Breast cancer patients receive free financial advice thanks to London Freemasons

A vital advice and information service which helps women with breast cancer to cope with financial problems arising from their condition will continue, thanks to a grant from London Masons.

The grant of £47,000 to Breast Cancer Haven will allow the Welfare, Benefits and Money Advice Service to carry on for another year, helping cancer patients across London and beyond. This service has been extremely popular and has made a huge difference to the lives of many vulnerable patients and their families. People like Breast Cancer Haven visitor Ramila Parma, from Wembley, who received invaluable support from the Charity following her breast cancer diagnosis.  Since the Money Advice Service first began in May 2012, it has helped 853 cancer patients and secured close to £450k for them.

There are an estimated 55,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK, including 350 men. . Four out of five of them will be affected financially, these financial pressures come at the worst possible time, as patients are coping with a life-threatening illness as well as trying to keep life as normal as possible for children and other family members. Investigating entitlement to benefits, filling in forms and appealing against decisions is an exhausting process, which is often combined with pressure from banks and mortgage lenders.

The grant from London Masons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Hannah Daws, Fundraising & Communications Director at Breast Cancer Haven, said: “We’re very grateful to London Masons for their generous grant, which will make a huge difference to the lives of many vulnerable patients and their families. Having cancer is hard enough, but when you are living on very little money and not knowing where to turn, it can be desperately tough. Our new Welfare Benefits and Money Adviser is providing vital individual money advice and information, available free to cancer patients across the UK.”

Tony Shields, Metropolitan Grand Lodge Charity Steward commented “I’m very pleased we were able to help Breast Cancer Haven. Thanks to them, people can concentrate on dealing with the problems of cancer rather than the problems of poverty. This is another example of Freemasons supporting the London community. This donation follows on from a £1,250,000 donation, of a £2.5 million funding pledge from London Freemasons to London Fire Brigade. The funding will provide London Fire Brigade with two extended height aerial vehicles.”