Charity warns cancer sufferers are being left in the cold

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FREEZING cancer patients in West Sussex, who can’t afford to heat their homes due to rising fuel bills, are increasingly relying on charity handouts to keep warm.

Macmillan Cancer Support has given more than £104,000 in financial grants to 320 cancer patients in Sussex.

Of this, 37 per cent of people were assisted with their energy bills.

Across the UK, Macmillan is giving out almost twice as much in grants to help patients heat their homes than it was five years ago.

Carol Fenton, general manager for the South East, Macmillan Cancer Support said: “To feel too scared to put the heating on because of soaring energy bills is an unacceptable reality for thousands of vulnerable cancer patients who feel the cold more and spend long periods of time at home.

“When the charity was established 100 years ago, founder Douglas Macmillan helped cancer patients by handing out sacks of coal to keep them warm.

“It is shocking that a century on, people who are diagnosed with this devastating disease are still relying on charity help to heat their freezing homes.”

Despite the impact fuel poverty has on cancer patients, few patients benefit from government and energy companies’ schemes, said Ms Fenton.

“Macmillan is calling for the ongoing Independent Fuel Poverty Review to prioritise cancer patients and for more to be done to lift cancer patients out of fuel poverty.”

To find out about help for cancer patients, or to make a donation to support Macmillan’s work readers should call freephone 0808 808 0000 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk.