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Down to Earth works with people to arrange a meaningful and affordable funeral. Funeral costs have risen by over 70% in the past eight years and many people struggle to pay for a funeral. Down to Earth works with people through the difficult days as they arrange a funeral and manage their grief. We try to work with a soft touch, to be as invisible as possible by placing the people we're accompanying at the centre of our assistance. 

Down to Earth won QSA a Guardian charity of the year award in 2012/13

In 2012/13 Down to Earth supported 182 people. National funeral debt was estimated during the year to stand at 117m and by September 2013 had surpassed 130m. 

With our help, the average cost of a funeral for each person we supported was just 1,996, less than half the London average of 3,803. In 2012/13 we supported 113 people to make Social Fund applications, as well as asking support from benevolent funds. 

We were able to raise 35,117 from the Social Fund and 17,549 from other sources to assist towards the cost of funerals. 

Down to Earth won a Guardian charity of the year award for Quaker Social Action in 2012/13. Caroline Diehl, judge of the awards and chief executive of The Media Trust, said: "This is a wonderful charity which provides an important service that is really needed. Funerals are often a subject which people don't like to talk about and through use of clever branding and offering emotional and practical support, Quaker Social Action has had a great impact in their local community."

Kwame's mother was Jamaican and he grew up in Clapton in Hackney. His mother died in St. Joseph's Hospice. Read his story here.

Patrick is an Irish resident living in sheltered accommodation in Tower Hamlets. He came to Down to Earth when his brother died. Read his story here.

We began Down to Earth when one client couldn't afford his rent and so lost his home and his job. He was trying to do the 'honourable thing' and pay for his father's funeral on his own. The pain and disorientation of grief is multiplied by poverty and the crushing reality of the practical things that must be taken care of. If you have family, friends and people to turn to for support, then they can help share the burden and the pain. But left to cope alone, the consequences are much less manageable.

We manage people's expectations of a funeral so their choices don't mean piling on unmanageable costs to give the deceased a good send off. In the first two years Down to Earth negotiated an average funeral price of 2,167, saving over 1,000 per funeral and saved over 100,000 for our clients in funeral costs.

Down to Earth is changing the cost of funeral in east London:

Funeral costs


 
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