New figures from the Meeting New Horizons benefits advice service shows it helped 872 people claim an average of £4,087 between June 2020 and June 2021.
The service, funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and run by Meeting New Horizons in Doncaster, was set up to help people with cancer cope with the huge financial pressures many face as a result of the illness.
Nicky Parkin, Macmillan’s Service Manager for Meeting New Horizons, said: “No-one who has a life-threatening illness should have to worry about how to pay their bills or cover the costs of getting to hospital, but every day we hear from people facing these choices.
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“Cancer comes with lots of unexpected costs and often a loss in income. Particularly for those who have never tried to navigate the benefits system before, it can feel like a maze, especially when someone is going through gruelling treatment or struggling to deal with the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis.
“We want everyone with cancer to know we’re here to help make sure they get access to all the money they’re entitled to. I’d urge anyone with cancer to get in touch and see how we can help.”
Macmillan relies almost entirely on donations from the public to fund its services, and since the pandemic hit, has seen its fundraising income drop.
The charity is hoping that after 18-months of cancelled fundraising events, people across Doncaster will sign up for its World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on September 24. Coffee Morning is one of the UK’s longest-running fundraising events – and faces a staggering 71 per cent income drop for the second year (£20m).
Kay Dover, Macmillan’s Partnership Manager in South Yorkshire, said: “Dealing with the emotional and physical impacts of cancer is one thing, trying to do so while worrying about how to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head is another.
“Even before COVID-19 a cancer diagnosis is something that can turn people’s lives upside down with a huge range of emotional, physical and financial impacts. It’s not always what goes on in hospital that concerns people the most – for many, money is the next biggest worry after the shock of their initial diagnosis.
“Cancer is simply not something anyone can budget for and we are immensely proud of what our Macmillan benefits advisers are achieving when it comes to relieving just some of the financial anxiety experienced by people with cancer.
“These are services that simply would not be there without the continued backing of our generous supporters, supporters who we need now more than ever before after 18-months of cancelled fundraising events amidst the pandemic.
“With our flagship World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event just around the corner on Friday 24 September, there’s never been a more important time to get involved so we can keep services like this running at a time when people with cancer need us the most.”
To find out more about the financial impact of cancer, or to find support visit www.macmillan.org.uk.
Sign up to host a World’s Biggest Coffee Morning at coffeeregister.macmillan.org.uk