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Info service helps cancer patients

An information service for cancer patients and their carers in Belfast is easing their financial stress by helping them claim benefits.

The new welfare advice service provided by the charity Macmillan Cancer Support has generated nearly £70,000 in its first seven months.

Macmillan has joined up with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Northern Bank to help sufferers and their relatives.

Heather Monteverde, general manager for Macmillan Cancer Support Northern Ireland, said: "Our research has shown that over 90% of those affected by cancer experience a significant reduction in income following a cancer diagnosis.

"We are bringing this service to people who really need it, people who in many cases would be unable to access this advice for themselves."

The service started in April and has dealt with 1,169 welfare issues since then, including questions on benefits, disability living allowance, and housing.

Northern Bank regional general manager, Katherine James, said: "We take our social responsibility very seriously and understand that money worries and responsibilities can make an already anxious time even more stressful for those facing a cancer diagnosis.

"We are proud to be able to support Macmillan and Citizens Advice to help make a difference and alleviate some of those financial concerns."

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Macmillan Cancer Support