Lincolnshire hospice makes money one less worry for cancer patient

Cathy Andrews, 61, from Hackthorn in Lincolnshire worked as an Assistant Cook for St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

After a course of treatment and a failed colostomy Cathy received the most devastating news of all, the cancer was terminal and she had just two years to live.

Cathy said: “From the very beginning I had an instinctive feeling that something just wasn’t right and I suspected cancer all along. I am no stranger to the disease, my father, mother and husband all died from cancer and working at the hospice has opened my eyes even wider.

“It still doesn’t make the news easier to hear, but I was determined to live each day to the full and to spend as much time as possible with the people I love. It was then that I began to think about early retirement but, I was worried about how I would cope financially.

“Living with a terminal diagnosis is stressful enough without the additional burden of money worries. But with the help of the Welfare Benefits team at St Barnabas that worry was taken away.

“Their wealth of knowledge about the complexities of the benefits system was astounding and they were able to help me fill out the forms and make the necessary phone calls on my behalf.”

With the help of the team at St Barnabas it wasn’t long before Cathy began to receive her weekly payments.

“The wonderful thing about the Welfare Benefits team is that they kept in regular contact and always followed through with their promises. If they said they would call you back at a certain time, they actually did. I know it sounds small but reliability is really important at a time when everything around you seems uncertain.

“Their continued support also meant that they were able to identify that the benefits I was receiving were incorrect and they were able to rectify this on my behalf. The money they were able to secure has made a real difference to my life; it is the difference between existing and really living.

“It has given me the freedom to be able to visit my children and grandchildren without the worry of how I will pay for it.”

Cathy concludes: “I can’t thank the team at St Barnabas enough for all their care and support. Their reassurance that they will help me through this challenging time made a real difference to me and my life. It is because of them that I am getting to spend what time I have left with the people who matter the most.”

Many people do not receive payments they are entitled to because they believe that their income or savings are too high. However, a lot of benefits are not means tested and can be paid regardless of financial circumstances.

For information and advice call the Welfare Benefits team on: 01476 513 544

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