Quaker Social Action

Down to Earth - action against UK funeral poverty

Down to Earth is the only UK-wide service providing practical support for people struggling with funeral costs. It provides free one-to-one help for bereaved people planning a loved one’s funeral. The service has helped over 4,000 clients. We also work strategically to help end UK funeral poverty.

Donations open 12:00 PM, 3 December 2019 to 12:00 PM, 10 December 2019

open_in_new https://quakersocialaction.org.uk/

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1069157)

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Championed by Helping Hands Fund

  • My parents died within six weeks of each other. I was slowly giving up and getting very depressed and upset that I couldn’t afford the costs. I was then put in touch with Claire at Down to Earth. She was very helpful. They kept in touch every step of the way. Now I can sleep at night and can grieve.

    — Karen – a Down to Earth client


The average cost of a “simple funeral” in the UK is £3,785, 12% of people faced with a funeral struggle to pay for it, and people in this group take on an average debt of £1,990 (Royal London, 2019). Many people are unable to plan for a loved one’s funeral well in advance: many people die unexpectedly, at a young age, and/or in traumatic circumstances. People often need to decide on a funeral without any prior experience of what it should cost. There can be a shock when the bill arrives.


The Down to Earth service helps bereaved people planning a funeral to understand their options, prioritise what’s most important to them, save money against initial quotations, and raise money from relevant state benefits and charitable/benevolent funds. Demand for the service is increasing, and many people contact us feeling overwhelmed by funeral costs. Down to Earth is also working hard to influence the industry and government to improve funeral price transparency and reduce average prices.