Hardship grants available to North Devon's cancer patients

During 2020 Macmillan gave just over £114,100 in hardship grants to people with cancer in Devon

During 2020 Macmillan gave just over £114,100 in hardship grants to people with cancer in Devon - Credit: Macmillan Cancer Support

Cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support gave over £9.2million in hardship grants last year to help people with cancer struggling with the pandemic’s financial impact and the unexpected costs cancer can bring. 

The charity’s grants are available to anyone living with cancer in North Devon facing financial difficulties, thanks to donations from the public. 

During 2020 Macmillan gave just over £114,100 in hardship grants to people with cancer in Devon, meaning over 380 people in the county were able to pay for home comforts and essentials, such as heating their homes, travel to hospital appointments, bedding and clothing.  

Deborah Ovey from Fremington, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer, explained how a Macmillan grant helped during the lockdown: “We had to move to a bungalow so that I could get around in my wheelchair but it was brand new so we had nothing. My Macmillan grant meant we could buy a cooker and put it towards some flooring. 

“It took away some of the pressure. I hadn’t heard of Macmillan grants before but June, my Macmillan Benefits Adviser, was a huge help, she organised the grant and I couldn’t believe it when it was in the bank just a few days later. It has helped us immensely.” 

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Macmillan grants are means-tested, one-off payments of £350 aimed at helping people living with cancer on low incomes with expenses that arise as a result of their cancer. 

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. 

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Macmillan Benefits Adviser June Travers-Wakeford, based in the Barnstaple office of Citizen’s Advice Torridge, North, Mid and West Devon, said “As the pandemic 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. 

“Imagine your washing machine has broken, or you can’t pay your heating bill, 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, and it’s all thanks to our supporters.” 

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) and talk to the Macmillan Welfare Rights Team. Or visit macmillan.org.uk/grants. 

Macmillan Cancer Support work in partnership locally with Citizen’s Advice. You can contact your local Macmillan Benefits Citizen’s Advice service covering Torridge North, Mid and West Devon on 0845 894 9567 or email macmillan@ruraldevoncab.org.uk 

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

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