A mum from Stevenage who lost the ability to speak 20 years ago due to the side effects of her cancer treatment can now talk again.

Angie Storton, 66, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2004 and received treatment at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood.

Side effects of the treatment unfortunately damaged Angie’s voice box and she lost the ability to speak.

Now, thanks to a grant from a partnership between two charities - Cura and the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity - Angie has purchased the technology that has enabled her to talk again.

The Speak Unique app uses a personalised voice to help Angie speak.

With help from her speech therapist, Angie’s daughter’s voice, which is similar to Angie’s, was uploaded to the app to be her voice.

Angie said: "Losing my voice felt like losing part of my identity. Having the Speak Unique app with my daughter’s voice has helped me regain part of my identity. It matches my accent and my gender and it feels like me again. I can talk to my friends and family and it gives me more independence.

"I haven’t been able to work since my cancer treatment, so I am very grateful for the grant to get the app."

Angie is one of the first recipients of a grant from the partnership between Cura and the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity.

The partnership aims to provide grants to patients facing treatment for cancer at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.

The grants, which will usually be approximately £300 per person, could help provide wigs, specialist post-surgery bras, help in the home, transport to appointments, childcare during treatment, or go towards a short holiday.

Grant applications are considered individually and must offer direct help or support to the patient in some way.

Cura was initially set up in 2012 to support patients with breast cancer. The partnership with the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity will mean patients with other cancers can now also apply for grants.

Cura co-founder, Jennie Kirk, was inspired to set up the charity after being treated for breast cancer.

She said: "It is wonderful to be a part of something good that grew from a very hard period in my life.

"This new partnership with the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity will enable us to help even more people who may be struggling to make ends meet, while also having to deal with the huge physical and emotional upsets that cancer treatment brings."

Eloise Huddleston, director of the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, added: "We are delighted to launch this partnership with Cura to help people facing cancer treatment access grants to make things a little bit easier.

"It’s wonderful to hear that Angie’s grant to purchase the Speak Unique app has made a real difference to her life. She can talk again, and in a voice that matches her own. It has helped her regain her confidence and given her back her independence.

"The grants do not need to be for life-changing items like Angie’s though. They are to help anybody going through cancer treatment who needs a bit of help.

"If you, or anyone you know, is being treated for cancer at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and would like to apply for a grant, please visit enhhcharity.org.uk/cura-grants."