Charity and bank get together to help cancer patients

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A NEW financial guidance service to help people affected by cancer has been launched in North Yorkshire.

The pilot scheme, run by the Macmillan Cancer Charity and the Royal Bank of Scotland, offers free independent guidance and support to people living with the illness.

Nearly half of people living with cancer suffer from financial hardship as a result of lost income from time off work and transport costs associated with travelling to hospital to receive treatment.

North Yorkshire and Glasgow are the two areas involved in the year-long pilot scheme, allowing the charity to better understand the extent of financial hardship caused by cancer in two different demographics before they roll the scheme out nationally.

A total of 4,300 people are diagnosed with cancer in North Yorkshire every year with the mortality rate standing at 48 per cent, according to the National Cancer Intelligence Network.

Incidence and mortality rates in the county are significantly lower than the national average.

Neal Southwick, financial support programme leader at Macmillan, said: “We know that living with cancer can be the toughest fight of people’s lives, and to make it worse 43 per cent of people living with cancer see a significant change in their money situation and so would benefit from financial guidance and support to help them manage this change in circumstances.”

The Macmillan team of financial advisers will be trained to offer advice on mortgages, insurance and pensions and will compliment the existing benefits advice service offered by the charity, which aids people with cancer maximise their income through claiming the correct benefits.

People in North Yorkshire can access the service by calling freephone number 0808 808 22 32 between 9am and 5pm between Monday and Thursday, and between 9am and 4.30pm on Friday.