As our Asbestos team head to Plymouth for their next stop as part of the virtual #MoveForMeso challenge, we catch up with Andrew Walker, who joined Hugh James as a partner in April 2021 to head up the new Plymouth office, which is due to open in September 2021. Andrew has been working in personal injury Law since 2003 and has been a specialist in asbestos related injury since 2008.
Andrew has acted for patients suffering from asbestos diseases all across the Southwest and has extensive knowledge of the local employers and their historical use of asbestos. Andrew has strong links with patients who have work at Devonport Royal Dockyard. The Dockyard was a major employer in the Southwest area and user of asbestos of asbestos products.
Andrew has close links with the Southwest Asbestos Support and Awareness Group (SWASAG). Andrew met Christine Jones (Southwest Mesothelioma UK Specialist nurse) in 2015 and agreed that a local support group for the South West was needed.
Working with the group, SWASAG was established and registered as a charity. SWASAG now has support group meeting in Truro (first Thursday of the month) and in Plymouth (third Thursday of the month). Each group is regularly attended by over 20 patients every week.
Through Lock down SWASAG provided support to its patients via Zoom to ensure that people were supported throughout this very difficult time.
“I have always been proud to be associated with SWASAG. The trustees of the charity have achieved so much over such a short space of time. When I first started working within the asbestos world it was clear that a support group was needed in the South West in order for patients to share their experiences and realise that they are not alone in dealing with these awful conditions. It is a privilege to be involved in this support and to be in able help people and their families who find themselves in these circumstances”.