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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Direct grants available for those most vulnerable

This news post is 12 months old
 

Cost of living increases is making life worse for those with cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support has made an extra £3.5m available for direct grants to help meet soaring living costs in Scotland and across the UK.  

In just the first six weeks of this year, Macmillan gave out over £180,000 in grants to support vulnerable people living with cancer in Scotland who are struggling financial – an increase of 28% on the same time period last year.

Janice Preston, head of Macmillan Partnerships in Scotland, said: “No-one dealing with a life-threatening illness should have to worry about how to heat their home or put food on the table. A cancer diagnosis can already be a huge financial burden full of unexpected costs, from higher energy bills as you try to keep warm when going through treatment, or extra travel costs getting to and from appointments.  

“The cost-of-living crisis is making matters worse, and we’re seeing many more people with cancer in Scotland reach out for help. That’s why today Macmillan has announced an extra £3.5m is available through our Macmillan Grants scheme - we’ll do whatever it takes to support people living with cancer here in Scotland and across the UK.  

“People with cancer need to live, not just survive. We are urging anyone worried about money to access the support available from Macmillan. We are here to make sure you get the help you need and deserve.”  

Macmillan research shows that 87% of people with cancer in Scotland experience some kind of financial impact from their diagnosis, and for those affected, this reaches an average of £1,056 a month, on top of their usual expenditure. The cost-of-living crisis has added to this pressure, meaning many more people are reaching out for help.  

The charity is expecting to see the need for support to continue to rise, predicting a further 16% increase in the number of people with cancer from across the UK applying for a Macmillan Grant in 2022.  

Macmillan is urging anyone worried about money to contact the charity’s financial support teams on 0808 808 00 00, free of charge, seven days a week. Peer-to-peer support is also available 24 hours a day via the charity’s Online Community and more information about the support available can be found at Macmillan.org.uk.  

A 59-year-old, man from Ayrshire, recently diagnosed with kidney cancer has been struggling to keep warm throughout the winter and reluctant to put his heating on because of the soaring costs.  

He was granted £500 grant from Macmillan to help with his fuel bills - the charity is also having gas central heating fitted in his home. He said: “It’s been terrible, it’s been so difficult. I’m having to go to my bed to stay warm because I’m sitting frozen. This isn’t a great life at the moment.  

“The support has been fantastic, and it does help but it’s a struggle every day for me and for so many others in my predicament. I’m hoping once the new heating goes in, things will feel a bit better.”  

Having worked his whole life, but had to give it all up when diagnosed, he said: “I’ve been through chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunology – it takes its toll and I’m just not fit anymore. It’s been so hard not being able to work, to go out and earn a living - it’s a lot to cope with.  

“People going through a diagnosis shouldn’t be suffering, feeling cold and worrying about how they will stay warm, it can get you so down. I’m just glad I’ve had some support and help from Macmillan – they’ve been amazing. The heating can’t go in soon enough for me.”  


 

 

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