Event will remember asbestos victims

CAMPAIGNERS ... Chris Knighton, left, and Anne Craig.

CAMPAIGNERS ... Chris Knighton, left, and Anne Craig.

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DOVES will be released during an emotional ceremony on Tyneside to remember victims of asbestos.

South Tyneside campaigner Anne Craig will take part in the seventh annual Action Mesothelioma Day, at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle tomorrow.

The event will include the release of four doves at noon, plus a seminar about the killer disease mesothelioma, caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.

Mrs Craig, who became a campaigner after her husband David died from the disease in 2002, said: “The dove release will be a moving ceremony and will allow people to remember all those loved ones who have died from mesothelioma.

“There were about 100 people at the event last year, and we would love to beat that figure in 2011.”

Tomorrow’s event starts at 11am, with a service of remembrance for mesothelioma victims at St Nicholas Cathedral, in St Nicholas Churchyard, off Mosley Street.

This will be followed by the dove release in St Nicholas Square at noon and the seminar inside the cathedral at 1.30pm.

Mrs Craig will be joined by guest speaker, good friend and fellow campaigner Chris Knighton, founder of the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund (MKMRF), which recently reached a £1m fundraising milestone.

“Chris and I, and all the officials of the fund, were delighted to raise £1m, which is an amazing achievement, and much more than we originally imagined when our group was launched nine years ago,” she said.

Mesothelioma has sparked the world’s biggest industrial compensation case, claiming the lives of thousands of former industrial workers.

But tomorrow’s seminar will also hear from Michael Lees, whose schoolteacher wife died from mesothelioma at 51, after being exposed to asbestos at an infant school.

Mr Lees later went on to launch the Asbestos In Schools Campaign.

Other speakers will include Ian McFall, head of asbestos litigation for Thompsons Solicitors, and Dr Tim Peel, a consultant in respiratory and palliative medicine.

To register for tomorrow’s seminar, call 263 7386 or e-mail c.knighton@mkmrf.org.uk

The MKMRF is one of the charities to benefit from the Gazette’s fashion show next week.

terry.kelly@northeast-press.co.uk

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