Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

Coffin Club is a safe space for people to come and plan, and cost, their perfect send-off and, if they want to, they can also make and decorate their coffin! Coffin Club aims to make people aware of all the choices available to them and enable them to make them ahead of time. Coffin Club is run as an educational course over six weeks. It’s for three hours on a Wednesday morning and consists of a one-hour talk from an invited speaker, followed by a tea break and then and hour and a half of coffin decorating. The speakers include the Manager of our local Crematorium and Cemetery, an independent funeral director, the spiritual lead from our local hospice, the manager of a natural burial ground and a lady who organised a diy funeral for her husband, even keeping his body at home, and the whole thing cost her under £1000. Coffin Club is free to attend. The idea behind Coffin Club is to get people talking and planning, around a difficult subject, to prevent them ending up, at a point of bereavement, being offered an inflexible package, which may include things that they don’t even want or need, and not being at a point, emotionally, where they are able to ask questions or think creatively. Funeral poverty is becoming a bigger and bigger problem in the UK with many families going into debt in order to cover the cost of a loved-one’s funeral. It doesn’t need to be like that. Coffin Club UK is a charity which has run for a year and a half and has made a huge difference within our community. Firstly, the direct impact on clubbers who have told us that the level of anxiety they felt around what lay ahead of them had been completely alleviated as they have been able to take complete control of their end of life preparations. They have reported learning so much that has positively impacted on them and they have been able to ‘normalise’ talking about death. This has had the effect that they then go and talk about it with their families and wider communities and the mythology and mystery around the subject is gradually eroded – which can only be a good thing. The money will make a huge difference to Coffin Club as it moves forward to be a national phenomenon and continues to run on a local level. It is currently run by a dedicated team of two and was, initially, self-funded. Costs include venue hire, promotion through talks and leafletting and taking stands at appropriate fayres. Coffin Club desperately needs a laptop and projector for use by our speakers and for use by us when we go and give talks to other organisations. Within the year and half Coffin Club has been running it has attracted a lot of positive press and we have been contacted by people from all over the UK who are keen to attend a Coffin Club or who even want to set up and run one of their own – proving there really is an interest and a need for this subject to be addressed. Ultimately, we’d love to have Coffin Club in every town and for talking about death to be a normal part of life. It could be argued that it is in the funeral industry's interest for people to not know how much they can do themselves – the tail has definitely been wagging the dog for a long time – it’s time for the dog to wag the tail! Our Coffin Clubbers are amazed by how much they didn’t know about their end of life celebration choices, because no one ever talks about it. Although, the coffin decorating aspect is optional, it is another amazing part of Coffin Club as so many conversations carry on whilst our Clubbers get on with their decorating. The relationships forged over coffin painting are really touching, and the degree our clubbers feel able to share their thoughts and feelings is amazing. So, vote for us, and get on board the funeral revolution!

Project Video

Coffin Club

Moment of Pride

We know Coffin Club makes a real difference to people’s lives. It takes something that is overwhelming, mysterious and a bit frightening and turns it into something joyful and empowering. Our Clubbers say that, through the Club, all anxiety about the celebration at the end of their lives is removed.

Location: Hastings