New support group for Sunderland’s asbestos victims17 March 2011
Free support and advice to victims of asbestos related diseases
An asbestos support centre has opened in Sunderland to help those suffering from asbestos related diseases and their families.
The Northern Region Asbestos Support and Campaign Group, has been set up by the Northern TUC to provide free support and advice to victims of asbestos related diseases and their families in Sunderland and the surrounding area.
The new service will advise those affected by asbestos on issues including welfare benefits and access to free specialist legal advice.
Asbestos affects hundreds of people in Sunderland who were exposed to the dust working on the Wear’s shipyards or at Washington Chemical Company – an asbestos factory in Washington.
Asbestos was commonly used as a building material during the 1960s
Asbestos was commonly used as a building material during the 1960s and others may have been exposed to asbestos present in office buildings, schools and factories.
Exposure to the deadly dust can lead to lethal cancer mesothelioma and chronic lung conditions like asbestosis and pleural thickening. Often those diagnosed with an asbestos related condition are entitled to claim benefits.
The Northern Region Asbestos Support and Campaign Group has trained advisors who provide free advice on claiming entitlements.
Maggie Fitzsimons, who works alongside colleague Pat McKeown at the Northern Region Asbestos Support and Campaign Group explained: “Being diagnosed with an asbestos related disease or condition can be a shock and it can have a huge impact on the sufferers and their relatives.
“Often people do not know where to turn and the benefits system can seem complicated. We can cut through the jargon and paperwork to help sufferers and their families claim any benefits they may be entitled to.”
The Northern Region Asbestos Support and Campaign Group holds an outreach service at the GMB office on Frederick Street, Sunderland on the first Wednesday of every month and can be contacted on 0191 200 7198.
Asbestos disease diagnosis? Talk to us for advice and support on how to secure compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can support you with advice on how to make a claim.
The process will be explained in plain English and with no obligation – our priority is to provide you with the best, expert advice on whether you have a valid case for compensation, and to signpost you to further sources of support.
There are strict time limits applied to making a claim – usually three years from the date of diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the exposure to asbestos took place – as it often does – decades ago, the three year time limit applies to the date of knowledge of diagnosis or date of death.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.