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Welcome to the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK (AVSGF)

The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK (AVSGF-UK) is an umbrella organisation representing asbestos victims support groups. The Forum' s main purpose is to work collectively to provide one voice for asbestos victims.

For advice on benefits and compensation and support for sufferers of asbestos disease and their families contact Forum Members

Asbestos victims and campaigners attended rallies across the UK on Friday 3rd July  to demand the Government delivers on years of broken promises and delivers the funding for mesothelioma research that would put it on an equal footing with other cancers. Doves were released in memory of all those who have lost their lives to this disease needlessly.

Latest News...

4 July 2015

Government gives way again over court costs in face of asbestos victims’ legal challenge

The Asbestos Victims Support Group’s Forum brought a judicial review challenge to the Government’s enhanced court costs which means that most mesothelioma sufferers will have to pay an average £7,500, and up to £10,000, to bring a claim for compensation.

Claimants can receive remission from paying court costs if they are on a low income and they do not have more than £16,000 in capital. Since most mesothelioma sufferers are paid approximately £16,000 in statutory compensation they would not be eligible for remission of court fees.

The Government have accepted that this was wrong and are amending the remission fee order so that statutory payments are not treated as capital. This change is effective from 3 July 2015.  

The Forum says:

“Yet again, dying mesothelioma sufferers who have very limited financial resources have had to take court action to get justice. In this case they should never have had to launch legal action to stop the Government charging £10,000 in court costs to claim compensation for the criminal negligence of employers, often Government as employer, who continued to expose them to asbestos decades after it was known to cause cancer.”


23 April 2015

Charter for Justice launched

The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK has issued a Charter for Justice for asbestos victims. The Charter sets out a small number of easily affordable reforms that would make a real difference to asbestos victims.

This country owes a debt of justice to asbestos victims and their families. We all have a duty to make sure victims receive the help they need. We all have an interest in making sure that asbestos is removed from the buildings we live and work in so that no one suffers in the future. This Charter sets out how we could achieve these aims. We hope everyone can support it. In particular we would like our politicians and policy makers to support it.

Please pledge your support for the Charter for Justice today, and make sure that any politician you vote for supports it too.

Click here to view the Charter

13 March 2015

Asbestos Victims Groups Welcome Publication of Government’s  Asbestos in Schools Report. Now we need long term strategic policies to remove this deadly material from our schools
Click to read more...

28 January 2015

UK victims of mesothelioma support Eternit victims in Italy

On 18 November 2014, a delegation of 13 Forum members travelled from the UK to Italy. Our itinerary would be to spend 2 days in Rome to witness the Italian Supreme Court's verdict on the Eternit trial - click to read more...

3 October 2014

High Court Halts Government Plans to Increase Asbestos Victims’ Legal Costs

In a stunning rebuke for the Government the High Court has today (2 October 2014) put a halt to Government plans that would have seen court damages paid to mesothelioma victims cut, a move designed to save money for the wealthy insurance companies liable to pay damages. The High Court, only two months after the damning report of the Parliamentary Justice Select Committee, found in favour of the Forum’s Judicial Review application to stop these changes being forced through.

To read the Forum’s press release click here

5 September 2014

TUC Congress 2014 Fringe Meeting Monday 8th September, 1pm in Hall 13 BT Convention Centre

Asbestos Victims– An Agenda for Justice

Speakers: Kate Green MP, Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions

Tony Whitston (Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK)

Marie Hughes (Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group)
Chair: Jennie Formby– Political Director for Unite the Union

-A buffet lunch will be provided-

Asbestos victims currently face the attacks of the insurance industry on access to compensation, as set out in their secret deal with the Coalition Government. We don’t need secret deals; we need an agenda for justice. Come along to the meeting and find out what you can do to make it a reality. To see flyer click here...

01 August 2014

Justice Committee Condemns "Maladroit" and "Unsatisfactory" Government Mesothelioma Claims Review 

In a report published today the Justice Committee heavily criticises the Government's review which ended the exemption for mesothelioma sufferers from paying legal costs associated with compensation claims. The Justice Committee says the Government must consult again following a "maladroit" review which was rushed through without ensuring that claimants received relevant information and was "shaped" by a one-sided heads of agreement between the Association of British Insurers and the Government, which was kept secret from claimants and the Justice Committee.



13 June 2014

Government secret deal with insurers exposed

A secret agreement between the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Government has come to light following the Justice Select Committee hearing on mesothelioma claims.

To see the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum Press release click here

To see the exposed secret agreement click here

13 May 2014


Justice Select Committee hearing on mesothelioma claims

On the 13 May 2014 the Justice Select Committee heard evidence from claimants' and defendants' representatives at their hearing on mesothelioma claims. Doug Jewell gave evidence on behalf of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum and you can read the written Forum evidence and Doug's oral evidence as well as all written and oral evidence if you click here...

4 April

Justice Committee enquiry on Mesothelioma Claims

The Justice Select Committee has called for evidence for a short enquiry into the decision to apply the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) provisions to mesothelioma claims. Written evidence is invited by April 30 2014.

25 March 2014


Forum challenges Government response to consultation Reforming mesothelioma claims

The Government response to the consultation Reforming mesothelioma claims, 6 March 2014,confirmed the ministerial announcement, 4 December 2012, that it intended to bring into force the requirement to pay legal costs in mesothelioma claims. The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK which has applied for a judicial review of this decision sent amended arguments (grounds) to the government on 25 March rebutting the Government's response to the consultation justifying removal of the mesothelioma exception.

To read the Government response to the consultation please click here...

To read a précis of the Forum grounds challenging the decision please click here...

To read the Forum amended grounds challenging the decision please click here...

3 March 2014

The Health and Safety Executive plans to develop an asbestos behaviour change campaign in 2014.

The Health and Safety Executive have conducted research to identify key issues for an asbestos campaign in 2014. The campaign will utilise regional radio, building on the success of the Hidden Killer Campaign, and will aim to distribute asbestos information kits.

To see the HSE commissioned research click here ....

19 February 2014

New survey launches to help identify mesothelioma treatment uncertainties

An important survey has launched today that will help to inform future research into mesothelioma diagnosis, treatments and care. Click here to read it...

30 January

The Mesothelioma Bill was given royal assent on the 30 January 2014

The Mesothelioma Bill is now an Act of Parliament: The Mesothelioma Act 2014. Asbestos victims support groups welcome the new Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme which will come into operation in July 2014, but will continue to campaign for improvements to the payment scheme and for payments to sufferers of asbestos diseases other than mesothelioma.

21 January 2014

Lord Alton introduces the Mesothelioma (Amendment) Bill for mesothelioma research 

Lord Alton has introduced a Private Members's Bill in the House of Lords to amend the Mesothelioma Bill to provide for the levy on insurers to include a research supplement.

To see the Bill please click here

8 January 2014

Stalwart Asbestos Victims’ Champion Paul Goggins MP has died

Paul Goggins MPPaul Goggins MP speaking at Action Mesothelioma Day Manchester
The Asbestos Victims Support Groups across the UK are deeply saddened by the news that Paul Goggins MP has died. We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends. Tony Whitston, Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum pays tribute to Paul Goggins.
“Paul was a true champion of asbestos victims whose plight he sympathised with, but along with a dedicated group of MPs and Peers, was also determined to do something about. As his Parliamentary colleagues will know better than anyone else, Paul was able to work across the parliamentary divide. He shepherded Lord Alton’s amendment to exempt asbestos victims from paying legal costs through the House of Commons, with strong support from the Conservative Tracey Crouch MP, eventually winning an exemption for mesothelioma sufferers. Paul was due to speak to several key amendments to the Mesothelioma Bill in the House of Commons yesterday, where many MPs paid tribute to his work on behalf of asbestos victims, still hoping for his full recovery. Sadly, his colleagues have now lost the most decent of Parliamentarians, we have lost a true friend and we send our heartfelt sympathy to Paul’s family and close friends for their incalculable loss.”



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