The charity, which fights for young lives struck by cancer, welcomes news that chancellor Philip Hammond plans to focus on families who are ‘just about managing’ (JAMs) in tomorrow’s statement.
However it warns that many families who believe themselves to be financially stable, can tumble into debt when their child is diagnosed with cancer.
Kate Lee, Chief Executive for the charity, said: “We are very familiar with the phrase ‘just about managing’, because that is how so many families we support describe themselves prior to their child’s cancer diagnosis.
“Then suddenly their costs skyrocket, by an average of £600 per month during treatment, and their incomes often drop as many stop work to be there for their child. These circumstances pushed 61% of families we spoke to earlier this year into debt.
“We know that travel and food are the biggest costs for parents whose child is going through cancer treatment. Therefore any announcement on fuel duty, food prices or childcare costs that could free up family budgets would have a major impact.
“CLIC Sargent works to support these families with a number of services, including our 10 Homes from Home, providing free accommodation near treatment centres, and our financial grants programme, which gave our £1.1 million in grants to families last year. But these families need help from the Government as well.
“It’s not right or fair that a family already reeling from a cancer diagnosis can find itself falling into debt. We would like to see the Chancellor taking action to support those families via their cost of travel, car parking costs and funeral costs, so that they can cope as best as possible through what can be the most challenging time.”