Cancer survivor would have 'given up' without charity Covid support

Whittlesey woman praises Macmillan for Covid support

Linda Davies received the help of a Macmillan welfare rights adviser (one of these is featured above), who helped her apply for financial support to help her with rising costs while at home. - Credit: Macmillan Cancer Support

A woman who was recovering from cancer said she would have “given up” trying to receive financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic had it not been for one charity. 

Linda Davies of Whittlesey was working as a cleaner at Peterborough City Hospital and felt like she did not need any support when she was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. 

But it was only when Linda was recovering from surgery for kidney cancer last February that she approached Macmillan Cancer Support for advice having struggled to manage additional costs. 

“I didn’t really want to own up to the fact that I needed some help or that cancer had got me,” she said.  

“It took me a little while to take things into my own hands and make an appointment to speak to Bhavani, a Macmillan welfare rights adviser, but what a relief when I did.” 

Linda found herself keeping the heating on for longer while at home recovering from her operation for kidney cancer, and the sick pay she was receiving was not enough to cover higher bills. 

It was at this point that the 66-year-old received help to apply for a Macmillan hardship grant. 

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“Though I was signed off work on sick pay, it wasn’t enough to cover the higher costs of heating my home, so the grant really did make a difference,” she said. 

“I was also a bit lost when it came to claiming benefits, and Bhavani’s been incredible because I never would have claimed for the things she’s sorted for me – and even if I had, I would have given up halfway.” 

As well as the hardship grant, Bhavani also helped Linda apply for universal credit and lodged a successful appeal for a personal independence payment when an initial claim was rejected. 

“It’s thanks to her that when I had to give up full-time work, I already had financial support in place to cushion the blow,” Linda added. 

In Fenland last year, around £11,864 was awarded to people living with cancer as part of Macmillan’s hardship grant, which helps with essentials and other home items such as washing machines, high heating bills and new clothes. 

In Cambridgeshire, the charity gave around £77,485 in hardship grants to people living with cancer last year, and £9.2m was awarded across the UK.