The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust
983. Colin Bell
Colin Bell, from Newry, Northern Ireland, is the founder of ‘The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust’, a charity supporting bereaved families to bring home the bodies of their loved ones from abroad.
When Colin’s son Kevin tragically died in the USA five years ago there was an outpouring of local support and donations. Over £100,000 was raised to help bring Kevin home and so Colin decided to use the excess funds to set up a charity to support less fortunate families. Colin assists people in both Northern Ireland and Ireland and, since 2013, he and his small team have brought home almost 500 individuals who have died overseas.
In a personal letter to Colin, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By establishing ‘The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust’ you have turned a personal tragedy into a force for good, assisting hundreds of families going through the traumatic experience of bringing the body of a loved one home. You should feel incredibly proud of the work you are doing in Kevin’s memory to support grieving families across Northern Ireland and Ireland.”
Mickey Brady, MP for Newry and Armagh, said:
“It is truly inspirational to see the commitment of my constituents Colin and Eithne Bell in the essential work that they carry out through ‘The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust’. Since 2013 they have assisted in the repatriation of over 500 people from across the world. ‘The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust’ charity are there to help families at a time of great distress and when help is most crucially needed. I commend them and the Trust Volunteers for this great work and for the practical and emotional support they provide for families at the time of greatest need. They are shining examples to us all.”
“I am very surprised, pleased and grateful to the Prime Minister for recognising the work of ‘The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust’ in this way. I am delighted also with the awareness which will be raised for the Trust through this award and hope that it will encourage those people in England, Scotland and Wales who are in the process of setting up similar trusts based on ‘The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust’ model.”