A CANCER charity has secured more than £7.2million in welfare benefit payments for people in Hampshire.

New figures from Hampshire Macmillan Citizens Advice Service (HMCAS) show it helped 1,764 people claim an average of over £4,000 between July 2020 and June 2021.

The service was set up to help people with cancer cope with the huge financial pressures many face as a result of the illness.

Sue Alford, service manager at HMCAS, said: “No-one who has a life-threatening illness should have to worry about how to pay their bills or cover the costs of getting to hospital, but every day we hear from people facing these choices.

“Cancer comes with lots of unexpected costs and often a loss in income. Particularly for those who have never tried to navigate the benefits system before, it can feel like a maze, especially when someone is going through gruelling treatment or struggling to deal with the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis.

“We want everyone with cancer to know we’re here to help make sure they get access to the money they’re entitled to. I’d urge anyone with cancer to get in touch and see how we can help.”

Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer.

It also looks at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have, and campaigns for better cancer care.

Sinead Parry, Macmillan partnership manager, Wessex, said: “Dealing with the emotional and physical impacts of cancer is one thing, trying to do so while worrying about how to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head is another.

“Even before Covid-19 a cancer diagnosis is something that can turn people’s lives upside down with a huge range of emotional, physical and financial impacts. It’s not always what goes on in hospital that concerns people the most – for many, money is the next biggest worry after the shock of their initial diagnosis.

“Cancer is simply not something anyone can budget for and we are immensely proud of what our Macmillan benefits advisers are achieving when it comes to relieving just some of the financial anxiety experienced by people with cancer.

“These are services that simply would not be there without the continued backing of our generous supporters, supporters who we need now more than ever before after 18-months of cancelled fundraising events amidst the pandemic.”

To find out more about the financial impact of cancer, or to find support please visit www.macmillan.org.uk.