Ashes turn up at homeless charity
A box of ashes found in a batch of furniture donated to a charity, may have been given away by mistake, its concerned manager has said.
Staff at Emmaus, a homelessness charity, were stunned to discover the wooden box full of remains at a branch in Gloucester.
The box bears a plaque inscribed with the words "In Loving Memory, Imogen" but there are no other clues as to where it came from.
The charity relies on reselling donated furniture and related items and sometimes gets odd items such coffins.
Among the recent van-load of goods was the small wooden box, found in a fishing net. There is no record of who handed it over.
Lorries collect items house to house throughout Gloucestershire, so the box could belong to anyone in the county.
Neil Booker, business development manager at Emmaus Gloucestershire, is concerned that the ashes have been given away by mistake and that someone is missing a loved-one or pet.
Mr Booker said: "It is like Gloucestershire's very own Rosebud, from Citizen Kane. We often receive items that we believe to be odd but are always grateful for any contribution, however this particular donation has us all baffled. The remains of Imogen are being safely kept in the office of our store and are not available to be bought."
He added: "I am concerned that somebody has been cleaning out their home and generously given to our charity, but mistakenly added the ashes of Imogen, whoever or whatever she may be. We are launching a campaign in hope that the owner of Imogen's ashes comes forward. If it was an accidental donation we would love to return them to their rightful owner."
There are currently 19 Emmaus Communities open around the UK, which enable people to move on from homelessness by providing work and accommodation, as well as food, clothing and a small weekly allowance.