Readers’ letters - February 3

The House of Lords wants amendments to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill ' see letter
The House of Lords wants amendments to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill ' see letter
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Don’t make these cuts

Macmillan Cancer Support is urging all MPs to uphold the Lords’ amendments to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, as this will ensure that people with cancer and other long-term illnesses, who are too ill to work but capable of work in the future, do not see their benefits reduced by £30 a week. Figures show that if MPs don’t uphold these amendments, at least 14,200 people in one county alone could be left without vital financial support.

Macmillan is also worried that some MPs might reject the Lord’s amendments without realising that doing so will push some people with cancer over the edge financially. Our survey shows that over half of Conservative MPs (54 per cent) do not know that the Government’s proposed changes will affect people who have had cancer. Just over a third of all MPs (38 per cent) are unaware of this impact.

Macmillan knows the financial burden that many people with cancer face. The charity found that four in five people with cancer are on average £570 a month worse off as a result of their diagnosis. This is because of loss of income and extra medical costs, such as transport to hospital appointments, as well as spiralling household bills as cancer treatment causes people to feel the cold more when they’re likely to be spending more time at home.

As the Bill moves to its final stages, we hope MPs recognise the impact that any cuts to benefits will have on the physical and mental wellbeing of people in their constituencies with long-term illnesses and uphold the Lord’s amendments.

Get involved in this campaign by emailing their MP on

Jane Melvin

Head of Services – North West England

Macmillan Cancer Support

Thank you to fundraisers

I am writing to say a huge thank you to everyone in the North West that has run, swam, walked, abseiled, hopped, held their breath or baked for the Stroke Association over the last year. We have seen some fantastic support and recently saw the Royal Mail team in the region complete 5k runs, wash cars, play in cricket tournaments and Bubble Football matches to help raise an incredible £1m. It is a fantastic achievement and we are so grateful.

Every year there are 
around 152,000 strokes in 
the UK – that is one every three minutes and 27 

Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer, more men than prostate 
and testicular cancer combined, and is the 
number one cause of long-term severe disability.

But thanks to the millions of pounds raised by our supporters and charity partners, like Royal Mail, the Stroke Association has been able to support stroke survivors in their life after stroke and invest in ground breaking research.

Since September 2014, Royal Mail staff have been raising money so that we can continue to provide Life After Stroke Grants to stroke survivors and their families across the country at a 
time when they need us 
the most.

These grants help survivors take their first steps back into the community.

We will be continuing to work with Royal Mail over the next year to raise a further £1m to fund up to 10,000 recovery and activity grants.

On behalf of stroke survivors and their loved ones, I would like to say thank 
you to Royal Mail for their time, commitment and support.

Jon Barrick

Chief Executive

Stroke Association