About Us

What is Asbestos Support Central England?

The Asbestos Support Project for the West Midlands region was established in 2007 by the West Midlands Hazards Trust. In 2020 the project became a registered charity, No 1186479.

Asbestos Support Central England exists to

  • help and support anyone living in the region who is affected by asbestos related diseases
  • campaign for the strictest possible enforcement of regulations and legislation to protect current workers and communities

Asbestos is the biggest single work-related cause of death in the UK. It kills thousands of people every year and wrecks the lives of many more.

Although asbestos products are no longer used to manufacture or build things in the UK, it is still being found in schools, hospitals, offices, factories, homes and other buildings We are working alongside other support groups across the UK to remove asbestos safely from our building stock and the environment.

Where do we work?

Asbestos Support Central England operates across the whole of the West Midlands region – the area broadly covered by local TV weather forecasts and which is used by government departments when they are making plans and collecting statistic.

The areas covered include the Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke and Wolverhampton City Councils, all parts of the former West Midlands Metropolitan County and the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

You may also be referred to us if you attend a hospital within the region but live slightly outside. We rely upon three paid members of staff who, with the support of volunteers, are able to give expert advice and information to residents and their families who are affected by asbestos related diseases.

How you can get in touch with us

You can call us today to arrange an appointment. Normally we aim to visit people at home but, because of Covid-19, most of our work is currently being done by phone, or on-line.

We have a telephone helpline which takes messages 24/7 and we aim to get back to callers at least by the next working day. Our helpline number is 0121 678 8853. Alternatively, you can email us on asbestosinfo@asbestossupportwm.org

How we are funded

We are funded exclusively from grants and donations.

As part of our information, advice and guidance we refer service users to other reputable sources of help, including legal help for compensation claims from firms who are members of our Solicitors’ Panel.

We adhere strictly to the Solicitors' Introduction and Referral Code. Panel members are chosen on the basis of their extensive experience of this complex field of the law and because they do not charge their clients fees but offer free advice and recover all of their costs from the defendants in the legal cases they take up.

These firms make an annual donation to Asbestos Support Central England to support our work but they are completely independent of both Asbestos Support Central England and the West Midlands Hazards Trust and will always act only in the best interests of their clients.

Their donations to us are made to ensure that people living in the West Midlands region can count on the widest possible range of expert information, advice and guidance.

These donations do not affect the advice which we or the solicitors give, which will always be impartial and confidential. We always make clear that other solicitors are also available and if you prefer to go elsewhere we suggest only that you make sure your legal representatives adhere to the same principles of providing a service that is expert in this field of law, impartial and free to the client.

Our national partners

Asbestos Support Central England is part of the national Asbestos Support Groups Forum UK and adheres to the principles of the forum.

It is the umbrella organisation for asbestos victims' support groups throughout the UK and works collectively to provide one voice for asbestos victims nationwide. All our member groups are independent, not-for-profit organisations or registered charities.

As part of the Forum, Asbestos Support Central England campaigns for real change in the UK and a worldwide ban on asbestos mining and manufacture.

We are also members of the national Helplines Partnership, the country’s network of free, independent helplines, and all our staff have regular enhanced DBS disclosures.

It is a government check on the suitability of staff to work with people who are receiving healthcare or personal care and discussing or handing over sensitive personal information as part of a claim for government welfare entitlements.

Our service

  • Expert help and advice about Department of Work and Pensions and other state benefits and entitlements associated with asbestos related diseases
  • Information on other kinds of compensation that might be available
  • Practical assistance with the completion of all appropriate paperwork
  • A telephone helpline
  • Referrals to reputable and experienced solicitors if you need legal advice (see above)
  • Information on self-help support groups if you want to talk to people going through a similar experience
  • In normal times, a home visiting service in addition to our telephone and on-line service

On-going support and campaigning

  • On-going support to those affected by asbestos related diseases and their families, at no cost
  • Links to reputable organisations that are able to offer additional help, for example in explaining cancer and its consequences to children
  • Strictly complies with professional standards laid down by our national partners (see above) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  • Campaigns and information sharing to ensure the strictest possible enforcement of regulations and legislation to protect current workers and communities.

Confidentiality

We provide a confidential service in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation. We believe our service users deserve the right to confidentiality to protect their interests and safeguard our services.

Nothing you tell us will be shared with any other organisation or individual without your express permission.

The West Midlands Hazards Trust, the organisation which set up and has ownership of our charity, is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

So what is the West Midlands Hazards Trust?

The West Midlands Hazards Trust (WMHT) is a voluntary organisation formed in 2001 to promote the prevention of occupational deaths, injuries and diseases, and to provide resources and support for those affected by them.

It is part of the national Hazards Campaign, and as such is an organisation that works with others to bring about change for the better, in relation to work-related hazards, through workplace and community organisation. It is registered charity number 1125322.

The Trust set up Asbestos Support Central England because the trustees saw an urgent need to support people affected by Asbestos Related Diseases. You can find out more about the Trust at https://wmsafety.net/.

Getting involved

To find out how to get involved in the work of Asbestos Support Central England or the West Midlands Hazards Trust please send an email to asbestosinfo@wmht.co.uk.

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