Decorative image

Cancer charities

These charities can offer grants and information about grants to people with cancer and their families.

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan provides one-off grants for people with cancer who have a low income and low savings.

The aim is to complement the help available from Social Services and Social Security. You can 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 you must have:

  • no more than £6,000 in savings if you are single, or £8,000 as a couple or family
  • 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)

How to work out your disposable income

  • Add up the money you have coming in
  • Take away your rent or mortgage, council tax, insurance, child maintenance and water rates
  • Divide the amount you have left by the number of people living in your household

Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance don't count as part of your disposable income.  

A healthcare professional has to refer you for a grant. It might be a Macmillan nurse, district nurse, doctor or social worker. This helps the charity to process your application and arrange your support as quickly as possible.

Once Macmillan has approved the grant, they usually send payment within 3 working days. This grant does not affect any government benefits you get.

Contact Macmillan Cancer Support if you have questions about the grants or are having problems with getting someone to fill out the application form for you.

Contact Macmillan Cancer Support

Phone: 0808 808 00 00 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 8pm) - Information is available in other languages.

Charis Grants Ltd

Charis helps people who are finding it difficult to pay for energy and other essential household bills.

It works with utility companies and local authorities to offer grants. These grants can help you 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 (this includes washing machines)

To apply, you usually need to be a customer of the company offering the grant. However, the British Gas Energy Trust offers help to customers of all utility companies, not just British or Scottish Gas. 

The grant can vary between Trusts. You apply to just one supplier, but Charis will also check to see if you qualify for support from any of the other Trusts they manage.

Charis can also direct to other sources of help and advice you might find useful. 

Contact details:

Phone: 01733 421 021


Turn2us is a charity that offers financial help and support to people who need it, including those with cancer. They have information for people in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The website has: 

  • a benefits calculator
  • a search tool for finding charitable grants
  • their own direct grant help (called Turn2us fund)
  • information on possible sources of advice in your area

Their own grants include:

  • Turn2us Response Fund - help for people who have experienced a life changing event in the past 12 months
  • Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund- grants for people who have a professional or similar occupational background or connection

See the website or contact the charity for more information about these grants.

Contact details for Turn2us

Free helpline: 0808 802 2000 (9am – 5:30pm)

A contact form:

For a more complete list of charities offering grants, ask for this book in your local library. 

The Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need 2016-2017 (15th edition)
Rachel Cain & Jennifer Reynolds
Published by the Directory of Social Change, March 2016
ISBN 978 1 78482 005 3

Information and help