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Cancer charities

Coping with cancer

This page has information about cancer charities offering grants to people with cancer and their families. They each have different conditions for their grants and we have outlined those here.


Macmillan Cancer Support

Provides one-off grants for people with cancer who have a low income and savings. The support provided by Macmillan aims to complement that available from Social Services and Social Security. You may apply for financial help for home helps, child-minders, home nursing, travel to and from hospital, holidays, heating, clothing, bedding, telephone installation and bills.

To qualify, you must have cancer, or still be affected by your illness or treatment and

  • Have no more than £6,000 in savings if you are single, or £8,000 as a couple or family
  • Have less than £170 a week disposable income if you are single, or £289 for a couple, plus £85 per child or £119 for each additional adult in the household (if their income is relevant)

To work out your disposable income, take away from the money you have coming in, your rent or mortgage, council tax, insurance, child maintenance and water rates, and divide the amount you have left by the number of people living in your household.

Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance don't count as part of your disposable income.  A healthcare professional, such as a Macmillan nurse, district nurse, doctor or social worker, has to refer you for a grant. This is to streamline the application process for the charity so that they can arrange your support as quickly and efficiently as possible. Once the grant has been approved, Macmillan aim to get it out to you within 3 days. This grant does not affect any Government benefits you get.

Macmillan Cancer Support
89 Albert Embankment
London SE1 7UQ

Head office: 0207 840 7840
Information line: 0808 808 00 00 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 8pm) Information is available in other languages.


Charis Grants Ltd.

Charis manages trust funds and local assistance funds on behalf of a number of utility companies and local authorities.  The aim of the Trusts is to help vulnerable people who are in debt and are having difficulty paying their bills.  The grants they offer can help to:

  • Clear debt for your home gas, electricity and water bills
  • Cover Bankruptcy, help with Debt Relief Orders (DRO) and Low Income Low Assets (LILA, Scotland fees)
  • Buy essential household items such as energy efficient white goods which includes washing machines

To make an application you usually need to be a customer of the company offering the grant, however, the British Gas Energy Trust offers assistance to customers of all utility companies and applicants need not be a customer of British or Scottish Gas.

Each Trust has a separate application form and the grant offered can vary between Trusts.  If you have debt with more than one company, Charis will assess your application to see if you can apply for grants offered by the other Trusts they administer.

They can also signpost you towards other sources of help and advice they feel you would benefit from.  You can find details of the companies offering grants on the Charis website.  You can also get a grant application form by clicking on the relevant company logo or by calling the phone number below.

Charis Grants Ltd
Trinity Court
Trinity Street
Phone: 01733 421 021
Phone: 01733 421 060 (to request application form)

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Updated: 15 October 2014