Two local men have begun a support group for people suffering from asbestos related diseases.
Arthur Rafferty and Brendan Whyte launched ASNI (Asbestos Support Northern Ireland) after Arthur found a lack of information when he was diagnosed with asbestosis, caused by inhaling deadly asbestos dust.
“Throughout England, Scotland and Wales there are a number of asbestos support groups, yet in Northern Ireland there are none,” said Arthur.
“We hope to raise awareness, offer support and act as a life line to those who feel isolated as they have no one to turn to.”
There are several diseases associated with asbestos exposure; although not all of them are fatal they all affect the health and quality of life of those who suffer from them. All asbestos related diseases are preventable if the right precautions are taken when handling this deadly material, but due to lack of information and poor management people continue to suffer. Through ASNI, Arthur and Brendan are advising sufferers about state benefits associated with asbestos related diseases, helping them complete paperwork, and helping with representation at DSS tribunals.
They have a drop in centre for people who have been affected by an asbestos related disease, and those who are too ill to come to them can avail of their home call out service. To contact ASNI email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 077 1592 1137.