Edinburgh cancer patient support service receives grant from the Big Lottery Fund

The Edinburgh Macmillan Welfare Rights Partnership has been awarded £313,460 from the Big Lottery Fund to expand its current service. The boost will both broaden its reach and increase the types of advice services it can offer.

On 12 May, the Big Lottery Fund announced 26 new grants across Scotland totalling £7.3 million. Download a full list of awards

The partnership between the City of Edinburgh Council and Macmillan Cancer Support Scotland was set up in 2009 and will use the funding to better promote their service to provide financial advice and support from diagnosis through treatment and end of treatment. It is predicted that this expansion will benefit 1000 people per year.

A cancer diagnosis can have an enormous impact on someone's income and many people don't realise they are eligible for financial help. Workers at the Edinburgh Macmillan Welfare Rights Partnership identify statutory benefits and grants to which people affected by cancer may be entitled.

The project targets people who are affected by cancer, which includes patients, their families and carers, regardless of their employment status or housing tenure. Statistics and research show that people often suffer stress and financial difficulties after diagnosis, but are faced with barriers that prevent them from accessing standard advice services.

Following the funding announcement the project will build on the work of the existing service and will expand to include housing and debt advice, increasing capacity to deal with more referrals and further promote the service to provide assistance and support at an earlier stage following a diagnosis of cancer.

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “Today's (Thursday 12 May) awards are going to 26 inspiring organisations doing all they can to support people across Scotland facing challenging circumstances.  These grants are part of our new five year £250 million funding scheme, designed to support people overcome difficulties and become more resilient. 

“Big Lottery Fund Scotland is committed to working with communities and organisations to support activity which is people centred, strength based and has good local connections.”

Janice Preston, Head of Services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland, said: “We welcome this funding from the Big Lottery which will enable Macmillan Cancer Support to provide a variety of crucial support services to people across the city who are coping with the impact of cancer.

“We also look forward to continuing to work with City of Edinburgh Council to increase the number of people affected by cancer we reach.”

The service is based at The Advice Shop on South Bridge, with advice available over the phone, via e-mail or face to face. Home visits can also be arranged and drop in surgeries will be developed across the city.

To find out more about the work of the City of Edinburgh Macmillan Welfare Rights Partnership, telephone 0131 200 2360 or email Macmillan@edinburgh.gov.uk

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