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Feeling the Pinch

With Christmas fast approaching, people’s thoughts inevitably turn to financial matters and the extra cost the festive season brings. We know that when people are living with a terminal illness, or caring for someone with one, worrying about finances can cause distress.

Here, Jackie Blackman, our Welfare Advisor, shares information on charities that can offer people support. We hope this will be useful and if you or someone you know requires any further information or support, you can visit our welfare advice page here, or get in touch with Jackie on 01293 447345.

“Lots of charities have grants associated with certain health conditions, or current, or former occupations.

Macmillan award one-off payments (on average these are about £380) to help people with cancer manage the extra costs their illness can cause and the Motor Neurone Disease Association offer financial support with funding equipment and services that people with MND might need.

If you’re caring for someone who is, or has worked for, the Police there are many charities that support serving or former police officers and staff 

SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) is an Armed Forces charity, which provides practical and emotional support for serving personnel and veterans

Cavell Nurses Trust, The Junius S. Morgan Benevolent Fund and the 1930 Fund for District Nurses (including community nurses) all offer financial support specifically for nursing staff

Other charities that I have successfully referred patients or family members to, or successfully achieved a grant from are:

 Hospitality Action – For past and present employees of the hospitality industry

Journalists’ Charity – Supports journalists

Help Musicians UK – For professional musicians. The organisation offers advice and help in illness and hard times, and can provide support up to the death of the musician, and for the surviving partner after

Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute (RABI) – Offers financial support to farming people in hardship

Grocery Aid – Provides crisis and welfare grants for those who’ve worked in any part of the grocery industry

The Firefighters Charity – Offers life enhancing health and wellbeing support to the whole fire community

For You By You – Offers financial help to Civil Servants

Benenden – A not-for-profit open to all, to access private health-care. They offer up to £1,500 to members with cancer or TB so they can purchase specific items that will assist them with issues related to their condition.

It’s important to note that all these charities will have differing criteria for authorising grants. As a rule, applications usually need to be corroborated by a third party/professional (such as the hospice) and any applicant will likely need to prove they’re on a low income (usually means-tested benefits level) and have little savings available. Please also note, any grants are unlikely to be offered specifically to meet the costs of Christmas.”

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