Maggie’s has received funding which will help alleviate some of the financial pressures faced by many of the people with cancer that the charity supports.

The independent charity, which was established in 1996, has received £50,000 which will fund benefits advisors who are based full-time out of Maggie’s Cardiff, Cheltenham and Swansea centres.

With a cancer diagnosis potentially having a devastating impact financially, as well as emotionally, the charity’s benefits advisors play a vital role to make sure people with cancer and their carers can pay utility bills, keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table.

Gas emergency and pipeline service, Wales & West Utilities, has provided the funding through the Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA), which is designed to support consumers in vulnerable situations

Dame Laura Lee, Chief Executive at Maggie’s said:

Research has shown vast numbers of people with cancer and their families experience financial hardship because of their diagnosis through a loss of income and/or increased costs. Just last year our benefits advisors in Wales and Cheltenham provided advice on over 6,000 occasions and we expect this level of demand to continue, or increase, during the rest of this year and throughout 2023, as the unprecedented uncertainty of job security and the cost of living crisis continues.

This funding from Wales & West Utilities will help alleviate the distress of crippling financial worries to many of our centre visitors and we are very grateful.

Maggie’s is an independent charity that delivers emotional, practical and social support from its centres based in the grounds of major NHS cancer hospitals. Its programme is delivered free of charge to anyone, with any type of cancer, at any stage for as long as they need it, whilst the charity also provides support to family and friends.

Dame Laura Lee continued:

Around 30% of our visitors first contact us to gain benefits advice. Our benefits advisors are there to maximise the household income to help keep cancer patients safe and warm, ensuring they can continue living their lives and this funding will help us a great deal.

Maggie’s benefits advisors will work with people to address their financial concerns and signpost them to other elements of its programme that may help, such as cancer specific support and networking groups, a session with a psychologist or cancer support specialist, gentle exercise or one of our bespoke workshops or courses to improve their health and wellbeing.

The advisors work with clinical and palliative care teams as well as other charities such as Macmillan, local hospices, Marie Curie, Turn 2 Us, Mummy’s Star, Tenovus Cancer Care, Age Cymru and Care and Repair.

They also work closely with local authorities and councils across south Wales, liaising to secure reductions in council tax and blue badges for service users.

Tom Robinson, Social Obligations Specialist at Wales & West Utilities, said:

We’re proud that this funding will allow Maggie’s to help many of its visitors and their carers at such a challenging moment in their lives. Hopefully the support will reduce some of the financial pressures following a cancer diagnosis.

We are committed to doing everything we can to support those most in need in our communities. This money will help Maggie’s to work with their network of partners to provide vital benefit’s advice so that people with cancer can stay safe and warm in their own homes during treatment.

Between April 2021 to March 2026, Wales & West Utilities has £7m to spend on projects which support consumers in vulnerable situations and raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and keep people safe from the ‘silent killer’.

Funding is made from the Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA), and 75% of the money will be spent on projects relevant to Wales and south west England only, while 25% will be spent on collaborative projects with the other gas networks across the whole of the UK.

If you have a project that you think Wales & West Utilities could support, either individually or collaboratively with other gas networks, then contact Wales & West Utilities at

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we'll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We'll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.