In the past year, cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support has given more than £35,500 to around 101 people living with cancer in Pembrokeshire facing financial hardship.
As many cancer patients on low-incomes struggle with the financial fallout of a diagnosis, compounded by the current cost of living crisis and Covid-19, Macmillan is urging anyone in need to seek their support.
Macmillan grants helped 101 people in Pembrokeshire pay for essentials such as heating bills and hospital transport costs, after they were diagnosed with cancer or underwent cancer treatment.
A cancer diagnosis often brings increased and unexpected living costs, such as requiring wigs or post-surgery clothing, a new bed for someone who can no longer climb the stairs to their bedroom, or fresh bedding for those experiencing incontinence and other treatment side-effects.
Research by Macmillan found that across the UK, 83 per cent of people diagnosed with cancer suffered a financial impact.
However, one of the biggest expenses facing people with cancer is higher energy bills. Many people undergoing cancer treatment need to have the heating on for longer periods due to the side-effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
With domestic energy prices having risen by as much as 50 per cent in April, and further increases expected in October when the energy price cap is raised again, this year could present a triple threat for people with cancer, who are already struggling with the financial impact of their diagnosis and the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In recognition of the extraordinary challenges facing cancer patients in 2022, Macmillan has made an extra £3.5 million of emergency funds available to help pay escalating fuel bills. In the first six weeks of 2022, Macmillan has given out over £1.6 million in grants to support vulnerable patients across the UK – an increase of 33 per cent on the same time last year.
Richard Pugh (pictured), Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: “It’s been an incredibly tough few years for people with cancer. Covid-19 continues to cause great challenges for the clinically vulnerable and now cancer patients are having to contend with a cost of living crisis that has seen prices for fuel and food rocket.
“Macmillan is here for everyone with cancer. But we know there are always more people that we could be helping. So, if you are someone in need of our support, we will do everything we can to ensure you get the practical advice and help that can make life with cancer not simply about survival.”
Across the UK, Macmillan gave more than £12.3m to over 33,000 cancer patients in 2021.
Macmillan grants are a one-off, means tested payment of £350 to help with the extra costs that living with cancer can bring. Anyone over 18, who has been diagnosed with cancer or undergoing treatment can apply.
To find out more about Macmillan grants, including who can apply, call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 (open seven days a week, 8 am to 8 pm) and talk to the Macmillan Welfare Rights Team.
Or, speak to your Macmillan nurse, or other healthcare professional, who can help you apply for a Macmillan grant.
Further information can also be found on our website https://www.macmillan.org.uk .
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