Belfast Telegraph

Cash given to help asbestos victims' centre

By Heather Simpson
04 February 2005

A Northern Ireland charity which supports the victims of asbestos has been handed almost £10,000 to help launch a respite centre in Belfast.

Justice for Asbestos Victims was given £4,500 by the TSB bank and £5,000 by the Lottery Fund to start an information office offering help to sufferers and their families.

Chairman of Justice for Asbestos Victims, June Brown, said: "The money will go some way towards opening an office to offer advice to victims of the disease and their families. But my vision is to open a respite centre to help those affected psychologically."

June's husband Robbie Brown started the charity in 2002 before he died from asbestos-related lung cancer in 2003.

Since then the voluntary charity has guided its 300 members on everything from medical information to the law.

Asbestos has been widely used in the shipbuilding industry - resulting in a legacy of serious health problems.

Last week the Appeal Court in London overturned a decision to award £82,000 in damages to a woman who died from secondary exposure to asbestos last year.

The court said that Harland and Wolff were not liable for Teresa Maguire's death after she was exposed to her husband's work clothes.

June Brown said organisations should be held accountable.

She said: "They knew they had asbestos but they didn't make people aware. It's scandalous what happened."

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