Thousands of bereaved families across the UK are struggling to afford the costs of a funeral for their loved ones.
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Amanda Johnson’s 21-year-old son Rahim died unexpectedly in February of this year. Amanda was in debt. She had no savings. So when funeral directors started quoting £9,000, she didn’t know where to turn.
Amanda had to consider a Public Health Funeral, meaning Rahim would be buried in a shared grave, potentially without a ceremony. She felt lost and alone. “It’s all too much,” she told The Guardian.
With the help of those around her, including support from Quaker Social Action’s Down to Earth service and a sympathetic funeral director, she was offered a single, unmarked community grave, for £4,000. But, with only four days to find half of the money, Amanda was pushed towards payday loan companies with incredibly high interest rates.
Since 2004, average funeral prices have risen 122%; the average cost now sits at a staggering £4,271 (SunLife, 2018). According to SunLife’s research, 1 in 8 families face notable financial problems when trying to find the money for a funeral.
“You feel sick, you feel hurt, and you feel broken down. You feel like everyone out there is against you.”