Newry, Mourne and Down Cancer patients receive financial support from Macmillan

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne


Friday 12 March 2021 6:55

CANCER charity Macmillan Cancer Support gave over £522,3001 in hardship grants last year to help people with cancer in Northern Ireland struggling with the pandemic’s financial impact and the unexpected costs cancer can bring.

The charity’s grants are available to anyone living with cancer in the Newry, Mourne & Down area facing financial difficulties, thanks to donations from the public.

During 2020 Macmillan gave just over £46,600 in hardship grants2 to people with cancer in Newry, Mourne & Down meaning over 150 people in the Borough were able to pay for home comforts and essentials, such as heating their homes, travel to hospital appointments, bedding and clothing.

Macmillan grants are means-tested, one-off payments of £350 aimed at helping people living with cancer on low incomes. They can be a huge help especially when many cancer patients are having to shield during the current lockdown by paying for things like a new washing machine or going towards energy bills.

The charity reports that more than a third of people with cancer (39%) are severely financially impacted by their diagnosis3. Macmillan expects their grants will continue to be a vital safety net for many and will become more in demand than ever as many families deal with the double blow of a cancer diagnosis and the financial impact of the pandemic. All this at a time when the charity is facing a huge drop in fundraised income due to Covid-19 and donations are needed more than ever before.

The most common reasons people apply for Macmillan grants are: to buy new clothes when their cancer treatment had resulted in body changes; to help pay for higher than normal heating bills from staying at home; travel costs to and from regular hospital appointments, which can mount up significantly during treatment; and bedding. In Newry, Mourne & Down the highest number of grants were given to people living with digestive cancer4.

Janice Preston, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan in Northern Ireland said: “As the current lockdown continues, we want to remind everyone that Macmillan is here to help, whatever it takes. One way is with a Macmillan grant to help pay for the little things that can make a big difference to the lives of people living with cancer, especially at the moment. Imagine your washing machine has broken, or you can’t pay your heating bill, or you need to buy a blender because cancer treatment means you are having trouble eating but you can’t afford one. It’s these basics that a Macmillan grant can help pay for, making someone’s life that bit easier when they need it most, and it’s all thanks to our supporters.”

If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with cancer, the Macmillan Benefits Service can help.

To find out more about Macmillan grants, including who can apply, call the Macmillan Benefits Service in Northern Ireland on 0300 1 233 233 or email:

Janice added “If you are struggling to meet the extra costs of cancer, I’d urge you to call Macmillan to see if you are eligible for a grant and the rest of the support on offer. We are only a phone call away and are waiting to help you.”

For comprehensive cancer information and support, including Macmillan’s latest guidance on the impact of coronavirus on cancer care, visit

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Alpha Newspaper Group

Characters left: 1500