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Helping to make ends meet

Cost of living rises have seen the Hospice hearing from more people than ever needing financial welfare information and support. Here Kerry Berry, our Benefits Support Coordinator, explains how we help patients and families get the support they are entitled to so that they can focus on what really matters.

“Over the years we have helped many families to understand the financial support available to them,” says Kerry, who with a team of trained volunteers, aims to ease the burden.

“Approximately two-thirds of households affected by terminal illness will experience financial strain. People can suddenly find themselves on reduced income or facing extra expenses at a time when they have so many other things to cope with.”

Julie working at a desk

As more households feel the squeeze, the team is busier than ever.

“For example, one lady wanted to know if she’s eligible for benefits as she can no longer work, and household bills have shot up. Just today we heard from a man asking where he can get help with transport costs as he is struggling to get to medical appointments due to higher fuel prices.”
Dealing with financial issues can feel overwhelming, but Kerry says help is at hand.

“The first thing we can do is assess your circumstances. We help with applications to local and national charities or can refer on to one of the community services we work with. We can also help with practical issues like disabled parking badges.”

Almost half of those caring for someone at the end of life say they struggle financially, so the team helps carers find out which benefits they could access too.

Kerry adds: “We are here at any stage of a patient’s care. We know it can be difficult to ask for help, but money problems don’t go away, so the sooner someone gets in touch, the sooner we can help.”