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Cancer Patients Rely on Charity to Heat Homes

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7:53am 6th February 2012

The number of Cornish cancer patients relying on charities to pay their heating bills has tripled in four years.

Macmillan handed out £21,200 in grants to a hundred people last year. Only thirty-two needed help back in 2007.

Sarah Beaven, Cancer Information and Support Specialist for the region 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."

The charity says there needs to be a shake-up in the law, because few patients are eligible for help with their heating bills under government schemes.

7:53am 6th February 2012

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