Students at the College commended for successful first exhumation project

Around 100 people attended a presentation evening at Bournemouth & Poole College to celebrate the completion of the Applied Science student project, which saw them undertake the exhumation of graves in the grounds adjacent to the former United Reformed Church in Pokesdown.

The project was completed in conjunction with the independent and family-owned, Chester Pearce Funeral Service. In 2018 the funeral service was given the task of exhuming the graves within the churchyard to ensure a dignified and respectful removal of the remains, following the purchase of the site by a local builder.

At the event, attendees were given the opportunity to see some of the artefacts that were found during the exhumation, including a number of ornate coffin plates.

Karen Hanmer, Placement Officer for Applied Science, Care and Foundation Learning at the College, said: “My students and I feel very honoured to be part of this project and thank Chester Pearce for this rare opportunity. It has provided us all with invaluable experience that will remain with us throughout the rest of our careers.

“The commitment from the students has been extraordinary and overwhelming. Their behaviour, professionalism and maturity in respect of this sensitive project has surpassed all expectations for such young adults. I am really proud of their hard work and dedication to this project.”

Stephen Nimmo, Managing Director of Chester Pearce Funeral Service, added: “Without the incredible work of these students, and Karen’s remarkable leadership both on and off site, we could never have completed this project. The care everyone showed to the remains that were found, the respect and dignity with which they were handled, all led to a successful outcome. They are all a credit to the College.”