Charity hardship grants help 90 local people with cancer

Around 90 people in the Mid and East Antrim area received a share of £27,800 in hardship grants last year from cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 9:39 am

The financial help meant that local people with cancer were able to pay for home comforts and essentials, such as heating their homes, travel to hospital appointments, bedding and clothing.

The charity gave more than £522,300 in hardship grants in 2020 to people across Northern Ireland struggling with the pandemic’s financial impact and the unexpected costs cancer can bring. Grants are available to anyone living with cancer facing financial difficulties, thanks to donations from the public.

Macmillan grants are means-tested, one-off payments of £350 aimed at helping people living with cancer on low incomes. They can be a huge help especially when many cancer patients are having to shield during the current lockdown by paying for things like a new washing machine or going towards energy bills.

The charity reports that more than a third of people with cancer (39%) are severely financially impacted by their diagnosis. Macmillan expects their grants will continue to be a vital safety net for many and will become more in demand than ever as many families deal with the double blow of a cancer diagnosis and the financial impact of the pandemic.

All this at a time when the charity is facing a huge drop in fundraised income due to Covid-19 and donations are needed more than ever before.

The most common reasons people apply for Macmillan grants are: to buy new clothes when their cancer treatment had resulted in body changes; to help pay for higher than normal heating bills from staying at home; travel costs to and from regular hospital appointments, which can mount up significantly during treatment; and bedding.

In Mid and East Antrim the highest number of grants were given to people living with digestive cancer.

Janice Preston, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan in Northern Ireland said: “As the current lockdown continues, we want to remind everyone that Macmillan is here to help, whatever it takes. One way is with a Macmillan grant to help pay for the little things that can make a big difference to the lives of people living with cancer, especially at the moment.”

If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with cancer, the Macmillan Benefits Service can help.

To find out more about Macmillan grants, including who can apply, call the Macmillan Benefits Service in Northern Ireland on 0300 1 233 233 or email: [email protected]

Janice added “If you are struggling to meet the extra costs of cancer, I’d urge you to call Macmillan to see if you are eligible for a grant and the rest of the support on offer. We are only a phone call away and are waiting to help you.”

For comprehensive cancer information and support, including Macmillan’s latest guidance on the impact of coronavirus on cancer care, visit www.macmillan.org.uk.