As part of our Charity of the Year series, every month we highlight the great and noble work of Ireland’s many charitable organisations that help parents and families from all walks of life. This month we’d like to introduce you to The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust or KBRT, a charity founded in 2013 and based in Newry, County Down.
What is the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust?
KBRT is a family-run organisation and was founded with the aim of alleviating the financial hardship of bereaved families repatriating the body (or bodies) of loved ones who have lost their lives abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances back to Ireland.
The trust is named for Kevin Bell, son to founders Colin and Eithne, who tragically lost his life in a hit and run accident while abroad in New York in the summer of 2013.
When the news reached his parents, Colin and Eithne faced the uncertainty of how they would get their son’s body home for burial. Fortunately, the family’s local community in Newry rose to offer support, and donations of over £150,000 were raised to help bring Kevin home. Overcome with gratitude and a desire to help others in similarly tragic circumstances, Colin and Eithne decided to use the excess funds to set up a charity to support other families with the high costs of repatriating a loved one’s remains from abroad.
Who Can Apply for Help from The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust?
The Trust operates on a 32 counties basis for all sides of the Irish community, regardless of creed, colour or circumstances of death. The help KBRT provides is invaluable to many families, as the costs to repatriate a loved one’s body can run up to €14,000 depending in the circumstance of the death, local charges and hospital release costs.
Since it was set up, the Trust has repatriated over 1,110 loved ones to their families in Ireland from countries worldwide such as Australia, Argentina, South Korea, USA, Canada, Ecuador, Cambodia, India, Uganda to name just a few. KBRT helps to repatriate approximately 15-20 loved ones back to Ireland per month.
How You Can Help KBRT Raise Funds
You can help to raise funds for KBRT either by setting up your own fundraising event to generate donations, or you can donate directly to the trust itself on their website. They have several methods to make donations, which can be made in pounds or euros. For more information, see KBRT’s donation page.
Get Help From KBRT
Could your family or another family you know benefit from help from KBRT? Find out more, or contact the trust directly for assistance.