Action Mesothelioma Day 2007
The second annual National Action Mesothelioma Day was held on Tuesday 27 February 2007. The day was dedicated to raising awareness about Mesothelioma and to foster greater understanding of its impact among health and legal professionals, trade unions and those affected by the illness.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer usually caused by inhaling asbestos fibres for which there is no cure. This year alone, nearly 2,000 people in Britain will die from this fatal disease.
A range of national and regional events were organised around the country in support of the national awareness day:
- The BLF held a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons.
- Sheffield And Rotherham Asbestos Group held a balloon release dedicated to the many Mesothelioma victims in the region, at All Saints Square, Rotherham. All the dedications were read out before the balloons were released and the money raised through sponsorship of the balloons is going to the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund and the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund.
- The Derbyshire Asbestos Support Teams organised a meeting at the Winding Wheel, Chesterfield, with speakers from DAST, the trade union movement and a local Macmillan nurse. Balloons were also released in Rykneld Square, Chesterfield.
- The Merseyside Asbestos Victims Support Group and the Cheshire Asbestos Victims Support Group organised a short meeting, at Liverpool Town Hall. The Lord Mayor of Liverpool attended together with the Mayor of Wirral. A sponsored balloon release was also organised with proceeds going to the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund.
- In the Northeast, the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund organised the release of 1,000 white balloons, across the River Tyne in memory of all those lost to mesothelioma in the hope that increased awareness of the disease ensures future generations are not exposed to the risks of asbestos disease.
- The Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group organised the release of hundreds of balloons in Albert Square, Manchester, to represent people affected by mesothelioma and to raise money for research. Andy Burnham MP, Health Minister, released the balloons. The group then held a short public meeting at which Andy Burnham MP and Rory O'Neil, Editor of Hazards spoke.
In addition to these events an 8 minute public awareness video was shown on the BBC's plasma screen at selected sites throughout the country, all day.