Cancer charity announces new emergency funding as cost-of-living crisis hits people with cancer in Wales
Macmillan Cancer Support has announced an extra £3.5million in funding for its financial grants scheme, to help people with cancer in Wales and across the UK cope as the cost-of-living continues to soar.
In the first six weeks of this year, Macmillan provided more than £88,000 in grants to support vulnerable patients in Wales who are struggling financially[i] – an increase of 15% on the same time period last year[ii].
During a three-month period to the end of January, the charity provided more than £78,000 to support people living with cancer in Wales with their heating bills alone[iii].
More than one in four (28%) of those supported by Macmillan with a grant towards their heating costs in Wales during this time were in their 70s or older[iv] – showing the severe pressure that energy bill costs are placing on some of the most vulnerable people in Wales.
The charity warns that people with cancer face a wide range of financial issues – from the impact of their diagnosis itself, to the Covid-19 pandemic and the wider cost of living crisis, or in some cases all three.
Macmillan research shows that 87% of people with cancer in Wales experience some kind of financial impact from their diagnosis, and for those affected, this reaches an average of £734 a month, on top of their usual expenditure[v].
As a result of these mounting financial pressures, Macmillan is expecting to see the need for support continue to soar, predicting a further 16% increase in the number of people living with cancer applying for a Macmillan grant across the UK in 2022[vi].
Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales said:
“Receiving the life changing news that you have cancer is already a financial wrecking ball for many, as people face extra and often unexpected costs – from higher energy bills as people desperately try to keep warm during treatment, to the cost of travelling to and from appointments.
“The cost-of-living crisis is making these challenges worse. Coping with cancer is enough, never mind having to do so while worrying about how you are going to pay your bills, stay warm or put food on the table and keep a roof over your head. Yet every week we are hearing from more and more people living with cancer who are worried about just that.
“Macmillan is determined to help. Our local Macmillan benefits services cover the whole of Wales and our advisors are working to help people living with cancer access the support they need. If you need help and advice you can also call Macmillan for free and confidentially on 0808 808 00 00.”