Our Down to Earth project: practical support for people on low incomes struggling with funeral costs

Our Fair Funerals campaign

Funeral poverty, like food and fuel poverty has become almost unavoidable for those on the lowest incomes in our society today.

Our work with those struggling to pay for a funeral evolved out of the people we met through running our other services. One man had lost his home as a direct result of the debts he had incurred  in paying for the funeral of a family member.

As we looked into the issues surrounding funeral costs we came across what could be described as the perfect coming together of conditions likely to make it nearly impossible for those on a low income to avoid funeral poverty.

The cost of funerals rose by 80% in 2004-15.

The average shortfall between social fund funeral payments and the price of funeral is £1,372.

47% of social fund applications are rejected

By simply helping people take a breath, slow down, giving them somewhere to think things through without pressure, and encouraging them to shop around, Down to Earth saves clients an average of £1,400 on the price of a funeral. For many this can be enough to avoid a decline into debt after the death of a loved one.

Read more about the issues causing funeral poverty here

Our Down to Earth project

Our Fair Funerals campaign