PEOPLE living with cancer will be able to make sure they’re getting all the money they’re entitled to under an initiative being launched by a Paralympic medallist.

The link-up between Taunton Citizens Advice Bureau and Macmillan Cancer Support has already freed up over £50,000 in recurring income and one-of grants.

Equestrian star Deb Criddle, who won a gold and two silvers at the Paralympics, will launch the benefits advice service at the Beacon Centre cancer unit at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, on Friday.

CAB chief officer Liz Fothergill said cancer patients often have to give up work and face increased bills at home, as well as prescription and transport costs.

She added: “People affected by cancer need to know they’re receiving all the income they’re entitled to in order to meet the increased costs associated with cancer.

“However, finding the information and advice needed can be hard for cancer patients when they’re feeling unwell and have a busy schedule of treatment and travelling between home and hospital.

“The new service will help them claim all the benefits to which they’re entitled and will advise on other issues so that they don’t have to worry about the financial impact of their cancer diagnosis.”

Macmillan benefits advisers, currently based at the CAB offices in Taunton, will provide an outreach service in the Beacon Centre on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

The service is available to anyone living or receiving treatment in the Taunton area or friends and family affected by cancer – call 01823-448960 to talk to an advised or speak to the receptionist in the Beacon Centre.

Ed Murphy, senior Macmillan development manager, said: “Instead of money worries, cancer patients should be able to focus on getting better.

“Yet for too many cancer patients and their families, coping with the stress of financial pressure is a harsh reality.

“The new Macmillan/CAB team’s vital support will make a huge difference to the people of Taunton and district who are living with cancer.”