A new financial advice service aimed at anyone affected by cancer has opened to help residents of Brent, Ealing and Harrow with financial worries.
The Macmillan Benefits Advice Service, located at Northwick Park Hospital and Northfields Community Library in Ealing, can help cancer patients and their families apply for benefits and grants, and give advice on what support is available to help pay the bills.
Advisors can also help cancer patients apply for a Macmillan grant, a means-tested, one-off payment that can help with anything from energy bills, to home adaptations or travel to and from hospital appointments.
“The stories our advisors hear show real hardship. We helped a young man who had been diagnosed with cancer and was sleeping on an airbed without a cooker, fridge or pots and pans”, said Susan Kearney, Manager of the Macmillan Benefits Advice Service at Citizens Advice Harrow.
Yamuna, a Theatre Nurse from Harrow added, “The Macmillan advisors were so helpful to my mum, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March this year. My father is also being treated for oral cancer. My parents are from Nepal and don’t speak much English, without the Benefits Advice Service they wouldn’t have known that they were entitled to a Macmillan grant.
“We used the money to buy some good food for my mum whilst she was having treatment. The Benefits Advisor also helped them to apply for universal credit. Thanks to Macmillan, my parents got financial support when they needed it most.”
Susan Kearney explained, “The real need for this service in Brent, Ealing & Harrow has been clear to us from the start. Cancer patients and their loved ones are facing huge extra costs, even as the cost of living continues to rise.”
“The stories our advisors hear are show real hardship. We helped a young man who had been diagnosed with cancer and was sleeping on an airbed without a cooker, fridge or pots and pans. We were able to help him get a grant of £1297.”
“Another client of our clients is a 33-year-old single, Iranian male who lives in a private rented studio flat. He has terminal bone cancer and is awaiting a leg amputation. He is unable to work because of his illness. Macmillan advisors helped him apply for benefits including disability travel cards and a council tax reduction.”
You can call the Ealing, Brent & Harrow Macmillan Benefits Advice Service for free on: 0203 011 0339. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 4.30pm (excluding public holidays). Appointments must be booked in advance on the phone or via the Citizens Advice website:
Anyone who who may be worried about the financial impact of cancer should visit the Macmillan website to find out more about the variety of support available: www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/impacts-of-cancer/benefits-and-financial-support. You can also call the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00.