Action Mesothelioma Day, on the first Friday in July, is held to remember those who have died from mesothelioma, and to campaign for justice for asbestos victims. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos.
The Manchester event is run by the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group (GMAVSG). Our event at 10.30am on Friday 2nd July 2021 had to be held by Zoom due to COVID-19.
Donations made for the event will be divided equally between the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund and the National Centre For Mesothelioma Research. So far, £8,037 has been raised. A big thank you to everyone who has donated so far.
Rob Rayner, GMAVSG co-ordinator, opened the meeting by saying:
“For people living with asbestos disease this last year has been one of turmoil and upheaval. Throughout it all, my charity has done its best to provide support throughout the pandemic. You do not need me to highlight what a hard year this has been. But what I must highlight is that, 21 years since the UK asbestos ban, thousands are still being diagnosed with asbestos diseases. When the doors of the asbestos factories slammed shut for the final time, many hoped- and assumed- that the blight of asbestos disease would end within a generation. Yet here in Greater Manchester, the numbers of people being diagnosed with mesothelioma remain stubbornly high. Most of the people we see have never worked in asbestos factories. Increasingly, many have been exposed simply by living or working in buildings containing asbestos. I am deeply worried by this trend.I believe it lends urgency to the call to finally remove asbestos from the places where we live and work. I believe the time has come to find sustainable funding for medical research. And I believe that the benefits and compensation system need to be reformed to meet the needs of asbestos victims in the decades to come.“
This was followed by short speeches by Kate Green MP, Tony Lloyd MP, Janet Newsham (co-ordinator of the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre), and Mairead Dixon (of Mesothelioma UK). Links to videos of the speeches can be found below: