Macmillan Cancer Support helped a record number of people in urgent financial need during 2014, with 546 County Durham cancer patients last year receiving a Macmillan grant to help them with costs arising from their treatment.
New figures from the charity highlight the financial isolation that often follows a cancer diagnosis. Patients in County Durham received £173,684 for vital essentials such as heating bills, clothing and transport costs, as well as practical household items like washing machines – a 21.6% increase on 2013.
Research by Macmillan also found that four out of five people are, on average, £570 a month worse off as a result of a cancer diagnosis .
Fay Scullion, General Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern England, said of the record numbers:
“Our latest grants figures demonstrate the dramatic financial impact cancer has on the lives of patients and their loved ones. In 2014 Macmillan helped more people than ever before, as we continued to work to ensure that nobody faces cancer alone.
“People undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment should not have the additional worry of how to pay for absolute basics such as heating their home, or bedding to keep warm. There are 2.5million people now living with and beyond cancer in the UK. And with this figure set to double by 2030, we believe that our next government needs to make cancer a priority. That’s why Macmillan is urging all of the main political parties to commit to matching the best cancer outcomes in Europe by the end of the next Parliament.”
In 2014, Macmillan awarded over £10million in grants to 33,011 people across the UK. The Macmillan grants programme gives payments to cancer patients who have limited financial resources and are in need of immediate assistance, giving an average level of help of £303 per person assisted.
Macmillan helped more patients with clothing than with any other cost arising from having cancer. This was followed by grants to help with the cost of fuel bills and the cost of travelling to and from hospital for treatment.
Fay added: “Macmillan believes no one should face cancer alone and we urge any cancer patients who are struggling financially to contact our helpline to find what support is available to them.”
Every week, over 634 people in the UK receive a grant from Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan relies on public donations to continue providing this vital financial support to people affected by cancer. To donate to Macmillan Cancer Support, please call 0300 1000 200 or visit
Macmillan grants are just one of the ways Macmillan can help with the cost of cancer. For more information about financial support available to patients, please call freephone 0808 808 0000.