The charity, which supports young cancer patients, welcomed several announcements made by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement, but is calling on the government to recognise the complex needs of these families.
CLIC Sargent research identified an average additional monthly spend of £600 per month for families with a child going through cancer treatment, due to increased travel, food, energy and parking expenditure.
Kate Lee, Chief Executive of CLIC Sargent, said: “The increased costs caused by cancer, accompanied by a drop in income as a parent stops work, can easily knock a family that was ‘just about managing’ into the category of ‘not managing at all’.
“All these families want to do is focus on their child getting better, and they need support to do that. We are happy to see the cancellation of the planned fuel duty rise, with so many families facing mounting fuel bills, and we also welcome a continued commitment to provide free childcare.
“But these children and young people are still in need of immediate support from the point of diagnosis. Families tell us that the benefits system is not fit for purpose for those hit with childhood cancer. It doesn’t come fast enough or go far enough and can leave many at risk of spiraling into debt and even worrying about losing their homes.
“CLIC Sargent will fight for every young life struck by cancer, but the government can support us in that, helping young patients focus on the important things, like getting well.”
CLIC Sargent offers a range of services to young cancer patients, including social workers, nurses, key workers, play specialists, free accommodation at 10 Homes from Home across the UK and financial grants.
To find out more about the charity, and its Cancer Costs campaign, visit www.clicsargent.org/cancercosts.