraising such as this and we wanted to say a huge thank you to all of the wonderful people who’ve supported us, especially during these difficult times.”