Oxford service awarded a funding extension of 3 years to continue vital cancer work.

The Macmillan Benefits Advice service, run by Citizens Advice Oxford, gives cancer patients experiencing money issues expert advice on claiming the right benefits and grants, and will be able to run for the next three years thanks to the cash boost.

The service has helped over 1,000 people living with cancer and being treated at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford over the last year alone, and over 10,000 since it first started in 2008.

Georgia*, a Macmillan Citizens Advice Oxford client said:

“I place you amongst the friends that I owe so much to. The way you have supported me has been integral to the positive recovery I need. I am sure you get praised for the crucial and caring work you do for others. So I would like to have my turn to thank you and a massive thanks from my son. Plus a massive cheers from the rest of my family and closer friends. I spoke to them about how brilliantly you were always there for me. “ 

From 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, the service gained £2.25 million of financial support for people with cancer through backdated benefits, ongoing benefit claims and one-off grants.

The money helps them cope with the hidden financial hit that four in five** people diagnosed with the disease experience.

Macmillan claims the extra costs – such as loss of earnings, travel, hospital parking and higher energy bills – cost each household in excess of £500 a month and this has been exacerbated by lockdown.

Celia Gale, Macmillan Citizens Advice Oxford Benefits Advice Project Leader said:

“It is an honour to be able to work with people at a really difficult time in their lives, when they are coming to terms with their cancer diagnosis and treatment and when they are worried about other practicalities such as loss of income, how to pay their housing costs etc. 

“We are able to relieve some of that burden and stress by helping them through the claiming processes of the array of benefits they might be eligible for, to ensure they receive their full entitlement. It is very rewarding to be able to help people in this practical way and to feel able to lift at least some of their stress and worry. 

“We are part of the Macmillan team at the Churchill hospital, and enjoy working with all the other medical specialists to ensure the person with cancer gets the best care possible, both medically and practically.”

Shelley Orton, Macmillan Partnership Manager in Oxford, said:

“It’s plain to see the benefit that this Oxford team deliver to cancer patients. That’s why we’re pleased to be able to continue their funding for the next three years, so that together we can help people with cancer live life as fully as they can.”

Citizens Advice Oxford and Macmillan Cancer Support work in partnership to give advice on benefits to people, their family and carers living with cancer.  Funded by Macmillan, the specialist Citizen Advice Oxford team who provide free impartial advice can:

  • give advice on what benefits people can claim
  • support applications for benefits and blue badges
  • provide budgeting advice
  • help people access financial support and grants including the Macmillan £350 grant.

How to get in touch

Macmillan Oxford Citizens Advice Benefits Service can give people living with cancer free, impartial and confidential advice. Contact the team to arrange an appointment on 01865 227083 or email macmillan@cab-oxford.org.uk. Alternatively a Macmillan key worker or specialist nurse can make a referral on your behalf.

To find your local Citizens Advice for advice, visit www.caox.org.uk.

Notes to editors

*The name of the client has been changed to protect the client’s identity.

**Cancer’s Hidden Price Tag report, Macmillan Cancer Support, https://www.macmillan.org.uk/_images/Cancers-Hidden-Price-Tag-report-England_tcm9-270862.pdf

About Macmillan Cancer Support

At Macmillan, we give people with cancer everything we’ve got. If you’re diagnosed, your worries are our worries. We will help you live life as fully as you can.

And we don’t stop there. We’re going all out to find ever better ways to help people with cancer, helping to bring forward the day when everyone gets life-transforming support from day one.

We’re doing whatever it takes. But without your help we can’t support everyone who needs us. To donate, volunteer or raise money call 0300 100 200 or visit macmillan.org.uk

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