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By Fiona Reid
Front
Study seeks D&G participants

A GROUNDBREAKING study is on a mission to uncover the hidden struggles in Scotland’s rural communities related to illness and financial hardship.

The study, titled “Unreached: The Impact of Financial Insecurity in Urban and Rural Areas,” aims to understand the challenges faced by those who are nearing the end of life while struggling to make ends meet, and their carers.

Dr Naomi Richards and Dr Sam Quinn from the University of Glasgow are leading the research, which hopes to highlight the resources needed for these individuals to live and die well.

And they are looking for participants from Dumfries and Galloway, who:

• Are living with advanced illnesses such as cancer, advanced heart illness, motor neurone illness, COPD, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, dementia, or end-stage organ failure, or are caring/have cared for somebody with an advanced illness.

• Are experiencing financial difficulties or are in receipt of means-tested benefits.

• Reside in rural or island communities, defined by the Scottish Government as areas more than a 30-minute drive from a settlement with a population of 10,000 or more.

• Are over 18 and able to give informed consent.

Those interested can email [email protected] or call 07484 006217 for more information.

Dr Quinn said: “We hope the findings of this research will help the NHS, hospices and charities to develop services that will be more responsive to the needs of people facing money worries at the end of life.

“We know that people in rural and island areas can face specific challenges that are not always acknowledged, including higher transport costs and energy bills.

“I urge anybody interested in taking part to reach out for more information.”

Recruitment for the first phase of the study will continue until June 2025.

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