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19 Jun 2020

Macmillan Cancer Resources during COVID-19

We want to let you know how Macmillan can support if you are supporting people who are living with or affected by cancer during the Coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak.

These continue to be uncertain and quickly changing times at the moment, and we understand that people are affected in many ways, depending on their individual circumstances. We have developed a number of resources and services to help both you as supporters and also the people you are supporting.

Coronavirus (Covid 19) Emergency Grant Fund

Macmillan support grant

We want to reach out to those who most need us at this time and so we have established a new Covid 19 Emergency Grant Fund, a sub-stream of our Macmillan Support Grant.

We welcome applications for up to £5,000 from any group, organisation or professional who is supporting their community to overcome the social impact of the coronavirus. 

Please email to register your interest.

Further guidance can be found in this document.

Tell us how Covid 19 has impacted your work or affected those you support

Helping Macmillan to understand the challenges

Supporting the many fantastic individuals, groups and organisations who are also supporting people living with cancer continues to be our priority.

To be able to help you support others better, it is important that we understand as much as possible about how the coronavirus (COVID 19) is impacting on your support efforts and also the people who use your services so that we can try to deliver the support that you need to do the best job you can during these unprecedented and challenging times. 

To help build our understanding, we need to hear more about what is happening on the ground.  We need to know your experiences.  Could you take the time to share with us your experiences with us?

You can do this by emailing and tell us:

  • a brief summary of how COVID-19 has affected you/ your group or organisation
  • where your group or organisation is based and the area you serve (i.e which city or county)
  • if you are sharing a personal experience please tell us where you live (which city or county)
  • an indication of whether you are happy for us to contact you, should we require further details (and if you are happy for us to contact you. Please also provide your contact details).


We will then collate your responses (anonymously) with those received by colleagues from across the UK and they will be used to shape our response to this current crisis.

Coronavirus Information Hub

If you’re looking for the latest coronavirus guidance for people living with or affected by cancer, check out the Macmillan Coronavirus Hub here.

You will find useful information for support groups and organisations about: 

  • Support for health, care professionals and volunteers
  • Common treatment questions
  • Shielding, coping with self-isolation and how to take care of yourself or someone else at home
  • How to look after your immune system and keep yourself active and well at home
  • How to access financial support if your income has been affected by coronavirus
  • How to support someone who is approaching end of life if you’re worried about how coronavirus might affect their care
  • What to do if you, or someone you know, have noticed symptoms or signs of cancer

If for any reason the link has not worked, you can access the coronavirus hub here:


Macmillan Telephone Buddies

If you know people affected by cancer who are shielding or self-isolating or who simply need to talk, we're here to listen. With a weekly call from one of our trained Telephone Buddies, no one should have to face cancer alone.

 How a telephone buddy works

Going through cancer can be an isolating experience at any time, and especially when social distancing. Our free Telephone Buddy service is here for your service users.  It doesn’t matter if they already have a relationship with Macmillan or not.  They simply need to register with the service and we’ll match them with someone who understands what they're going through, and give them a weekly call.

Our volunteer buddy will be a listening ear, ready to talk about how the person with cancer is feeling and their support needs during this difficult time. They can also let them know about our services, and all the ways Macmillan can help, to ensure they don't face cancer alone.

Please share this information, with anyone you feel could benefit from it, find out more here

If for any reason the link has not worked, you can access information about the telephone buddies service here:


Macmillan Wellbeing Coaches

 Our Macmillan Well-Being Coaches are here to help you if you have been affected by cancer. They offer free, remote coaching to people who want to work towards making a positive change in their life.

Our coaches have helped people affected by cancer in many ways. They could support you in the following ways, or with other challenges not listed here.

  • Better understand what’s on your mind and come to terms with your life with or after cancer.
  • Build confidence to talk with a loved one about what you’re going through and how they can support you.
  • Develop coping strategies for challenging situations you find yourself in.
  • Learn how to pause and reflect on a challenging situation before reacting.
  • Build courage to be around other people and to communicate with them.
  • Find new opportunities for work, study or leisure that interest you.
  • Learn to feel okay with making mistakes and become more able to move forward with your life.


Find out more here. If for any reason the link has not worked, you can access information about our wellbeing coaching service here:


Don't let cancer become the forgotten 'C'

Long before the pandemic hit, cancer waiting times were at their worst. But since the coronavirus outbreak, it is even harder for people with cancer to get the care and support they need.

  • Vital appointments are being postponed, cancelled or changed. The emotional impact is taking its toll on people who are already struggling, and the support is inadequate.
  • It's crucial that cancer doesn't become the forgotten 'C'.
  • We need your help to make sure politicians understand that now, more than ever, people living with cancer need to be able to get the right treatment, care and support, at the right time.
  • Will you urge your health minister to stop cancer becoming the forgotten 'C'?
  • It's vital that health ministers make decisions for people living with cancer, with people living with cancer.

Please click the link here to email your health minister today

If you would like to be more involved in this campaign email and myself or my colleagues will be in touch to find the best way for you to help our campaign.

And finally….

Would you like to take part in an online research study on the impact of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic on people living with cancer?

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen and Queen’s University Belfast are seeking support charities and scientific bodies to understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic for people with cancer, pre-cancerous conditions, or rare conditions, and how it is affecting their caregivers.

The research will look at how people are affected now, and how they continue to be affected.  The research and insight will be presented to charities and scientific bodies to support their understanding and response to the pandemic.

How to Take Part If you are over 18, have cancer, a pre-cancerous condition, a rare condition, or you are over 18 and care for someone who does, then you can take part in an online survey which is live now, until 15 June.

You can also agree to be contacted again and take part in two shorter online surveys later this year, and early next year, to help track the impact of Covid-19 over time.  These follow-on surveys will take place in September 2020 and January 2021.

 If you are interested, you can access the survey here

I hope that this information has been of interest to you and look forward to hearing from you soon.  Please do continue to tell us about your experiences and how you think we can support you at this time. 

Kindest Regards

Macmillan Engagement Team

Please note that some of our team members are on furlough, working on other projects as part of our response to Covid 19 or working reduced hours.  As a result of this you may be contacted by a different member of the Midlands Engagement Team instead of your usual contact.  It is also possible that response times might be slower than you are used to, but please be reassured that you are important to us and we will respond to you as quickly as possible.


We are doing everything we can to help people living with cancer,

who need us now more than ever. For information, support or just someone to talk to, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit

Tailored resources for people with cancer concerned about the coronavirus are available at

Further resources to support Macmillan professionals are available on Learnzone


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