Hebburn company is helping to find community champions

Les and Marion Cooper, who are delighted to back Best of Wearside.
Les and Marion Cooper, who are delighted to back Best of Wearside.

A specialist company has given its backing to a search for unsung heroes.

UK Asbestos Specialists (UKasl) is a Hebburn-based training company which excels in the provision of asbestos awareness training to keep people safe from the dangers of the material.

The company provides training to the construction industry, where illnesses related to asbestos claim the lives of up to 5,000 people a year.

But thanks to UKasl, people who work in the industry are getting the very best support by providing asbestos awareness training by face-to-face methods and also innovative online courses.

Now the firm is also backing the Best of Wearside competition, which is run by the Gazette’s sister paper the Sunderland Echo.

Les Cooper, from UKasl, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this competition.

“We believe in providing the best service possible and excellence is also something that exists in abundance in the City of Sunderland.

“We are excited to read all the stories of the amazing achievements of people in our neighbourhoods.”

The company was established in 2003 and has guided the company to be the UK’s leading asbestos-related training provider.

Clients include housing associations, local authorities and private companies, who are required by law to manage any asbestos risk in properties they own or manage.

And while the risks to workers are very different today from the days of heavy industry and shipyards, they still exist within the construction and refurbishment industries, said Mr Cooper.

“It’s only when young joiners, electricians and carpenters undertake our courses that they realise that the risks are still very real to those who work in the refurbishment, maintenance and demolition industries, where asbestos-containing materials are present in the buildings they work in.”

The awards finale is on Thursday, November 19, at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.

It aims to reward the best in the Wearside community.

It will be handing out trophies in categories such as Community Group, Student of the Year, Sporting Excellence, Community Champion, Fundraiser of the Year, Child of Achievement, Child of Courage, Green Champion, Role Model, Volunteer of the Year, Sports Team of the Year and Lifetime Contribution.