Stevenage family’s emotional appeal following mum’s death from asbestos related cancer

PUBLISHED: 15:19 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:19 10 July 2020

The now abandoned Social Services Centre in Southgate, Stevenage. Picture: Google

The now abandoned Social Services Centre in Southgate, Stevenage. Picture: Google

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An emotional plea for answers has been made by the family of a late Stevenage mum after her death from asbestos-related cancer earlier this year.

Ann Scott died on May 14, aged 80, after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2018 – a cancer associated with asbestos exposure.

The former child protection worker from Stevenage had asked asbestos disease lawyers to investigate how she developed the illness and whether it may have been caused as a result of working in the old Stevenage Social Services Centre.

Ann’s family, including daughter’s Natasha, 49 and Naomi, 47 are now determined to continue their mum’s fight for answers. They are appealing to anyone who worked with Ann at the centre in Southgate, between 1975 and 1995 to come forward.

The appeal follows Action Mesothelioma Day on July 3, which is held to raise awareness of the risks of asbestos and the impact it can have on people’s lives.

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Ann spent 20 years of her working life in the Social Services Centre as a secretary in child protection. She knew that as an old police station built in the 1950’s, it was possible it had contained asbestos.

Her daughter Natasha said: “To lose our mum to an asbestos-related disease is such a shock. Mum started with breathing problems in the summer of 2018 and by the year end, she had a drain inserted in her lung.

“Ann was a wonderful mum and we had not come to terms with her diagnosis when she was taken from us. Nothing can bring her back, but finding out how she was exposed to the asbestos really mattered to her, so we will honour her in trying to find out.

“We know the building is boarded up now, but mum said that after she left in 1995, notices were given to people saying asbestos was in the building and that drawing pins should not be used or decorations put up in the ceiling – so we hope this might jog someone’s memory.”

Emma Guy, an asbestos-related disease specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Ann was committed to finding out the truth about her asbestos exposure and her death has robbed her of the opportunity and left her family devastated by their loss.

“If anyone remembers working with Ann or even in the same building, and recall asbestos being present, it would be a huge help if they could come forward to help with our enquiries.”

Stevenage Borough Council declined to comment as their records do not go back further than 2001.


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