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Killer gas charity facing closure

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Health and also in Campaign, Environment, Featured, Finance, Housing

Killer gas charity facing closure Killer gas charity facing closure

A charity that raises awareness of the UK's most common poison - carbon monoxide (CO) - is on the verge of closure due to a lack of funding.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness will cease to be at the end of the year unless new financing is secured. Official figures from the Department of Health show that every year in the UK 4,000 people are diagnosed with low-level poisoning, 200 are admitted to hospital and approximately 50 people are killed.

Established in 2005 by Runcorn resident Lynn Griffiths, the charity has lobbied for resources to be provided for the education of doctors and nurses in the detection of carbon monoxide related illnesses, and has also taken an annual roadshow to the Houses of Parliament.

Lynne, her late husband and four children suffered the devastating effects of undiagnosed carbon monoxide poisoning over many years. Despite regular gas services, a partially-blocked flu had remained undetected in their home.

The charity has been run entirely by volunteers and all funding received has been used to “spread the message" of the threat posed by the deadly gas.

The Chief Executive of CORGI told the House of Lords in 2007 that an estimated five million homes throughout the UK had gas appliances that were incorrectly installed, poorly maintained or damaged, and which put home owners seriously at risk.

Lynn said: “This is important work and I believe we have succeeded in getting our message across and in saving many people from suffering and the possibility of premature death. I’m devastated by the thought of giving it up, but unless we secure funding from somewhere, we will cease all activities after Christmas this year.

“I’ve dedicated the last seven years of my life to helping people avoid this unnecessary suffering. It’s a cause I’m passionate about, but unless a fairy godmother should emerge out of the blue, I cannot see us continuing.”

Early symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to common ailments such as food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness. Symptoms may include headache, weakness, drowsiness and tiredness, chest pain and dizziness.

Those interested in helping the charity can visit its websites at www.co-awareness.org or www.covictim.org 

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