Read on for the inside track on the financial impact the Macmillan Support Line volunteers have had on people affected by cancer, all over the country.
‘I love my role’ beams Tabinda who volunteers for the Macmillan Support Line (MSL) in Yorkshire. ‘I’d wanted to do something that supported other people, and as I had an aunty who had cancer – Macmillan seemed like the right choice’.
Whenever she’s on the phone, Tabinda could be doing any number of different things. She could be helping someone affected by cancer by gathering information to help them complete a Macmillan grant application and going through the form with them. Or she could just be there to listen and identify if they need additional help and support or direct them to another member of the MSL.
‘Sometimes people just want to talk about anything but cancer, to pour their heart out, and to know they have someone who’ll just listen to them.’
Protecting people from the financial burden of cancer
Volunteers like Tabinda in the Welfare Rights team can apply for a Macmillan grant on the behalf of callers. These grants can significantly ease the financial impact of cancer – with grants averaging £290.
In fact, an evaluation of the service that volunteers have been providing found that volunteers in our Welfare Rights Team have reduced the waiting time to get a grant from ten days – to just five.
Can you imagine the difference this could make to someone who not only has to face cancer, but is also trying to cope with the financial strain cancer can bring?
Well, it’s all in a day’s work for volunteers like Tabinda.
Volunteers reach more people than ever
There are also volunteers on the support line who provide information and support to people when they call. These 13 MSL frontline volunteers were trained and mentored by staff to begin with, but are now independently taking calls from people affected by cancer – recently reaching a milestone of 1000 calls.
About the Macmillan Support Line
Cancer is the toughest fight most of us will ever face but you don't have to go through it alone. We have a team of experts who can answer any questions you have, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.
Find out more about the Macmillan Support Line.