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Supporters call on Government to stop cancer families falling into debt

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Photo © Hazel Dunlop/CLIC Sargent

CLIC Sargent has presented a 13,000 signature-strong petition to Downing Street calling for greater financial support for young cancer patients and their families. 

The petition hand-in on Monday, July 10, is the result of the charity’s #Cancercosts campaign in 2016, which revealed families spiralling into debt as their child underwent gruelling cancer treatment. 

The charity’s research found that parents spend an average of £600 extra a month in additional expenses during their child’s active treatment. 

Photo © Hazel Dunlop/CLIC Sargent

Three in five parents had accumulated some form of debt as a result of their child’s illness, with one in six of those having borrowed more than £5,000. 

The petition is calling for the Government to: 

·         Conduct an urgent review of all travel assistance available to parents and young people, and make recommendations for reform by the end of 2017. 

·         Review the financial support available for young cancer patients and their parents who are struggling to meet the costs of their energy bills. 

·         Ensure all young cancer patients and their parents who visit hospitals in England should be given free or reduced hospital car parking, in line with other UK nations. The concessions should be publicised so that people are aware of them. 

BT Sport presenter and CLIC Sargent ambassador Jake Humphrey brought the petition to Downing Street along with the charity’s CEO and young cancer patients Khianna Hinks-Snagg-Young and Bradley Gudger. 

Photo © Hazel Dunlop/CLIC Sargent

Jake said: “Being a parent myself, I can’t begin to imagine the emotional turmoil faced by parents as their child has cancer. These parents should receive all of the support they need and worrying about money as well must be completely overwhelming. 

“I’m delighted to see that 13,000 people have added their voices to CLIC Sargent’s call for greater support for these families. I hope the government will listen.”  

Photo © Hazel Dunlop/CLIC Sargent

Kate Lee, CLIC Sargent Chief Executive, said: “This is a really important day for the children, young people and families CLIC Sargent works tirelessly to support, who are not only coping with the physical impact of their, or their child’s, cancer treatment, but are struggling to keep their head above water financially as a direct result of that diagnosis. 

“Today 13,000 people have joined us to say enough is enough. We implore the government to take steps to better support these families so that their children can thrive, not only survive their cancer, without facing a future of debt long after the cancer treatment stops.”