CANCER patients in North Yorkshire are struggling to pay their winter fuel bills, according one of the UK’s biggest cancer charities.

Macmillan Cancer Support reported a huge surge in grant requests from patients during the last week of December, and pointed out that many were struggling just weeks after fuel companies raised their prices.

Nick Mudge, Macmillan acting general manager for Northern England, said: “While most of us were enjoying the festive period, cancer patients were clearly in desperate need of financial support.

“These figures and our recent research show just how much of a problem keeping up with fuel bills is for cancer patients – especially as the weather is set to get colder.”

“Cancer patients need to put their energy into getting better. Instead many are living in cold homes anxious about how they’re going to cope with rocketing fuel bills.”

Macmillan said it paid out £1,750 to struggling North Yorkshire cancer patients in the last week of 2012, 11 per cent more the weekly average for the year.

If you are worried about paying your fuel bills or need other financial help such as whether you qualify for the nPower Fuel Management Programme call 0808 808 00 00 or visit