Nearly one in five people living with cancer turn the heating off, even though they feel cold. Find out the latest from our campaign to freeze out fuel poverty so far...
Fuel Campaign success in Northern Ireland
After a long campaign by Macmillan, we were delighted that the Northern Ireland Executive announced in December 2011 that cancer patients would get £100 help with their fuel bills.
Heather Monteverde, Macmillan’s general manager in Northern Ireland said: 'This is much needed help for cancer patients who face such difficulties in paying their heating bills after going through treatment – MLAs from all parties in Stormont deserve great credit for bringing in this payment. We will now continue to campaign to make this payment permanent'.
Northern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA said in a government announcement:
'This payment will help those who have received cancer treatment, including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or palliative care, in the last six months or if a decision to provide this kind of treatment for cancer is made during the qualifying week, which is from 12-18 December 2011. It is expected that at least 4,200 patients will benefit from this funding'
'The financial burden, along with the physical effects of cancer and cancer treatments means that this payment will go some way to ensuring cancer sufferers are more comfortable in their own homes.'
Accessing the payment
GP’s will be mailing eligible cancer patients at the start of February and a hotline will be set up by the Northern Ireland Health Department from the 6 of February onwards.
If you believe you are eligible and do not receive a letter from your GP in early February then please check local press details for the NI Executive helpline that is being set up
Infi-Knit goes to Westminster
In July, Macmillan campaigners Joy Beddows and Mary Clarke (pictured right) presented our giant woolly scarf petition to Greg Barker MP, the government minister responsible for fuel poverty.
Joy and Mary were pleased that the Minister took their concerns seriously and was keen to help to ensure people with cancer vulnerable to fuel poverty are able to access more support.
You can see more photos from the the visit on the Macmillan facebook page.
How did we make the Infi-Knit scarf?
Campaigners were asked to tell us what things keep them warm – whether it was a bowl of homemade soup, or their favourite dressing gown. Their message was turned into a bit of knitting by our Knit-Bot machine, and could be viewed through a web cam. All of the messages were knitted together to make ‘Infi-Knit’, our giant woolly scarf petition. Over 5,000 people took part, making the scarf over 127 metres long.
Keep in touch
If you’d like to keep updated on this and all our campaigns please sign up to our e-campaigner network. We will be sure to let you know how you can get involved.
Find out about the options open to you if you need to save money on your fuel bills in our Cancer Information section.