Local Asbestos Support Group Named Law Firm’s Charity Of The Year For 2020
A local asbestos support and awareness group in the North East is set to benefit in 2020 after being selected for support under Irwin Mitchell’s Charity of the Year programme.
Staff at the Newcastle office of Irwin Mitchell chose to support READLEY, an asbestos and mesothelioma support group under the firms Charity of the Year programme. This will involve colleagues in fundraising and other activities for the local group which supports those affected by asbestos-related disease and their carers.
Each year, staff vote for a good cause to support over the next 12 months via voluntary work and fundraising activities. The initiative is part of the Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation (IMCF), an independent charity founded in 1997 that has raised more than £2 million for good causes.
Founded in 2015, READLEY was launched by Samantha Cox in memory of her father, Paul Readhead. Caring for Paul gave Sam a very personal insight into mesothelioma – a cancer associated with asbestos exposure that has no cure.
This experience led to recognition of a need for a holistic approach to asbestos-related disease that would encompass emotional, physical, social and financial wellbeing. The result was a support group renamed READLEY 2019 in memory of Paul Readhead and Robin Smedley. Robin had attended the group with his family and now his daughter Joanne works side by side with Sam.
Expert Opinion“As specialists in workplace injury and industrial disease, we see many people whose lives and those of their families have been devastated by asbestos exposure.
Choosing to support READLEY under our Charity of the Year programme is a way for the team to fundraise and give a lot of positive support to a young organisation that is performing a vital service, particularly by filling the gap that can exist between diagnosis and the support many need when deciding what to do next.
Asbestos is called the silent killer and all too often those living with the effects of exposure can be left to suffer in silence. We are proud to be helping a community support group that aims instead to give people a voice and the emotional support people need at what can be a challenging time.” Paula Myers - Partner
Twenty years on from the ban on white asbestos, the need for practical support for those living with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma remains high. READLEY offers a safe place for patients and their families to talk openly, while offering hope, and practical help.
This takes the form of monthly support group meetings; home visits; together with help and advice on benefits and compensation emotional support and legal help – all at no cost to patients or their families.
Samantha Cox, founder of READLEY, said: “Funding is always a concern for us and as such we are delighted that Irwin Mitchell staff voted to support us under their Charity of the Year programme. As we move into our fifth year, demand for our services has increased so we are grateful for all the support we get.”
As a qualified counsellor, I know how important it can be for people to talk, but it’s not always an easy service to access for those most in need. This support will help to ensure we can continue to provide services for those living with asbestos-related disease here in the North East and we very much look forward to working with the Irwin Mitchell team in the year ahead.”