Coffin Club has run in Hastings for the past three years. It 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 have now joined forces with Holly Lyon-Hawk, a holistic funeral director to create the Coffin Club Hub. 

The two Kates see a journey from end-of-life care, through to funeral support and then grief recovery support and to that end have now teamed up with Holly, end-of-life doula* and care-of-the-body specialist, to turn this dream into a practical reality.

Left to right, Kate T, Holly and Kate D

Holly and the two Kates are all multi-award winners within the funeral industry and between them have over twelve years of experience in this field. “Our vision is for a vibrant community hub, a one-stop shop for everything to do with death and grief recovery. We are in the process of securing a venue and have big plans for how that will be used,” says Holly Lyon-Hawk.  

“We see end-of-life support through doula services, holistic therapies and counselling,” Kate D adds. “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.” 

“It’s about looking back in order to look forward,” Kate T explains. “Caring for our dead and supporting our bereaved used to be done by the community for the community and we plan to pioneer a nurturing and wellbeing-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, the Coffin Club Hub 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 wellbeing for the whole community during what is often the most difficult and vulnerable time in a person’s life. “We would even like there to be some subsidised and fully-funded support to be available for those on low or no income,” Kate T adds.  “You can hold a funeral anywhere you like. In using our ceremony space you’ll be free to take your time over saying goodbye and can stay and have your ‘do’ there, too – so the day has a gentle flow to it, rather than the current stop/start nature of going from one place for the service to somewhere else for the bun fight.” 

“We have our mortuary equipment and vehicle at the ready,” says Holly, “and a fantastic venue lined up; we’ve been working really hard to launch our crowdfunding appeal, which we hope will raise enough money to convert our premises into a state-of-the art venue,  complete with treatment rooms, a room for families to care for their dead and an on-site ceremony room.’ 

“It’s a funeral revolution,” Kate T says, “and where better to start a revolution than Hastings?!”

If you would like to support this amazing local initiative go to crowdfunder.co.uk/coffin-club-hub-hastings or contact Kate, Kate and Holly at [email protected]

*a person who assists in the dying process much as a midwife assists in birthing.


We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.