ADVICE workers have secured £311,643 in compensation for North-East asbestos victims in five months.

The Northern TUC Asbestos Support and Campaign Group has also facilitated payment of welfare benefits in excess of £105,000 per month for victims and their families.

The recipients suffer from debilitating asbestos-related diseases including mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

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The group is a partnership between the Northern TUC, Macmillan Cancer Support, regional trade unions and Wallsend Memorial Hall and People’s Centre.

It aims to support, advise and inform people living with the effects of asbestos poisoning. It employs two dedicated members of staff, Maggie Fitzsimons, Support Worker and Maggie Bailey, Macmillan Welfare Rights Adviser.

Kevin Rowan, Northern TUC Regional Secretary said: “This is a huge, life-changing amount of money going to help the people who need it most, and as an added benefit it will be recycled into the local economy providing a win-win situation for the welfare of workers and the region as a whole.”

Stephen Guy, Macmillan Development Manager for North East said: “It is only correct that people who have suffered have their right to state benefits and compensation protected and maximised. This joint venture delivers.”