Anyone who is familiar with Acorn Analytical Services will know that we are passionate about educating people so that their health is not put at risk by asbestos.
So, we are particularly proud to bring you a guest blog by our Commercial Manager Sian Stone about her efforts this month to raise money for a charity which tackles the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.
I’ve worked at Acorn for nearly seven years and I can honestly say it’s impossible to be here without being caught up in the company’s overwhelming drive to protect people from the dangers of asbestos.
Helping firms and individuals to manage their asbestos safely is what we do day in, day out. Our clients can breathe a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that this potentially deadly substance will not pose a risk to them or anyone else in their property once they bring our highly trained team onboard.
We are leading experts in our industry and as a result we are very aware of the dangers that people face if their asbestos is not managed professionally.
The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) latest asbestos-related disease statistics for Great Britain highlight the dangers all too painfully.
Even though asbestos has not been used by the UK’s construction industry for more than 20 years we are still seeing more than 5,000 asbestos-related deaths here a year. Of these around a half are caused by a devastating cancer called mesothelioma. This cancer develops in the lining covering the outer surface of some of the body’s organs and is most commonly linked to asbestos exposure.
There are treatments available to manage mesothelioma but there is no known cure. Tragically, mesothelioma cases are often rapidly fatal following the onset of symptoms.
Here, at Acorn we are no strangers to raising money for charities which support those suffering from asbestos-related diseases and we have recently been in talks with Mesothelioma UK to see how we can work more closely with the organisation. This charity is close to our hearts because it is dedicated to providing specialist mesothelioma information, support and education, and to improving care and treatment for all UK mesothelioma patients and their carers.
Hearing about the vital work it does inspired me to do something I’m not keen on – I got out my running shoes. I’ll be honest running is not my favourite thing but to raise money for the charity I have pledged to run at least 50 miles – or the distance of nearly two marathons – throughout February in exchange for donations.
So, at the beginning of this month I ignored the little voice telling me to stay inside my nice, cosy home and braced myself for my first run. I’ve only had one day off from running since and I’m thrilled to have already completed about 30 miles.
Even the horrifying prospect of running in the snow hasn’t stopped me. I had an incredibly cold run in the snow around Pitsford Reservoir a few days ago but I was fortunate to have a friend with me who runs super-fast. Admittedly, they pushed me to run so fast that I felt sick but they kept me going and I was over the moon to complete 5k in under 30 minutes for the first time in about a year.
As well as good friends the other thing that has spurred me on is the money that I’ve raised so far for Mesothelioma UK. Initially, I’d set myself a target of raising £200 but my generous donors have so far helped me to raise £450. I’ve been incredibly touched by their support which has definitely kept me going on the days when I’ve not wanted to drag myself out into the cold and made me even more determined to get as many miles under my belt as quickly as possible.
To everyone who has supported me so far I would like to say a huge thank you. This is not something I would normally do – it is very tiring and I’m definitely out of my comfort zone but I know all the effort is worthwhile because it is for such a good cause.
So, today I’m asking you to do two things.
Firstly, if you can please donate to my Justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sian-stone1 to help me raise as much money as possible to support the incredible work done by Mesothelioma UK.
Secondly, if you own a building which is more than 20 years old remember that you have a legal responsibility to ensure any asbestos is effectively monitored and managed to ensure the safety of anyone who may come into contact with it. If you don’t do this you are putting lives at risk and could also potentially face a fine of hundreds of thousands of pounds and even a prison term.
If you’re not sure how to go about doing dealing with your asbestos we have produced a step-by-step guide – the Acorn Asbestos Antidote – which takes our clients from non-compliance with the law through to full compliance.