Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group (GMAVSG) is a registered charity (1113201).

We offer free and independent advice on benefits and compensation to people with asbestos-related diseases and their families.

We also campaign for better funding for medical research and treatment, fairer benefits and compensation, the removal of asbestos from the places where we work and live, and an international ban on asbestos.

As a small charity, we rely on donations to carry on the work we do. To donate to us, please click here.

Mesothelioma Support Group summer outing 2017

The Mesothelioma Support Group is for people who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma. Every year, we run a summer outing.

This year’s outing was a canal boat trip in the beautiful Peak District! Starting and ending at Whaley Bridge, the round trip took just over 2 hours. Those who came enjoyed fantastic views, tasty food, plenty of wine and, most importantly, good company!

 

Living Well with Mesothelioma Group meetings 2017

Details of the next 6 meetings have now been published.

7 August 2017. No meeting. Group outing—Castlefield Canal Cruise. Please ring us if you are interested in attending.

4 September 2017. “Addressing patient and carer’s needs—it’s good to talk.”

2 October 2017. “A spoonful of sugar”. Julie Whitehead. Macmillan Pharmacist, Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

6 November 2017. “The Role of the Pleural Nurse”. Sue Jackson, Pleural Nurse Practitioner, University Hospital South Manchester.

4 December 2017. “Mindfullness”. Ann Burgoyne. Macmillan Living Well Service Lead Practitioner, Blyth House Hospice, Chapel en le Frith.

8 January 2018 (NO MEETING ON 1 JANUARY). “What services/support are available in your area?” Mairead Dixon. Senior Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist, University Hospital South Manchester.

Please note, we will not be having a meeting on 7 August as this is the date of the group’s summer outing. We will be having lunch and cruising the canals around Manchester on a barge. It is not too late to sign up for this trip if you are interested. Ring us on 0161 636 7555 if you would like to join us.

Phoenix House saved

The campaign to save Phoenix House benefit office in Barrow has been won, at least until 2023! The Government announced that it has withdrawn plans to close down this specialist office and guaranteed it will stay open until at least 2023.

Congratulations to the workers at Phoenix House and their union, PCS, for waging such a good campaign. Well done too to all those support groups and campaigners who added their support. This decision is good news for victims of asbestos diseases who rely on the expertise of the staff in this office to ensure prompt and efficient payment of their benefits.

Action Mesothelioma Day 2017

Action Mesothelioma Day in Manchester had a distinctly international flavour this year with a delegation from Japanese asbestos victims groups paying a solidarity visit to events in 5 cities on Friday. We were delighted to welcome Mrs Chizuko Hirachi, who lost her husband to mesothelioma aged 60 in 2007, Mr Tadao Hirata who lost his brother to mesothelioma aged only 41 in 1989, as well as Mr Hiroshi Iida and Mr Sugio Furuya, both prominent campaigners on behalf of asbestos victims in Japan.

More than 200 people attended our commemoration and dove release in Sackville Gardens. This rally began with a moving speech from Vivienne Swain, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2015. Vivienne’s contribution was followed by speeches from local MPs Kate Green, Mike Kane, Debbie Abrahams, Tony Lloyd and Lucy Powell. Also addressing the rally was Councillor Joyce Bowerman, Civic Mayor of Tameside, whose brother was diagnosed with last year. Councillor Bowerman has chosen Mesothelioma UK as one of her nominated charities for the coming year.

Following the speeches, the dove release was led by Dave Staley, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2015, and Tadao Hirata. Mesothelioma recognises no borders and our dove release commemorated all those who had lost their lives to this disease in Japan as well as at home. We share a common bond.

Our public meeting in the Mechanics Institute heard speeches from Chizuko Hirachi, who described how her husband was exposed to asbestos through living close to the Kubota asbestos factory in Japan and Jeff Eaman who outlined the impact of asbestos giant Turner & Newall in exposing workers in Greater Manchester to asbestos over many years. The main speaker was Professor Sir Anthony Newman Taylor, Chair of the National Mesothelioma Research Centre who spoke about what he hoped this new research centre could achieve in the mission to find a cure for this man-made disease.

We would like to thank all those attended on Friday as well as all of you who contributed so generously to our fundraising effort on behalf of the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund. We will post the final figure for money raised on this site later.

 

 

Remembering Kevin Lynch

We received the sad news last week that Kevin Lynch, who was instrumental in establishing the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group, passed away on 17th January 2017. We would like to extend our condolences to Kevin’s family.

Identity of asbestos spy revealed

The name of the individual caught spying on asbestos campaign groups has been revealed after the High Court lifted his anonymity protection.

Robert (Rob) Moore had posed as a sympathetic filmmaker in an attempt to infiltrate and gather private information on campaigners in the UK and overseas. Moore worked for K2 Intelligence Ltd, a firm founded by Jules Kroll, “a leading figure in the corporate intelligence industry” according to the Guardian, and run by his son and co-founder Jeremy.

It’s official – Canada to ban use of asbestos by 2018

The Canadian Federal government announced today that asbestos and asbestos-containing materials will be banned by 2018.

Asbestos victims welcome Companies House change of heart on destroying records

Groups representing sufferers of asbestos related diseases have welcomed reassurances given on behalf of the Government that proposals to destroy records of dissolved companies have been abandoned.

The Guardian reported in August that Companies House was planning to destroy the records of companies that had been dissolved for longer than 6 years, overturning their current policy of retaining records for at least 20 years.

This would have been disastrous for asbesos victims seeking compensation for their negligent workplace exposure to asbestos. Asbestos diseases take decades to develop, sometimes for as long as 60 years. Because of this, the negligent employer has usually gone out of business by the time a disease develops. Access to Companies House records on dissolved companies is therefore crucial for victims trying to secure justice.

Moves to delete Companies House records will impede compensation claims from asbestos victims

The Guardian recently reported that Companies House was planning to delete millions of records it holds on dissolved companies. The proposals are to delete records older than 6 years old. There seems to be no pressing need for this, other than administrative convenience, but the consequences for asbestos victims seeking to pursue claims for compensation could be devastating.

Asbestos diseases develop many years after the asbestos exposure that caused them. For example, the average latency period before mesothelioma develops is about 35 years. In the intervening period, the employer who caused the asbestos exposure may have gone out of business. Furthermore, the person who develops the disease may not remember the name of their employer, or know whether the original employer changed its name or was a subsidiary of another company.