Cancer patients in Southwark were given £48,000 in charity hardship grants in 2020, writes Kit Heren…
The grants, from specialist cancer charity Macmillan, meant 158 people in the borough could pay for essentials, like heating their homes, travel to and from hospital, clothing and bedding.
As many as 39 per cent of people who are diagnosed with cancer are severely financially affected. Macmillan’s grants, which are funded by donations from the public, aim to help them with everyday outgoings.
The grants are means-tested and can be up to £350. Macmillan said that the most common reason for people applying for the grants is to buy new clothes after cancer treatment changed the way they look.
The grants have become even more important given the added financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity added.
Kymberly Goh, Citizens Advice Southwark’s Macmillan welfare benefits team manager, said: “As COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of people with cancer, we want to reassure everyone that Macmillan is here to help – we’ll do whatever it takes.
“Imagine you can’t pay your heating bill, your washing machine is broken or you need to buy a blender because cancer treatment means you are having trouble eating, but you can’t afford one. It’s these basics that a Macmillan grant can help pay for, making someone’s life that bit easier when they need it most.
“A Macmillan grant is definitely a source of respite for patients when they are in severe financial hardship. So, if you’re struggling to meet the extra costs of cancer, call Macmillan to see if you are eligible for a grant, as well as checking what other benefits you might be entitled to claim, and to access the rest of the support we offer. Macmillan is only a phone call away and we will move mountains to help.”
To find out more about Macmillan grants, call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 at any time and talk to the Macmillan Welfare Rights Team, or visit macmillan.org.uk/grants.