Founded in 2018, Dying to Help was established by Emma Satchell, a Social Entrepreneur committed to transforming the way people perceive and engage with the concept of death and dying.
Dying to Help's mission is to make discussions about mortality more accessible and comfortable while assisting individuals in preparing for their future. The Social Enterprise offers various services, from bespoke funeral ceremonies to Dying to Help Discussion Rooms and Get Mortal Funeral Planning Parties.
Emma's inspiration for launching Dying to Help stemmed from her personal experiences. She believed funeral ceremonies could be conducted with greater empathy and innovation, prompting her to explore how conversations about death and dying could be improved.
"I launched Dying to Help in 2018 when I began my work as an independent funeral celebrant. Since then, I have conducted over 150 funerals. I am passionate that every person deserves a great ceremony to mark the end of their life. A good funeral should bring a sense of peace and healing even in the midst of grief, as you are guided through a ceremony that says goodbye to your loved one in a personal way."
Setting up the business presented a significant challenge for Emma, as she needed to gain prior knowledge of business operations. Despite her lack of business expertise, Emma's determination to provide a valuable service drove her to pursue her vision. Her journey was made possible by the invaluable knowledge, wisdom, insight, and support she received from Melissa Middleton (PNE's Business Support Coordinator).
Dying to Help is currently part of the Social Enterprise Boost programme (co-led by Firstport and PNE), which was launched earlier this year. Emma acknowledges that there may be some initial challenges to overcome, but she sees great potential in the programme. Outside of the Social Enterprise Boost programme, Emma has received ongoing support from Melissa Middleton (PNE's Business Support Coordinator), who has assisted her since the launch of her idea to become a funeral celebrant.
Though it is still in the early stages, Dying to Help has experienced some positive outcomes from its involvement in the Social Enterprise Boost programme. Emma has begun collaborating with other CICs and Social Enterprise Boost Grant Awardees. She is also transitioning from a Sole Trader to a Community Interest Company (CIC).
Dying to Help has ambitious plans. In the short term, Emma intends to take on a consultancy role with a national End-of-life CIC; she also plans to offer End-of-life Planning courses to clients, expand her partnerships with Funeral Directors, develop End-of-life training for local care homes, and conduct alternative funeral workshops for high schools in collaboration with DEAD GOOD CIC, alongside establishing a network for progressive death professionals in the region and facilitate a series of Death Cafes.
"GO FOR IT! There is plenty of room in the market. Get some good advice from the team at PNE - and implement that advice! And absolutely apply for the Social Enterprise Boost".
In the longer term, Emma's vision is to transition into full-time work within her business. While the specific details of her five-year plan are yet to be established, Emma is enthusiastic about the potential for growth and impact that Dying to Help can achieve in the coming years.
Want to learn more about Social Enterprise Boost and how the project can support your social business? Visit https://www.pne.org/social-enterprise-boost.
‘This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.’
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus