A COUNCILLOR has built her own coffin - but, for now, will be using it as a bookshelf at her home.

Councillor Ceri Stalker, spent six weeks building her coffin at an adult wood working course.

She says she made the bizarre choice in the hope it will save her family money on funeral services.

Cllr Stalker said: “Originally, I had an idea to make a plant stand, but I had second thoughts and decided to make something more useful.

“I knew I wanted to make a coffin. I got asked if I wanted to make a stool, but no, I told them I would like to make my own coffin.”

She added: “I’ve got my funeral plan in place and it will save my family money.

"I think paying for funeral services can be a rip off. I want my family paying as little as possible when I die.

"I don’t want them spending more money on me when I’m dead than when I am alive.”

She plans to put her handmade coffin in her spare room and use it as a bookshelf and storage space until it is required.

Volunteers helped Cllr Stalker, who represents Warndon area, make the coffin at charity-funded construction centre in Worcester, The Building Block.

Cllr Stalker said: “I might decorate the lid, but I like the style of it now - it is quite rustic looking. It could also be used as a big coffee table when the lid is on.

“Because it is a bookcase in the meantime, I am in no rush, but I will eventually install a head rest and waterproof lining at the bottom.”

The Building Block, in Shap Drive, offers courses and an array of classes and workshops. The aim of the volunteer-run sessions is to help people develop DIY skills, helping them to save money on their projects.

Cllr Stalker: “You can learn all sorts from these courses. It develops people’s skills and makes them qualified to get a job.

“I’ve never done carpentry before. People from all backgrounds go to the workshop.

"The idea is to be a social hub and encourage residents to take part and feel part of a community.

“This facility is a really valuable resource.”

Pete Miller, aged 49, construction skills centre manager, said: “This is our first coffin project. It has been a novelty, but that’s what it’s all about. And it will be a useful item too - it will provide storage space and will also be a coffin.”

He added: “We are all about community engagement. We want to help everybody and anybody."

Manda Curly, volunteer at the centre and teacher, said: “The beauty of this course is that you learn simple DIY skills and can use them at home. They are valuable skills to keep for life.”

The centre is part of Worcester Community Trust, and also offers courses in bricklaying, plumbing, plastering, tiling and woodwork.

For more information on the Building Block, visit: worcestercommunitytrust.org.uk/building-block


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