Ashley on benefits and finance

Ashley smiling with the sun on his face in the garden
Ashley smiling with the sun on his face in the garden

Ashley was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in 2011 and because he was self-employed, one of his main concerns was the financial implications. He sought help from Macmillan who gave him advice on the benefits he was entitled to, and helped him secure a grant to go towards his travelling costs to London for treatment.

Ashley's story

When I was diagnosed I was worried about money. I sometimes spent eight hours a day at home, not interacting with anyone. Being self-employed and not having a lot of work and worrying about money – and then the cancer comes along on top of it. 

My work really suffered at the time. I wasn’t able to work at all for three months, so my freelance business had to go on hold. I had to try and pick things up after the treatment. 

There were huge financial implications for our family. Lara was working full time but it was a very tiring job, with a journey of two hours each way into the city. 

Macmillan supported us with their financial advice. They told us that I could be getting disability living allowance and employment support allowance, and that made a massive difference over the next three years. The money helped us to stabilise. I got benefits from the government. We didn’t really know what to do so that income from the benefits was a massive help.

Macmillan also gave me a £400 grant which I used for train fares to London and back for my treatment.

Without Macmillan, it would have been too difficult emotionally. There would’ve been no money coming in so the emotional stress would’ve been much higher. It would have been total chaos. I’ve been very lucky to benefit from Macmillan’s support.

Ashley doing some gardening

Watch: all about Ashley's experiences

Read Ashley's guest post on our Online Community

Watch: all about Ashley's experiences

Read Ashley's guest post on our Online Community