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Quaker Social Action

Founded by Quakers in 1867 as a response to the appalling poverty in east London, Quaker Social Action (QSA) is now an award-winning charity working with individuals and families on the lowest incomes.

Down to Earth is the latest in a line of innovative projects, responding to local need.

It enables the poorest people to have a dignified funeral, thus taking the worry and distress from grieving family members and those who anticipate the financial problems a bereavement is likely to cause.  

Jane, a QSA service user highlights the issues: “When my mum was dying she asked me to arrange the funeral and I didn’t know what to do. She had her own over 50s plan, but then there was £2,000 that we had to put on top.

“It was horrible - it just pulled people apart rather than bringing us together, because there is that expense. If you’re on a low income it’s hard. And if you’re not working it’s even harder.”

At Down to Earth we believe access to a dignified funeral, without getting into crippling debt, is a basic human right. However, funeral prices are rising and now cost an average of £3,424 in London, up nearly 50 per cent over the last six years. For the 40 per cent of east London residents living below the poverty line, facing this expense can be the first step towards a downward spiral of financial and mental ill-health.

Down to Earth steps in during this crisis period in recently bereaved people’s lives, to offer practical and emotional support. Our team of trained volunteer mentors give unbiased, one-to-one guidance with all aspects of arranging a funeral.

By providing a stable presence, we can support people to save significant sums, simply through considering their options and asking the right questions of funeral directors.

We also work with vulnerable older people in financial hardship, supporting them to reduce anxiety by planning financially and emotionally for their own deaths. Our work doesn’t just benefit London either; we’re working in partnership to campaign for greater awareness of the pressing issue of funeral debt nationwide.

By giving to QSA you’ll be supporting people in poverty to leave a meaningful legacy for their own loved ones.

Please contact Sarah or Rosie on 020 8983 5037 or email info@qsa.org.uk to have a chat about giving to us now, or leaving us a bequest in the future.

You can also donate online at our website.

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  • Would you consider planning your funeral?
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  • Current Results
    • 69%Yes
    • 31%No (expect my close family to take responsibility)