Pub company and brewer Greene King has today announced it has raised £1m for Macmillan Cancer Support’s Emergency Grants Appeal, a pledge it made at the start of 2023.
The funds raised through charity activity in over 1,600 Greene King pubs, hotels and restaurants and across its support centres and breweries could help almost 3,000 families with a financial grant. The money will help people living with cancer manage unexpected or additional costs related to their diagnosis during the cost-of-living crisis.
According to the leading cancer support charity, 83% of people living with cancer in the UK – almost 2.5 million people – experience some kind of financial impact from their diagnosis, and for those affected, this reaches an average of £891 a month[i].
Sal Dunford, 46, from Bolton, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2022 aged 45, and is currently on long-term sick leave. She lives with her husband, who has had to take on a second job to keep a roof over their heads – Sal’s only income at the moment is a Personal Independence Payment.
Speaking about her current financial situation, Sal said: “Ever since receiving my cancer diagnosis the cost-of-living crisis has been relentless. My diagnosis was hard enough and with money worries on top, it’s been really, really difficult. We have no disposable income and have had to tighten our belts on food, water, travel and we haven’t been able to turn the central heating on, even when we’ve really needed it.
“When things got tough, Macmillan stepped in and was a real lifesaver, helping me keep my head above water by providing us with benefits advice and a one-off grant. I can’t tell you how helpful this was – I really don’t know where I’d be without that support.”
The charity’s Emergency Grants Appeal provides those living with cancer with practical financial assistance – helping them to pay necessary expenses such as fuel to get to hospital appointments, or support with food and heating bills.
The number of people with cancer supported by a Macmillan grant in the first three months of this year jumped to more than 13,000, an increase of 28% compared with the same time last year[ii].
Nick Mackenzie, CEO at Greene King, said, “We’ve been proud partners of Macmillan Cancer support for over ten years now. In that time, we’ve seen some incredible stories of our team members going above and beyond to raise money to support people living with cancer.
“This huge fundraising achievement is thanks to the power of all the many smaller donations that happen daily across our pubs, from the £1 dropped into the collection tin on the bar, to the 25p donations that are added at the till, they all add up and really make a difference. It’s no surprise that our generous customers and passionate teams have come together once again and raised the £1m in just a few short months.
Claire Rowney Executive Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Innovation, at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We couldn’t be more grateful and proud of everyone at Greene King for raising an incredible £1 million for Macmillan’s Emergency Grants Appeal.
“Macmillan Grants are a lifeline for so many and the funds raised by Greene King will help us support even more people living with cancer through the cost-of-living crisis.
This is yet again another amazing achievement from Greene King colleagues. I would like to thank them for their phenomenal fundraising efforts and their continued commitment to do whatever it takes to support people living with cancer.”
Greene King has supported Macmillan since 2012, raising over £14.5m in the last 11 years of its partnership with the cancer charity.
 Macmillan Cancer Support/Truth survey of 1,329 adults who have received a cancer diagnosis. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th January and 7th February 2020. The survey was carried out online. Sample is weighted to represent national population of people who have received a cancer diagnosis in terms of demographics (age, gender, region) and cancer type/time since diagnosis using prevalence data. The research shows that 83% of people with cancer in the UK experience some kind of financial impact of cancer, and for those affected, the average monthly amount at their most financially challenging time is £891. This is a weighted average, taking into account both loss of income and increased costs. Please note this research pre-dates both the Covid-19 pandemic and the current cost of living crisis, both of which have further increased financial pressures on many people with cancer
 Macmillan Cancer Support internal data. From Sunday 1st January 2023 to Friday 31st March 2023 inclusive, Macmillan gave out grants to 13,382 people with cancer. The total number of people with cancer who were supported with a grant during the equivalent period in 2022 was 10,421