A CHARITY has given a lifeline to cancer sufferers struggling to cope with financial hardship.

Macmillan Cancer Support has handed out grants totalling approximately £64,800 to keep 171 Halton residents above the breadline last year.

With the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill currently going through parliament, the charity is urging the Government to change the law so that banks have a legal duty of care to their customers.

Macmillan provided around £18,800 to help people living with cancer pay their heating bills, £3,100 for travel, £1,900 for kitchen appliances and £16,500 for clothes.

Jo Trask, Macmillan information and support specialist and welfare rights expert, said:“It’s often to help with things like increased energy costs due to feeling the cold more, food processors for people who can’t eat solid food and travel to and from hospital for appointments.

“Cancer is really tough on people’s finances and Macmillan’s grants are one way we can take away some of the worry so that they can focus on their health.”

Having cancer costs an average £570 per month as patients lose income and face increased travel and heating expenses.

To support Macmillan’s Banking on Change campaign visit macmillan.org.uk/bankingonchange.

Anyone affected by cancer can ask their healthcare professional for a referral to the Macmillan benefits service or anyone with questions about Macmillan grants can contact the charity’s specialists on 0808 808 0000.