Monday, 20 August 2018

Sharing the Heritage of Asbestos

DAST still have quite a few of Our Asbestos Heritage booklets to distribute.  These contain information for those interested in collecting vintage items, renovating period properties or working in the heritage/museum sector. The booklets share personal experiences that indicate where asbestos might be found and what kind of items to be careful of. Here’s a couple of examples of the inside pages:

Do you know of anyone who might be able to distribute some of these booklets? An example might be a friend or relative who works in a museum or an antiques shop, who could put a few on the front counter.

In an effort to distribute some of these ourselves, DAST have decided to take a stall on Chesterfield Flea Market. On Thursday November 1st the market is holding a 1940s themed event, which we think will attract many people who are interested in mid 20th century items and properties, when use of asbestos was at its peak. We intend to take a stall on that day and to give out the books to those visiting our stall.

But we also need something to sell. We need attractive, second hand items that will being people to our stall and also raise a bit of money to cover the cost of hiring it. We have decided to sell old costume jewellery – and this is where you come in! Do you have any old necklaces, bracelets, brooches or earrings that you can donate to us?

If so, please bring them along to a future meeting or post them to:
Sarah Walters, DAST, 34 Glumangate, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S40 1TX

Anything that doesn’t sell on the market will be put on ebay.

Thanks in advance!

Friday, 6 July 2018

Easy Fundraising with

We’ve registered with easyfundraising and we need your help!

easyfundraising is a great website where you can help Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team raise funds simply by doing your everyday online shopping with over 3,300 big name retailers like Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS,, eBay, Boden, and M&S.

Every time you shop, we receive a small donation to say ‘thank you’ and it’s completely free too! We want raise as much as possible so please sign up and help us at

Over £20million has already been raised for good causes in the UK by easyfundraising shoppers so please help us get our share.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Action Mesothelioma Day in the East Midlands

The first Friday of July is designated national Action Mesothelioma Day, drawing attention to this rare form of cancer that is only caused by exposure to asbestos fibres. Over 3,000 people die from Mesothelioma each year in the UK, most being exposed in the workplace 30-40 years previously.

Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team (DAST) assisted over 40 families affected by asbestos cancers last year in Derbyshire alone. We also helped many others across the East Midlands. We also work to raise awareness of the continuing danger of asbestos. Although the substance was banned in 1999, the UK imported so much of it in the 20th century that it is still present in many of our homes and public buildings. Action Mesothelioma Day is a way of encouraging greater awareness of the disease and the continuing risks of asbestos exposure.

DAST will mark Action Mesothelioma Day 2018 by planting a memorial tree at Grassmoor Country Park near Chesterfield. Each branch of the tree will represent a profession or trade that is commonly affected by asbestos exposure – plumbers, electricians and teachers for example.  

We hope that local people who have worked with asbestos in the past will join us as we plant this tree. We will be meeting at Birkin Lane Car Park, Grassmoor, on Friday 6th July at 10.30am. All are welcome.

The tree planting ceremony will be followed by a buffet lunch at North Wingfield Community Resource Centre. If you would like to join DAST for the event, please book by telephoning 01246 380415 or emailing 

To make a donation towards Action Mesothelioma Day, click on this link to be taken to our online donation page at The Big Give:

Twitter: @DAST24

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Cooking Up Good Health

Thanks to our Co-op Local Community Fund donations, we are now able to produce our own DAST healthy eating cookbook.

This is your chance to get your own recipe into print!

We’re inviting our supporters to send us recipes that they have designed, or that have been passed down through their family. We are collecting recipes that fit into the following categories:

Breakfast – Snack – Light Meal – Dessert – Drinks

If you want to send us a recipe, we need your list of ingredients and the cooking method. Your measurements can be metric OR imperial but please don’t mix the two. We’d also like to know a bit of background information such as how you got the idea, why you enjoy it or any memories associated with it.  A high-resolution digital photo of the dish would be good but this isn’t compulsory. Please remember not to send us any recipes that have previously been published in other books.

Send your recipes by email to
Or by post to DAST, 34 Glumangate, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S40 1TX

When we have enough recipes to fill a book, we will use our Co-op donations to have a glossy cookbook printed, which we will then give out free of charge to anyone accessing DAST’s services. All those submitting recipes will also receive a free copy.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Recognising our Volunteers

Today, 20 April 2017, is Volunteer Recognition Day and so we want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have given their time to Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team over the past year. Some of the things that people have done for us include:
  • ·       Befriending someone
  • ·       Raising sponsor money
  • ·       Distributing leaflets to doctors’ surgeries
  • ·       Speaking about DAST at events
  • ·       Serving on our committee
  • ·       Attending a supporters meeting
  • ·       Put us forward to be a supermarket’s chosen charity
  • ·       Made something crafty for us to sell

Without this kind of help, we would have considerably fewer resources – both in terms of money to spend on services and the services themselves. Sometimes, only a person that has been directly affected by Mesothelioma can do the job needed. To all of you…

Thank You!

If you want to join our bereavement befrienders or become a DAST Community Champion – tell us and we will give you as much support as we can. You decide what you want to do and how often you want to do it. Drop Sarah an email on

And we’ll give you a call.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Poetry Please

Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team have launched their first ever poetry competition.

We are encouraging people to write a poem about asbestos – sharing how they feel about it, and how it has affected their life. Their work can take any format and it doesn’t have to rhyme.

As well as providing people with an opportunity to vent their feelings on paper, we aim to use the competition to raise money towards our Action Mesothelioma Day event. Each entry must be accompanied by an entry form and a donation of £3.

The winning entry will be read out at the AMD event, which will take place at The Roundhouse, Derby on July 7th.  The author will also be awarded a £10 book token.

So, what are you waiting for?
Grab a pen and notepad
We’re sure you won’t be a bore

Your efforts will make us glad!

If you would like an entry form and set of rules, contact Sarah on

Closing date is 24th April 2017.

Monday, 21 November 2016

You Can Bank on DAST

It’s been such a busy year at DAST. We’ve launched the Asbestos in Schools Awareness project and run the Asbestos Heritage research project. The bereavement support services entered its second year and we held a Reflection and Remembrance event at Lincoln Cathedral. We ran an Action Mesothelioma Day event and hosted this year’s Mesothelioma in the Midlands conference.

All this happened while we continued to provide our ongoing regular services including making home visits, holding coffee mornings and delivering information directly to those affected by asbestos disease.

The cost of some of this work has been covered by grants and donations from charitable bodies and trade unions. We are very grateful for this support, but the tendency is for them to select a specific project to fund.  Finding a grant or large donation to cover your day-to-day work is rare. Few charitable bodies want to fund our core work – the home visits or the maintenance of our website, for example.  The telephone bill is a major expense for DAST. Our staff spend hours of each working day on the telephone; providing reassurance and guidance, chasing up claims or planning events. According to our most recent accounts, DAST spent over £9000 on telephone, internet and postage in the last financial year.

DAST's most recent coffee morning in Stamford

This is why we need general, unrestricted funding. Our panel of solicitors help us to meet the cost of a large chunk of our overheads – the salaries, the rent and the travel expenses. But the rest? That all comes from our supporters.

Your donations really make a difference to the level of service that we can provide. Without them, there would be fewer coffee mornings where Mesothelioma sufferers find information and support. There would be fewer, less informative, information booklets. There would be no newsletter to keep families in touch with developments or ways to campaign on issues affecting their loved ones.

If you haven’t already done so, please consider signing up to a regular donation through standing order.

·        £5 per month would cover the cost of room hire for a coffee morning each year.

·        £10 per month would cover the cost of printing and mailing a newsletter to 100 families each year.

And knowing that this money is coming in regularly helps in planning our future activities.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to DAST this year. You have helped us to make a difference to many people. if you would like a standing order form, please follow the link below and click on 'Donation Leaflet pdf':