Down to Earth Event at Friends House (18th Nov 2019)
This event was the launch of Speaking Truth to Power, a report on a decade of groundbreaking work on Funeral Poverty (and also of the Quaker Social Action (QSA) 2019 report). It was attended by approx 30 people.
The funeral business is unregulated, and the Competition and Markets Authority are especially concerned at the lack of clear pricing statements, and comprehensive information, making it hard for vulnerable people to compare what is offered. The cost of a simple funeral is now nearly £4,000; 12% of people faced with a funeral struggle to pay for it, and they take on an average debt of nearly £2000.
The Fair Funerals project has
- set up a price transparency pledge, now signed by 35% of the industry,
- influenced government,
- persuaded the DWP to increase the “other funeral expenses” element of its means tested grant form £700 to £1 000, which is still inadequate,
- provided a helpline accessed by over 4,000 people.
This was a splendid example of how Quaker values can influence industry, and an excellent use of the Q&B grant.
Lesley Bacon (Q&B Treasurer) 19th Nov 2019