The Fair Funerals campaign is the first dedicated campaign in our charity’s long history.
We’ve always seen ourselves as a hands-on and practical service delivery organisation, supporting people impacted by poverty. So what changed?
Our funeral poverty expertise
In 2010 we found ourselves in an unusual position. We were setting up Down to Earth, a new project to support people on low incomes to access an affordable and meaningful funeral. It remains unique, giving us frontline insight into the reality of funeral poverty.
As a result, media and policy makers began to ask us to comment on the situation faced by people on low incomes when arranging funerals. Crucially, we realised that as well as developing an understanding of the problem, we were developing a clear understanding of the solution.
A new direction for QSA
Setting up a campaign was a risk for us. We had no track record in campaigning and we knew that advocating for change requires both tactics and tenacity. After a few years of pushing this issue from within Down to Earth, we decided to move ahead with a campaign. Fair Funerals launched in January 2014.
Having limited resources we recognised early that in order to reach out on a national stage we needed to build alliances and promote common cause with key partners. This made practical sense, as well as aligning with our values. We wanted to run a campaign that was positive and collaborative.
Focusing our campaign
Our strategy is focused around three core strands of influence. Two of these strands aim to influence sectors with the power to change the system: government and the funeral industry. The third strand addresses the public at large. Despite our modest resources our ambition has been to amplify our core messages and spread the word to the general public. We want people to know that there are practical actions they can take as both consumers, and as supporters, to make funeral poverty history.
It’s still work in progress – but work which, even back in 2015, was making waves, as the Guardian pointed out in naming us their charity campaign of the month.