Macmillan invests more than £280,000 in welfare benefits services to help people affected by cancer in the south Wales valleys during the cost of living crisis

Macmillan is helping people with cancer in the south Wales valleys to deal with the deepening cost of living crisis by investing more than £280,000 in welfare benefits services in the area.


Thanks to its supporters, the charity is investing more than £283,000 over the next three years to help people with cancer in Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf.


The Macmillan-funded service at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board helped almost 1,200 people with cancer to claim more than £4.3m in benefits they were entitled to in 2021 alone.


A cancer diagnosis can lead to a variety of additional costs for people including being unable to work, needing to use more energy when at home as well as having to buy new clothes due to weight changes from treatment.


Elizabeth Price, 51, from Abernant, Aberdare, was supported by Macmillan Welfare Benefits Adviser Shirley Melly, who works in the team, after being diagnosed with breast cancer in March.


The mother-of-one said: “Without Shirley’s help, I’m not sure what finances I’d have been able to get as I’ve always worked and never had benefits.


“I was worried about my money going down when I still have bills to pay.


“Having help to do the forms was a help in itself as I’m no good at filling out forms.


“It’s good to have someone there who knows a lot more about it and advises you in the most appropriate way.


“Shirley has been absolutely fabulous and brilliant – people like Shirley can take that load from you and help as much as they can.”


Gethin Hughes, Chief Operating Officer at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, said: “This additional support that Macmillan are providing for people in our communities who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis is crucial.


“With the cost of living rise being felt hard in this part of Wales, it’s more important than ever that people are made aware of the valuable support on offer to them.”


Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “People living with cancer need to be able to come to terms with their diagnosis and to focus on their cancer treatment and financial worries should be the last thing on anyone’s mind.


“But the financial impact from things such as being unable to work, needing to use more energy for feeling the cold more and needing certain foods is all the harder due to the cost of living crisis.


“That is why, thanks to generous donations, Macmillan has prioritised funding our welfare benefits services for people living in Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf working in partnership with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.


“This vital service helps identify what’s available and to ease the financial worries that take them away from getting the best out of their treatment and recovery.”


We’ll do whatever it takes. For information, support or just someone to talk to, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk.

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