When Miriam Margolyes came to Hastings to make a film with Coffin Club’s Kate Tym and Kate Dyer she only planned to visit once but she enjoyed the experience so much she’s been back not just once, but twice and has even become the charity’s Patron
“Miriam and her film crew came along to our third course,” says Kate T, “she was only meant to come once, but she loved it so much she came back another twice and we helped her decorate her coffin!”
“It’s a very simple one,” says Kate D, “it’s white with a blue star of David, really lovely.
“We’ve also helped her plan her perfect send-off and that was a real privilege.”
The first of two episodes of Miriam’s documentary Dead Good Adventure went out on BBC 2 on Sunday night and the concluding part will be shown next Sunday at 9pm and features a bit more about the Coffin Clubbers of Hastings.
“We’re super excited to see the documentary,” says Kate T, “we’ve booked a back room in a pub with a big screen and we’re inviting all our past clubbers along, all our speakers and all the people who’ve helped us along the way.”
Kate D is proud of what they have achieved: “We’ve worked really really hard to get Hastings Coffin Club off the ground and now we just can’t believe the amount of interest we’ve garnered.
“We now run an umbrella organisation – Coffin Club UK – and have other Coffin Clubs setting up around the country which is really, really exciting.”
“We’d love there to be a Coffin Club in every town in the UK. In a way we want it to reach the point where Coffin Club no longer needs to exist because talking about death will have become normalised and people will be aware of all the choices available to them when they die. We want to lift the veil on the funeral industry and give the power back to the people!”
Coffin Club was set up in Hastings by the two Kates in September 2017. It’s a charity focussing on education around funeral options
“We had loads of help from Hastings Volunteer Action to get us up and running. We started out with four clubbers on our first course, then we had five, then seven and then, on our last course we had over 20 and we’ve got a list of people already signed up for June and September,” says Kate T.
“We want to prevent people being channelled into only having one type of funeral, finding themselves, at a time of bereavement, being offered package A, B or C and being too emotionally exhausted to think creatively or ask questions. Coffin Club is about making all these decisions ahead of time so that you get what you want and your family knows what you want, too,” Kate Dyer says.
If you’d like to take part in Coffin Club please get in touch with Kate and Kate at www.coffinclub.co.uk or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Kate Tym 07985295373 or Kate Dyer 07790128592