Each year, the Sheila Mckechnie Foundation celebrates the best campaigns and campaigners.
This may be those working locally or nationally, and from individuals and community groups to people working in large organisations. Their interest is in finding those who have made change happen – most effectively, creatively and courageously.
Quaker Social Action were delighted to find out last night that their Fair Funerals campaign was chosen as runner up in the Economic Justice category of the 2017 awards.
This award recognises a local group or person that has brought about lasting positive change relating to economic justice e.g. wage levels (such as the living wage), tackling exploitation and discrimination in the workplace, and improving workers’ rights and benefits.
Fair Funerals is the only funeral poverty campaign in the UK.
1 in 7 people having to pay for a funeral are likely to struggle with the costs.
Fair Funerals work with:
- The funeral industry to bring more transparency into their pricing
- Whitehall and Westminster to improve the state response to the issue
- The public to improve consumer awareness.
A collaborative effort
The Fair Funerals campaign has seen huge success. It has worked collaboratively with the funeral industry, with policymakers and with a wide coalition of civil society organisations
in starting the conversation about the whole issue of funeral poverty – and, critically, of moving beyond that conversation into practical action. This has already reaped untold benefits for people who are struggling to pay for a funeral and who can feel a terrible sense of stigma and shame at doing so.
From the outset, Heather has shaped this campaign and worked tirelessly and creatively to push on these issues. She has created alliances within the voluntary sector, throughout the funeral industry and across a wide political spectrum. She is articulate, positive and visionary. We are delighted that her contribution to economic and social justice has been honoured.
Judith Moran, director, Quaker Social Action
Funeral poverty on the public agenda
“It’s fantastic that the Fair Funerals campaign has been recognised at these prestigious awards, because it shows how much progress we’ve made forcing funeral poverty onto the public agenda.
When we began in 2014, the thousands of people struggling with the shame and distress of funeral poverty were completely ignored by government and the media. To all those people who thought funeral poverty was too “unsexy” campaign on, we’ve proved that by putting bereaved people at the heart of our work and relentlessly sticking to our practical demands, we’ve convinced government and the funeral industry that things need to change.”
Heather Kennedy, Fair Funerals Campaign Manager