Who's behind Coffin Club?
Coffin Club was the brainchild of Kate Tym and Kate Dyer, two funeral celebrants who are passionate about changing the face of funerals in the UK. They are obsessed with educating everyone about the choices they have around their end of life celebration and about empowering families to have exactly the send-off they want. They see a continuum from end-of-life care, through to the funeral services and then grief-recovery support. They have now joined forces with Holly Lyon-Hawk a holistic funeral director, end-of-life doula and care-of-the-body specialist to turn this dream into a practical reality.
What is the Coffin Club Hub?
The Coffin Club Hub will be a vibrant community hub, a one-stop shop for everything to do with death and grief recovery. We are looking to secure a venue and have big plans for how that will be used. We envision end-of-life support through doula services (https://eol-doula.uk/what-is-an-end-of-life-doula/ ) and the option of holistic therapies such as massage and reiki and also counselling for those with terminal illnesses. Following on from this will be funeral support with a twist - the intention is to allow families to fully engage with the process and take ownership of their end-of-life celebration. We will offer an entirely bespoke service where you can have as little or as much help as you would like. You can be facilitated to help care for your dead and really take ownership of the process - something that can be very beneficial. You can even host your send-off in our on-site ceremony room. We plan to pioneer a nurturing and well-being focused approach to end-of-life and funeral services that acknowledges that this is a journey which can last a whole lifetime. With that in mind, we will also be providing grief recovery services - through a variety of workshops and counselling options along with the famous Coffin Club Coffee Mornings which encourage peer-to-peer support and aim to eliminate the social isolation people often feel after a bereavement.
The Coffin Club Hub aims to have a focus on improving mental health and well-being for our whole community during what is often the most difficult and vulnerable time in a person's life. The Hub will provide tailored experiences to all sections of our community. Some subsidised and fully-funded support will be available for those on low or no income.
Your donations will help us create the confidential, safe environment our clients (and practitioners) need.
Why is The Coffin Club Hub needed in Hastings?
Hastings is exceptionally well served for traditional funeral directors. However, we see funerals as only part of the journey and feel it's important to take a more holistic approach. The Coffin Club Hub is about the bigger picture.
The funeral industry has been under scrutiny in recent years - poor practice and overcharging have been two of the charges levelled against them - our aim is for transparency in our pricing and practise. We have been at the cutting edge of changing the face of funerals in the UK for the past four years through our Coffin Club courses and funeral work and now are in the position to bolster this with a full range of practical support, too. In a study by Co-op funeral care in 2019, 77% of co-ops funeral directors have noticed that requests for funerals to take place in other less formal settings has increased in the last five years. In this same report it has been noted that mourners are saying goodbye to the traditional funerals and turning towards more personalised ways of celebrating the lives of their loved ones. The Coffin Club Hub is a clear reflection of this trend - the move away from conventional funerals to more personalised and bespoke services. We know what a wonderfully creative and diverse community Hastings has and feel that this is an area that we can really fill. Even when it comes to pall bearing - requests for traditional pall-bearers to carry coffins has dropped from 91% in 2014 to just 20% in 2019. We even supply coffins with weight-bearing handles (which most are not) so that families can more easily carry their dead. Only 1 in 10 people say they would want a traditional religious funeral and a further 44% see funerals becoming more informal in the future.
Our own experience shows that the more involved families are in the funeral the better the outcome and even getting people talking about death means a healthier outcome for them and their families in the final instance. Currently, there is not a holistic approach to end-of-life care and funerals. Bringing end-of-life doulas and death-education into the pre-funeral journey means a complete support strategy. We are disrupting the conventional paradigm for the better.
Kate D is Hastings born and bred, Kate T has lived in Hastings for over 20 years and Holly comes from the Tenterden area ... but intends to move to Hastings as she loves it so much!! So, not only are we going to be serving our community, but we're part of that community, too! We will be happy to support families right across this corner of the South East and believe Coffin Club Hub, Hastings will become a template for similar ventures across the country as Coffin Club has already built a national presence putting Hastings firmly on the map when it comes to best practice in funeral care.
Where will my money go?
Until now, Coffin Club, Hastings has been run as a charity but our aim is to become a B Corp. A Certified B Corp is a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. We will be legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on our workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. We will be part of a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good. So, essentially, this is a start-up campaign where we intend to set-up an ethically-led business which, we feel, is the best way in which to serve our clubbers, customers and our community.
We have already bought all our mortuary equipment - fridges, trays, stretchers, racking etc. We have bought a vehicle ready for our collections and deliveries. We have made contact with counsellors and therapeutic practitioners and built on connections we already have with local hospices and care providers. We have sourced a fantastic venue and are incredibly excited about turning our vision into a reality.
Money raised through this Crowdfunder campaign will go towards:
- Funding the set-up of our venue with rooms for: storage of bodies, care of the body, a 'snug' (a room where families can spend time with the person who has died), a ceremony room (this will double-up as a lecture room for educational talks), therapy rooms, counselling rooms.
- Building secure partitioning to separate the care-of-body space, snug and therapy spaces, allowing for complete privacy
- Creating a beautiful ceremony space where we can also hold educational talks
- A 'messy' room for art-based therapies, grief recovery workshops and coffin decorating
- A lick of paint throughout!
- Furnishing - through charitable sources ie Emmaus, Hastings Furniture Services, British Heart Foundation
- If we raise enough money some will go towards sorting out our outside spaces - including an outside ceremony space at the back of our building for summer funerals
- Any remaining funds will go towards our 'bursary' pot, which will enable us to sometimes provide subsidised/free support to those on low or no incomes.