Charity has secured £ 2million in social benefits for cancer patients in Edinburgh

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New figures from the Edinburgh Macmillian Benefits Advice service show it helped 615 sick people claim an average of £ 3,000 between June 2020 and June 2021.

The service, which is partly funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and operated by Edinburgh City Council, was set up to help patients cope with the enormous financial pressures cancer can cause.

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The fund has helped more than 600 people with cancer in the capital.

The director of the counseling service, Mark Upward, said that for many cancers, cancer comes with a huge loss of income and financial security.

He went on to say that his team are working hard to make sure that no one struggling with cancer in Edinburgh is burdened with financial worries.

He said: “No one with a life-threatening illness should have to worry about how to pay their bills, cover hospital costs, or buy warm clothes or healthy food, but every day we hear of people faced with these choices.

“Cancer has many unforeseen costs and often a loss of income. Especially for those who have never tried navigating the benefit system before, it can feel like a maze, especially when someone is going through grueling treatment or struggling to cope with the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis.

“We want everyone touched by cancer – whether a patient or their loved ones – to know that we are here to make sure they have access to all the money to which they are entitled. I urge all people with cancer to contact me and see how we can help them.

Fundraising events are an integral part of this service

Macmillan relies almost entirely on donations from the public to fund its services and, since the start of the pandemic, has seen its fundraising income plummet.

The association is hoping that after 18 months of canceled fundraising events, the people of Edinburgh will register for its biggest cafe in the world on September 24.

Macmillan Service Manager in Scotland Janice Preston said: “Dealing with the emotional and physical impacts of cancer is one thing, trying to do it while still caring about how to put food on the table and keep a roof over it. above his head is another.

“Even before Covid-19, a cancer diagnosis is something that can transform people’s lives with a wide range of emotional, physical and financial impacts. It’s not always what happens in the hospital that worries people the most – for many, money is the second biggest concern after the shock of their initial diagnosis.

“Cancer is just not something everyone can budget for and we are extremely proud of what our Macmillan Benefits Consultants accomplish when it comes to alleviating some of the financial anxiety experienced by them. people with cancer.

“These are services that simply wouldn’t be here without the continued support of our generous supporters, supporters we need more than ever after 18 months of canceled fundraising events amid the pandemic.

“With our flagship event World’s Biggest Coffee Morning fast approaching on Friday, September 24, we hope everyone gets involved so that we can maintain services like this at a time when people with cancer are at risk. no longer need us. “

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