1 Action Mesothelioma Day 2011 Dear All Here is a summary of events that took place for Action Mesothelioma Day. Best wishes Liz Liz Darlison Mesothelioma UK
2 Leicester Event Leicester s activities to support Action Mesothelioma Day were organised by Linda Thornton and supported by the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team and Mesothelioma UK. This year the focus was on secondary exposure to asbestos ; a warning to all those DIY enthusiasts to take precautions when dealing with any re-modelling or building works within their own homes. The Leicester Mesothelioma community and invited guests, HM Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire Jennifer, Lady Gretton JP, Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Abdul Osman, the High Sheriff of Leicestershire, Mr Resham Singh Sandhu and Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, Mrs Jackie Dickinson gathered in Leicester s cathedral at 10.20am to be greeted by the Dean the Very Reverend Vivienne Faull who warmly welcomed everyone to the Reflection. Jennifer, Lady Gretton kindly opened and spoke about mesothelioma and the devastating effect it has had in so many people s lives and how we should not forget that asbestos is still prevalent and that we should continue to raise awareness about the dangers that we as a nation still have to face while it remains in our homes and public buildings. Jennifer, Lady Gretton then kindly led the dignitaries to place their message leaves on the lighted tree. Liz Darlison talked about what Action Mesothelioma Day means here today in the UK and the social global asbestos issues that the world will be faced with in the years ahead. She also spoke of the dream Mesothelioma UK had back in 2004 to get a team of Specialist Mesothelioma Nurses in high incidence areas across the UK. That dream has started to be realised, as with the help of our dedicated fundraisers and sponsors, Mesothelioma UK have raised enough funds to employ a second Mesothelioma Specialist Nurse. The Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Abdul Osman highlighted the need to support the specialist nurses and centres that are needed in the UK as the mesothelioma epidemic continues to rise. The Reverend Maggie Sharpe opened the Reflection and spoke of the weeping willow that fell in her garden due to the high winds and the hole that it has left in her landscape, she led the community through a period of Reflection and lit four candles to remember those who have been lost to mesothelioma and although our personal landscapes may change we still have our precious memories. The Dean led the community to the cathedral grounds where Jennifer, Lady Gretton and Linda Thornton organiser and wife of Roger Thornton who died of mesothelioma, gathered together with the community and released two Doves in a symbolic gesture to remember and reflect. Picture Source: Leicester Mercury Dove Release
3 Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team On Action Mesothelioma Day, 1 st July 2011 mesothelioma victims and families warned of the dangers of exposure to asbestos in homes, public buildings and schools. A life size model identifying some of the common places where asbestos can be found in the home was displayed in New Square in Chesterfield and the general public were invited to find out where asbestos may be found in their homes. This created quite a bit of interest from passers-by, who could not believe how widespread asbestos can be in homes and public buildings. There were speeches from several Trade Unions focusing on low level of exposure to asbestos. Local MP Toby Perkins also spoke supporting Action Mesothelioma Day. The day attracted good media publicity, with an article in the Derby Telegraph focusing on Asbestos in Schools and radio interviews with Radio Sheffield and Peak 107 where we were able to press our point about the need for the Health and Safety Executive s Hidden Killer campaign to continue. The Reflection and Celebration of life message leaves enables us to Remember all those who have died of Mesothelioma or who have been made ill by this dreadful disease. Similar to last year there were some heart-felt messages. The messages were sponsored to raise money for Mesothelioma UK and the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund. After the main speakers a prayer was said by the local Industrial Chaplain followed by messages being placed on the tree.
4 The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund marked AMD Leeds 2011 with a new venture that proved hugely successful.. The main aim of the event was to highlight the research work currently supported by the Fund but medical and legal experts in the disease also participated. Speed-dating the experts allowed people to meet the experts in an informal setting, bringing patients and families face to face with as many people who could offer help and information as possible. Almost 100 people attended, made up of patients, carers, supporters and family members, legal and healthcare professionals, local support groups, and representatives from each of the 4 research projects we have funded. The best yet was the consensus of opinion! The event was free, and a lovely lunch was enjoyed by all. Those attending were able to spend around 20 minutes with each group of experts as they moved around the room. Each expert group gave a short introduction to their work then opened the discussion to questions from the table. Poster displays of research and related topics were also available for delegates to read and a Poster Idol style competition was held for a little bit of fun, with the winning poster earning a bottle of bubbly for its creator! The winner was Dr Tabi one of the recipients of our research awards. Dr Tabi leads a team of immunologists working in Cardiff; their work has identified specific markers on mesothelioma cells that can be targeted with an anti-cancer vaccine. This response will shortly be tested in a clinical trial at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Local support groups were also on hand, chatting to delegates and providing information about their membership and activities. Representatives from the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund were discussed their research work to date, and announced that another research award in the region of 200,000 will be made in the Autumn. The Fund also announced it had just passed the 1,000,000 raised watershed a huge achievement that gave everyone in the room greater hope for the future, and the knowledge that something is being done to improve outcomes for patients. The feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive; many described AMD 2011 as 'brilliant' and 'the best yet Communicating complicated information to groups of non-specialists was never going to be an easy task, but thanks to the dedication and efforts of our Meet the Experts team and the support of many behind the scenes, the overwhelming feeling is that we did it and because of that we helped many patients and their families in many ways. Trustees: Kimberley Stubbs (centre blue and white patterned top) and Kate Hill (second in from right in black dress) Competition winner Dr Zsusanna Tabi (behind Kate Hill also in black dress)
5 Cheshire Asbestos Victims Support Group / Merseyside Asbestos Victims Support Group The Merseyside and Cheshire Victim Support Groups held their Action Mesothelioma Day at Wallasey Town Hall. Speakers at the meeting included Dr. Chris Warburton, Consultant Chest Physician, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool, Mr. Paul Rowan, Former MP for Rochdale and Chair of Asbestos in Schools campaign and John Tootle, Tutor from the Liverpool Community College. The day focused on the latest clinical developments for mesothelioma patients, Asbestos in Schools, the 35% cut in the HSE's budget and the abandonment (scrapping?) of their campaign on asbestos. Over 100 victims and their families attended the meeting. A sponsored dove release to raise funds for research into finding a cure for mesothelioma was held on the steps of the Town Hall at midday. Victims, family members, civic dignitaries, Luciana Berger MP for Liverpool Wavertree and the granddaughters of the late Mr George Edwards, Mesothelioma victim:- Lucy and Sarah Green at the Sponsored Dove Release. John Flanagan, Information Officer for Merseyside Asbestos Victim Support Group, said: "This year more than ever we need the support of the community to ensure future generations of workers do not have to experience these insidious and deadly diseases through lack of education and failure to take all necessary steps to eradicate asbestos from our environment".
6 Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group Dove Release Mesothelioma sufferers and families affected by mesothelioma, and their supporters, gathered in Lincoln Square in Manchester to release doves in memory of all those who have died from mesothelioma. Speakers at the event included: Lorraine Creech - lead mesothelioma nurse, Greater Manchester & Cheshire Cancer Network Tony Lloyd MP, Kate Green MP, John Leech MP, Lisa Nandy and MP Paul Goggins MP Alan Grieves, who suffers from mesothelioma, and Christine Austin, whose husband Peter died from mesothelioma, release doves in Lincoln Square Public Meeting A public meeting was then held in Manchester Town Hall on asbestos in social housing. Our speakers called for full information for tenants on asbestos in their homes and for government to apply the requirement for duty holders of non-domestic properties to survey for asbestos and to make that survey available to social housing landlords of domestic premises. Our speakers were: Dr. Linda Waldman author of the report for UCATT titled Safe as Houses John Shiers who led a campaign about asbestos in the Hulme flats in Manchester in the 1980s and who has now been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos when he was a tenant in Hulme. Press Coverage Granada Report ITV covered John Shiers story and our AMD event and can be viewed at Radio Manchester ran interviews about AMD in Manchester throughout the day and covered the dove release live. Manchester Evening News covered John s story and AMD in Manchester
7 Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund Service of Thanksgiving at St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle was conducted by Reverend Canon Jim Robertson. The Candle of Remembrance lit by Bev Wears andthe Candle of Hope lit by Chris Knighton. Soloist Wendy Boyd sang Ave Maria and readings were given by Anne Craig and Ian McFall. A trilogy of white doves were released in St Nicholas Square following the service. Following a buffet lunch Action Mesothelioma Day continued with a Mesothelioma Seminar. The objectives of the seminar was to give Mesothelioma patients and careers the chance to meet and share experiences with others affected by the disease, while providing health care and legal professionals along with trade unions,health and safety representatives with up-to-date, unbiased information. Chaired by Dr Tim Peel Consultant in general and respiratory medicine in North Tyneside and in palliative medicine. Dr Peel s particular interest is in lung cancer and Mesothelioma as he works in an area with a very high prevalence of asbestos related lung disease. Leah Taylor, Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist at North Tyneside General Hospital explained the role of the LCNS in Mesothelioma and What is Hospice Care; while Ian McFall from Thompsons Solicitors took us through The Next Challenge for those claiming benefits and compensation. Chris Knighton, MKMRF s Thanks a Million presentation was a thanks and celebration for reaching their 1m target. Chris went onto highlight the six Asbestos Related Disease Awards made by the British Lung Foundation, following the donation by the four insurance companies. Further information on the awards can be found at Michael Lees, Founder of the Asbestos Exposure in Schools Campaign, gave a thought provoking account of the dangers of asbestos in schools and how many schools asbestos management is ineffective. He went on to explain, the particular risk children and others working in the school environment are under, as low background levels of the asbestos fibres can be cumulatively dangerous. The Trustees and Patrons of the Mike Knighton Mesothelioma Trust would like to thank the Speakers along with the Dean & Chapter of the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, Newcastle for their permission to hold this service and also all the Cathedral Staff for their co-operation and support. The event was funded by, Thompsons Solicitors, Irwin Mitchell and MKMRF. Rev. Robertson with Chris Knighton Chris Releasing a Dove Michael Lees Founder of Asbestos Exposure in Schools Campaign
8 Hampshire Asbestos Support & Awareness Group (HASAG) HASAG hosted this year s Action Mesothelioma Day in Southsea and were lucky enough to see blue skies and sunshine! A dove release in memory of all those who have suffered from mesothelioma was held on Southsea Common and was attended by over 140 people. This was followed by a public meeting in Queens Hotel, Clarence Parade, Southsea. Speakers included Mr Hank Roberts, Junior Vice President of ATL and member of Asbestos in Schools Group and Mark Roland, Respiratory Consultant from Portsmouth Hospitals. The BBC South East Inside Out programme about Asbestos in Schools, which was broadcast earlier in the year was also shown. All money raised will be donated to Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund & The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund. The public meeting was followed by a fundraising raffle and refreshments. Crowd waiting for dove release Releasing of the doves Asbestos Action Tayside Asbestos Action Tayside held a patient and carers conference in the Hilton hotel in Dundee with over 70 members and families attending. There were several speakers giving out information on medical and legal issues and representatives from other organisations including Maggie s cancer centres and Macmillan nursing. A large bio-degradable red balloon was released to mark national Mesothelioma Day and a candle was lit for the duration of the day to remember all our members who had lost their lives.
9 Worthing Hazel Mann whose husband died from an asbestos-related cancer is raising awareness of the disease in a bid to fund treatment and warn people of its dangers. Peter Mann sadly died from mesothelioma on 14 June this year, aged 69, after being diagnosed with the illness only months earlier. He had, in the mid-1950s, come into contact with asbestos when he worked as an apprentice plumber. To coincide with Mesothelioma Awareness Day, on 1 July, Hazel and her family spent the afternoon near the Bandstand, in Worthing, raising money for Mesothelioma UK with a collection bucket, as well as handing out leaflets about the disease. On the day, Hazel and her family raised 350, which will go to Mesothelioma UK Charitable Trust. Hazel added: I d like to thank all the generous people who donated. Picture Source: Worthing Herald London Hazards Centre St Bartholomew s hosted a successful Action Day event which was organised at short notice by the London Hazards Centre newly appointed asbestos worker Michael Dooley. A large crowd of 80 people attended the release of white doves outside the historic arch at St Bart s in the City of London. This was followed by a seminar attended by 50 people followed by refreshments. Speakers included Dr Jeremy Steel from St Barts, Eileen Beadle of the East London Mesothelioma Support and Carol Hagardorn a school teacher and sufferer. This event also launched LHC new project which will include supporting victims, campaigning and coordinating support in the fight against asbestos and it use.
10 Plymouth Event PATIENTS with asbestos-related cancer and their families gathered for a moving memorial ceremony in Plymouth. More than 100 people attended the event at Saltram House to mark Action Mesothelioma Day, July 1. They laid flowers at the foot of a tree planted in memory of people who have died of the devastating lung cancer. Plymouth is a hotspot for asbestos-related diseases, with many cases among former dockyard workers and labourers. Yesterday's event was organised by the newly-formed South West Mesothelioma Group, based at the Macmillan Mustard Tree Centre, Derriford Hospital. Debbie Brewer, who developed the condition after hugging her dockyard worker father, said it was a "privilege" to attend the ceremony. The 51 year old, of Eggbuckland, said: "I was proud to be at Saltram honouring my dad, other people who have lost their lives and those still fighting. "It was a very emotional day, with so many people laying flowers at the tree and remembering their loved ones." Debbie's father Phillip Northmore was an asbestos lagger at Devonport dockyard between 1961 and He died aged 68 from small cell lung cancer, which was linked to asbestos. The South West Mesothelioma Group has been set up to help patients and their families. About 30 mesothelioma patients emerge each year in Plymouth. Number are reaching a peak, as the condition takes three or four decades to develop. Asbestos was widely used as insulation and fireproofing in the UK until the 1970s. It remains in many older buildings today, posing a risk when disturbed. Contact Kate Lansdell on or for more information about the new support group. Mesothelioma Patient Debbie Brewer Picture source: Plymouth Herald
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